Warsan Shire named London's 'young poet laureate'

Warsan Shire named London's 'young poet laureate'

Warsan Shire has been appointed the first young poet laureate for London. The 24-year-old will take on the post for the next year.

Shire's role was announced by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy at the Houses of Parliament today (3rd October), National Poetry Day.

The Kenyan-born Somali poet has given readings around the world, and featured in The Salt Book of Younger Poets (Salt). Her first book, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, was published by Flipped Eye Publishing in 2011.

Shire was selected from a shortlist of six poets, and now undertake a year of commissions, public appearances and residencies, beginning with a residency at the Houses of Parliament. She will be supported by London's writer development agency, Spread the Word, while the position has been launched as part of Spoke, a creative programme commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

Dennis Hone, chief executive of the LLDC said: "It is our vision for east London to be a thriving cultural district and Warsan as the first young poet laureate for London will play a key part in that transformation."