A night with Warsan Shire, Radna Fabias, Sika Fakambi & Asha Karami
Meet the author
The meetings with writers at Passa Porta, prepared with passion, courage and thoroughness, are more than simply the presentation of literary works. We seek to achieve a genuine connection between writer and reader, and among readers themselves.Go to overview
During the closing event of Poetik Bazar, Warsan Shire’s work will resound in three languages. Shire will take to the stage with her translators, Radna Fabias (Dutch) and Sika Fakambi (French). After the performance Asha Karami will interview Warsan Shire and her translators on their work.
‘No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark’. With these words, among others, the young British-Somali poet Warsan Shire struck a sensitive chord in the midst of the European refugee crisis in 2015. Her poem ‘Home’ was shared globally as a call for a more humane policy and made Shire instantly famous.
Bless the Daughter
Shire writes about her own experiences as a migrant, about losing your home and not feeling at home anywhere. She writes about war, sex and being a woman. Bless the Daughter is about a girl who is raised by the voices in her head for lack of anyone to look after her. Drawing from her own life and those of her loved ones, from pop culture and headlines, Shire brings to life in her beautiful poems the stories of refugees and migrants, mothers and daughters, black women and teenage girls.
About the authors
Warsan Shire (b. 1988) was born in Kenya to Somali parents and migrated to England at the age of 1. Her poems about migration, being at home somewhere and searching for a home were published online and made a deep impression. She became London’s first ever Young People’s Poet Laureate, was awarded the African Poetry Prize and was the youngest person ever to be appointed fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She has published several poetry pamphlets and has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. In 2016 her poetry featured prominently in Beyoncé’s Lemonade film, reaching millions of new fans. Today her debut collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, has finally been released.
Radna Fabias (b. 1983) was born and raised in Curaçao. She made her debut as a poet with the collection Habitus, which was awarded the C. Buddingh’-prijs, the Awater Poëzieprijs, the Herman de Coninckprijs and the Grote Poëzieprijs. De Volkskrant proclaimed her the literary talent of 2019. Habitus has been translated into French, Spanish, Arabic and German. Besides Warsan Shire, Fabias has translated poetry by Nobel Prize-winner Louise Glück.
Sika Fakambi (b. 1976) grew up in Ouidah and Cotonou, in Benin. She studied translation and publishing, and she works as an independent translator. She is interested in authors from West Africa, the US and the Caribbean. In 2014 she won the prestigious Prix Baudelaire. She has translated works by Gail Jones, Kofi Awoonor and Warsan Shire, among others.
Asha Karami is a poet, a doctor who works in youth health care and a ringside physician at martial arts tournaments. She won second place at the National Poetry Slam championship 2018, having competed as an ‘anti-performance’ performer. Her highly lauded debut, Godface (2019), was nominated for the Herman de Coninckprijs, De Grote Poëzieprijs and E. du Perronprijs.
Org. Passa Porta, Das Mag