SHE’S THE LYRI­CAL DANCER

MEET MODEL-TURNEDPOET YRSA DA­LEY-WARD

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She’s the London poet mak­ing waves with her emo­tive mus­ings and off-beat ob­ser­va­tions. ‘I’ve been writ­ing for as long as I can re­mem­ber,’ says Yrsa (pic­tured above). ‘I tore through books – they pro­vided me with es­capism and joy; I wanted to cre­ate worlds.’ It was while Yrsa was work­ing as a model in Cape Town and stum­bled on a spo­ken-word event that her love of poetry was reignited. ‘I wrote a poem named Men­tal Health, when I was wor­ried about my own,’ Yrsa ex­plains. ‘I wanted to write it for any­one in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion.’ It’s a piece that’s typ­i­cal of her fierce hon­esty and smart word­play: ‘If you’re walk­ing down an aisle with a dim flu­o­res­cent hue […] and get the sud­den urge to end it all, stop, call a friend, call a mother if you have one […] call the speak­ing clock, know that what­ever time it says is the time that ev­ery­thing has to change. Leave the damn aisle.’

Her de­but an­thol­ogy, Bone, ex­plores the in­ten­sity of her emo­tions and re­la­tion­ships: ‘I like to write out the things we don’t talk about, the sticky and com­pli­cated stuff,’ she says. ‘And I like to write about love. Some­times that’s the most com­pli­cated thing.’ Bone is out on 26 Septem­ber, pub­lished by Pen­guin

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