Ugly Duckling Presse 9/1/2019

“Syncope is poet Asiya Wadud’s profound, wrenching, and clarifying new book of poetry about the 2011 tragedy in which a boat filled with African migrants and refugees bound from Libya to Lampedusa, Italy was literally "left-to-die” in the Mediterranean. An act of recovery, of countermemory, of memorial, of resistance, Syncope represents one of poetry’s powers: to write the unwriteable, to bring voices, history, and lives forth from the depths.”

John Keene

“Syncope works in the material of silence: silence as regard; silence as attention; silence as impossibility. Asiya Wadud’s threnody to the people of the Left-to-Die Boat rings with silence.”

Dionne Brand

“As I read Syncope I wonder what it is I read. A polyvocal record of the catastrophes. A drift traced in language and in ink. She sets text in perpetual motion, signaling the locatable and insisting on a subject's ability to locate another (in language, in space, even across time and tense). So what can it mean to read the Left-to-Die boat then? To read, too, my own encounter as I hover above the page of this profound denunciation and devotion.”

Aracelis Girmay