5 Poems Written by Immigrant and Refugee Women and Girls

Updated: Jan 26


For this week’s #WomenAcrossCareers blog series, we are highlighting 6 poems written by women of immigrant and refugee ancestry. The poems convey themes from the immigrant and refugee experience that live on through generations.


Our #WomenAcrossCareers blog series is brought to you in honor of Women’s History Month and our (Her)story in the Making fundraiser. Your donation invests in the education and leadership development of immigrant and refugee women and girls. This helps our women and girls develop the confidence and self-sufficiency to be active members of their communities and beyond. Thank you.



 

1. "Home" by Warsan Shire

Themes: migration, war, trauma, displacement, resiliency, resettlement

i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore

Trigger warning: This poem contains sexual violence and derogatory ethnic terms. Read or listen to “Home” below.




2. "Pronounce Us Correctly" by Muna Abdulahi

Themes: linguistic and cultural erasure, acculturation, racism, xenophobia, home

Is African diaspora just a really, really nice way of saying disappearing?



3. "A Simple Trajectory" by May Yang

Themes: identity, refugee, immigration, secret war, colonialism, ancestry


Then a secret war crept up so loud white minds shut it out and all of humanity hushed it from the West to its East.

Read “A Simple Trajectory”



4. "At The Wall, US/Mexican Border, Texas, 2020" by Paola Gonzalez & Karla Gutierrez

Themes: immigration, colorism, racism, migrant labor, injustice


The legend of the wall begins at those who arrived wearing silver skin who enslave the aboriginals and those brought on cargo ships who created a system where the deeper the melanin the deeper the slashes.



5. "If They Come For Us" by Fatimah Asghar

Themes: identity, ancestry, resettlement in America, displacement, xenophobia


my people my people I can’t be lost when I see you my compass is brown & gold & blood my compass a Muslim teenager snapback & high-tops gracing the subway platform

Read “If They Come For Us” or listen to it below:





 

All excerpts and videos are being used as appropriate under fair use guidelines.