Illinois Authors

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Ladan Osman

Born: Mogadishu, Somalia
Pen Name:

Connection to Illinois: Osman moved to Chicago in 2010 and while there established herself as one of the premier voices in the local poetry scene, performing for the Dollhouse reading series, Book Expo and the Poetry Foundation, and teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and various Chicago public schools. She was also a contributing editor at The Offing.

Biography: Ladan Osman, Somali-born poet and essayist, is the author of The Kitchen-Dwellers Testimony, winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize, and the chapbook Ordinary Heaven, which appeared in the box set Seven New Generation African Poets.

Osman currently resides in New York.

  • ''Exiles of Eden'',
  • -- 2021 Whiting Award, 2020 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Poetry

Primary Literary Genre(s): Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

E-Mail: ladanosmanbooking[at]gmail[dot]com

Selected Titles

Exiles of Eden
ISBN: 9781566895446 OCLC: 1050456149

Coffee House Press 2019

Exiles of Eden looks at the origin story of Adam, Eve, and their exile from the Garden of Eden, exploring displacement and alienation from its mythological origins to the present. In this formally experimental collection steeped in Somali narrative tradition, Osman gives voice to the experiences and traumas of displaced people over multiple generations. The characters in these poems encounter exile's strangeness while processing the profoundly isolating experience of knowing that that once you are sent out of Eden, you can't go back.