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Crosslight for Youngbird

Crosslight for Youngbird


An urgent and vital debut collection of poems that mixes ekphrasis with reportage to draw a new narrative of our present-day migration crises.

Crosslight for Youngbird explores the slipperiness of borders, as well as borders’ tentacles: mother tongue, language and mastery, citizenship and nationality, migration and flight. These poems are concerned with the demands we make on our body, the limits of those demands, and ultimately, how everyone inhabits space.

“According to the principles of the distribution of light, or, God’s will, a person interested in the future must account for each flicker or movement of the enclosures that engage and separate us from and with one another. Asiya’s work takes, indeed, a bird’s eye view. I think it is possible to believe in the invocation of the wide view.” -Simone White 

“The aching beauty of Crosslight for Youngbird by Asiya Wadud will slay you ten times over. Her sentences fill up the mouth like water. The water is an invasive storm that refuses to relent, overwhelming our whole senses of self–these (mostly) prose poems, looping and voluminous and necessarily incantatory like a prayer. To hold a whole world of loss is as impossible as the realities behind the poems themselves. Yet, impossibly, Wadud, like Laszlo Krasznahorkai, makes a demanding syntax that strokes those loss-wounds, inflames them, and becomes soft balm. Crosslight for Youngbird is phenomenal. It is like no other book I’ve ever read. It will leave you breathless.” -Dawn Lundy Martin