A revelatory collection of poems that document the forces that shape the human body in movement.
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Part transcript, part transmission, the poems in No Knowledge Is Complete Until It Passes Through My Body explore the intelligence of the body, especially the body under duress. Drawing on the multi-disciplinary performances of Okwui Okpokwasili, Wadud evokes experiences of transmission to explore methods and modes of continuum, endurance, claustrophobia and stillness. She asks, how does a thread of logic form? How do we extend it on either end? How do the ends carry their own propulsion?
Asiya Wadud’s title, No Knowledge Is Complete Until It Passes Through My Body is a quote from Congolese dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula. Wadud’s poems move with the body, with light, weight, and multiple forms of life. She repeats and returns to interiors and edges, to threads, rooms, coastlines, bodies of water, the Middle Passage. “Most knowledge is scant magic,” incomplete even as it moves through the body. In resisting completeness, Wadud generates ample magic.
This poetry is filled with incantatory language and startling details; it ranges through history and the natural world, composing a compelling metaphysics of black diasporic womanhood.