Sales of Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, a poetry chapbook published in 2011, have spiked after the author, Warsan Shire, got a popularity boost from Beyoncé. The artist quoted from Shire's poetry in her Lemonade album, which she released on April 23. Now, Publishers Weekly reports that Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth "has seen an overall increase of sales ranging between 700 and 800 [percent]."
Shire, a 27-year-old Somali-British poet, has had a cult following for some time. Her gorgeous poetry has inspired some equally lovely short films and dramatic readings on YouTube. Since Beyoncé quoted Shire's "for women who are difficult to love" and "Grief Has Its Blue Hands in Her Hair" on Lemonade, the poet has become a household name.
Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth has sold nearly 14,000 copies to date. Almost 800 of those copies were sold in the week after Lemonade dropped. "As of May 13, [Shire's chapbook] was the #1 Amazon bestseller in the European poetry category and #6 bestseller in poetry overall," Publishers Weekly reports, adding that "Amazon briefly listed the title as sold out during the week of May 2."
Image: Keats House/YouTube