Skip to Main Content

Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' and Information Resources

This guide supports further research into Beyoncé's literary, film, and history references in her visual album 'Lemonade.'

Questions? Contact Us!

Research Help
Decker Library librarians are here for your research needs
410-225-2273 |

General Information
The Access Services staff are here to help with your account, reserves, interlibrary loans, and general questions
410-225-2272 |

Archives icon
MICA Archives and Special Collections
Special Collections Librarian Kathy Cowan is available for any archives and special collections-related questions
410-225-2714 |



Warsan Shire

Photo by Amaal Said
Photo by Amaal Said

Warsan Shire is a Somali-British writer, poet, editor, and teacher. In 2013 she received The Brunel University African Poetry Prize. She was named the first Young Poet Laureate for London in 2014 at age 25. Beyoncé reads parts of Shire's poems in interludes between songs in Lemonade.(

(1) Zakaria, R. (2016, April 27). Warsan Shire: the Somali-British poet quoted by Beyoncé in Lemonade. The Guardian.  


Articles about Warsan Shire

Q&A: Poet, writer and educator Warsan Shire by Katie Reid. Africa in Words, June 21, 2013.

The Writing Life of a Young, Prolific Poet by Alexis Okeowo. The New Yorker, October 21, 2015.

Who is Warsan Shire? The Poet from Beyonce's 'Lemonade' Special Is Incredibly Accomplished by Chloe Kent. Bustle, April 24, 2016. 

Beyonce's "Lemonade" Turns A Somali-Brit Poet Into a Global Star by Malaka Gharib. Goats and Soda section, National Public Radio (NPR), April 27. 2016.

Warsan Shire: the Somali-British poet quoted by Beyoncé in Lemonade by Rafia Zakaria. The Guardian, April 27, 2016.

Transcript of Beyonce's 'Lemonade' Because The Words Are Just As Important As The Music by Michelle Toglia. Bustle, April 24, 2016.

Articles about Poetry

On the lack of diversity in British poetry: 

'Walcott should have won before me' by Andre Bagoo. Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, April 25, 2016.

Books by Warsan Shire
Available through Inter-Library Loan

Find More with is the world's largest network of library content and services. lets you search many libraries at once for an item and then locate it in a library nearby. Find books, music, videos, audiobooks, research articles and more.

If you find materials held at another library, Decker Library could potentially request the item be given to us through interlibrary loan. The interlibrary loan service is done online, with most materials available in 1-2 weeks.

Decker Library at the Maryland Institute College of Art | Location: 1401 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217 | Mailing: 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217

Research Help: 410-225-2273 / | General Questions: 410-225-2272 /

Decker on Facebook Decker on Instagram Decker on tumblr Decker on Twitter