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The Body Family
The Body Family is a song of memory and revelation; it is the sublime unearthing of what has been hidden by silence and erasure. This lyrical and imagistic poetry collection tells the story of a family’s journey to flee the murderous reign of Uganda’s Idi Amin only to land in a racist American landscape. Wabuke excavates personal and ancestral history to bring these poems to wrenching life, articulating what it means to be a Black girl becoming a Black woman while navigating a diaspora haunted by British colonization and American enslavement.
  • “In The Body Family, Hope Wabuke describes the troubled bond between abuser and survivor: the terror of association, the inescapable and rotting intimacy of violence, and the life-making work of running just out of reach, of pressing forward despite memory, despite various scars. This collection is made from gem-hard incidents that reveal the absurd gap between the truth, the tally, the witness, and what’s called ‘history.’ These narratives are Wabuke’s to till and to tell.”
    Ladan Osman, author of Exiles of Eden

    “In lush, cinematic poems, Hope Wabuke’s The Body Family chronicles leaving, arrival, and the dangers on either side. The poems are taut and precise, and together sing a kaleidoscopic song of Blackness, diaspora, and coming of age. I love this book, and I learn from this book.”
    Safia Elhillo, author of Home Is Not A Country

    “In Hope Wabuke’s The Body Family we are introduced to a trans-historical interrogation of how colonialism, race, gender, and religion have been shaping forces in the poet’s cultural and familial life. With poems that expose the brutal histories of state violence and the concomitant twisting of religious ideas, The Body Family is a lyrical exploration of what it means to be Black/Mother/Diaspora. But as with all good poetry, Wabuke carries us into moments of tenderness, beauty, and an unfettered love for community. These poems are an honest wellspring of how we face history in the present.”
    Matthew Shenoda, author of Tahrir Suite

    “The poems in Hope Wabuke’s collection, The Body Family, are works of lyric force that reveal a vulnerability of sensibility and feeling, and an intellectual curiosity even as they engage courageously, matters of family, of the body, of mothering, of racism, of cultural change, in intimate and powerful ways. Hope Wabuke, in other words, is an important voice and one that should be heard.”
    Kwame Dawes, author of City of Bones: A Testament

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