Somalia/Kenya/U.K. / 2015
Born 1988 in Kenya, Warsan Shire is a London-based Somali poet. Her poem, "Home," explores the trauma faced by refugees as they flee their respective homes. Written in second person, this poem helps readers to empathize with contemporary African and Syrian refugees by placing them in their shoes. It describes how the act of migration is not voluntary, but urgently necessary. "Home" resonated with many internet readers during the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Shire's fourth stanza, in particular, struck a chord within many people: "you have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land."