The Beyoncé Bounce

516P2SFbK-L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Beyoncé’s HBO special, which debuted on Saturday night, surprised fans, as the New York Times reports, with the announcement of a new album Lemonade.

The special is having an unexpected side-effect, sending a poetry book into the top 100 on Amazon’s sales rankings, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth by Warsan Shire (flipped eye, 2011;  978-1905233298).

Between songs, Beyoncé read selections from poems by the Somali-British writer and activist.

Shire was named first Young Poet Laureate of London in 2014 and was the subject of a New Yorker piece last year [may require subscription], saying her work,

“conjures up a new language for belonging and displacement … with fifty thousand Twitter followers and a similar number of Tumblr readers, [she] demonstrates the writing life of a young, prolific poet whose poetry or poem-like offhand thoughts will surface in one of your social media feeds and often be exactly what you needed to read, or what you didn’t know that you needed to read, at that moment.”

The New Yorker calls Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, “a spare collection of poems … outsize in its sensuality, wit, and grief.”

Few public libraries bought copies of the 38-page pamphlet-sized collection. Those that did are seeing circulation but light holds. The title is currently out of stock on Amazon but is listed on major wholesaler catalogs.

Below is a video of Shire reading one of the poems Beyoncé featured:

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