Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ladan Osman  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: Mogadishu, Somalia

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

Illinois Connection

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.

Biographical and Professional Information

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

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Exiles of Eden
ISBN: 9781566895446. OCLC Number: 1050456149

Coffee House Press. .

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.