Warsan Shire is a poet and activist of a Kenyan-Somali ethnic background and grew up in London. Her poem "Backwards" was published by flipped eye during 2011 in her poetry book Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth.
This poem tells the story of abuse Shire and her family experienced after her biological father walked out on them and her step-father took over. "Backwards" indicates her desire to go back in time when her father was still around and abuse did not saturate her life.
Shire has appeared in several publications, such as the Poetry Review, Sable LitMag, and Long Journeys: African Migrants on the Road, etc. She even contributed some of her poetry to Beyonce's visual album Lemonade (2016).
Shire aims to develop poetry that reveals the struggles of mainly refugees and immigrants as well as provides creative conciliation and healing. She calls it "character driven poetry."