Honouring Female Poets On World Poetry Day

Poetry, Etel Adnan, Warsan Shire, Beyonce, Lemonade, Arab Women, Literature, Art
Amaal Said
Warsan Shire
Bazaar celebrates the women making a difference in the world of verse

It is no secret that in the past century women have made great strides in garnering global success. In particular the world of poetry, where they are being recognised for taking the art form and creating spectacular works within it. For World Poetry Day, held today on the May 21 Bazaar looks to three of the most successful female poets in the region 

1. Ousha Bint Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Suwaidi

An Emirati poet, Ousha Bint Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Suwaidi has been called the "Girl of the Arabs" by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. With a room dedicated to her work at the Women's Musuem in UAE, it comes as no surprise that Ousha grew up in a family that loved literature and started writing poetry at a young age. “Literature has always been a part of my life but it was poetry that gave me the opportunity to express myself fully. I have seen the power of poetry transform and develop people, society and nations” she explains. Known mainly for her "Nabati poetry" - which translates to "people's poetry" or "Bedouin poetry" Ousha has also had some of her pieces turned into songs.

2. Etel Adnan

Photographed by Simone Fattal

Etel Adnan was born and raised in Lebanon, in 1925 and moved to United States in 1955 to pursue her passion for philosophy. She then started teaching in California but later shifted towards visual art and started painting to express herself. Through her involvement in the poets' movement, she began writing and in her words, became an "American poet." Some of her work has also been incorporated in music by contemporary artists. Her most famous works to date consist of "Moonshots", "From A to Z", and "Five Senses for One Death", to name only but a few.

3. Warsan Shire

A post shared by warsan shire (@wu_shire) on

Warsan Shire is a Somali-British poet and also the recipient of London's first Young Poet Laurete. Beyonce's album, "Lemonade" which topped the charts worldwide, included words from 27-year old Warsan's poetry and brought her to the global spotlight. Her work takes inspiration from her friends and family and the difficult life they have had to live and also traditional Somali proverbs. 

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Poetry, Etel Adnan, Warsan Shire, Beyonce, Lemonade, Arab Women, Literature, Art
Amaal Said
Warsan Shire