Your Crib, My Qibla


Your Crib, My Qibla

Saddiq Dzukogi

African Poetry Book Series

108 pages


March 2021


$17.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2021


$17.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2021


$17.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry Winner
Julie Suk Award Winner
Nigeria Prize for Literature shortlist

Your Crib, My Qibla interrogates loss, the death of a child, and a father’s pursuit of language able to articulate grief. In these poems, the language of memory functions as a space of mourning, connecting the dead with the world of the living. Culminating in an imagined dialogue between the father and his deceased daughter in the intricate space of the family, Your Crib, My Qibla explores grief, the fleeting nature of healing, and the constant obsession of memory as a language to reach the dead.

Author Bio

Saddiq Dzukogi holds a degree in mass communication from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (Nigeria), and is pursuing a PhD in English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. A 2017 finalist of the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, he is the author of Inside the Flower Room, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the New Generation African Poets Chapbook series. Dzukogi’s poems have appeared in the Kenyon ReviewPrairie SchoonerGulf CoastWorld Literature TodayNew Orleans ReviewOxford Poetry, African American ReviewBest American Experimental Writing, and elsewhere.


"A heartbreaking book of poems, Your Crib, My Qibla journeys through a father's grief after the loss of his beloved daughter. It takes admirable courage and striking language to seek solace after experiencing the unimaginable."—Rigoberto González, Oprah Daily

"Your Crib, My Qibla is perfect for someone who needs to be held in the body until the 'mind feels like a mind.'"—Amanda Auerbach, Kenyon Review

"Dzukogi’s Your Crib, My Qibla will join a list of collections by some of the most notable new African voices in the continent and in the diaspora, whose books have been published by the University of Nebraska Press."—Ernest O. Ogunyemi, Open Country

“In Saddiq Dzukogi’s Your Crib, My Qibla the loss of his daughter becomes the navigational pull to an interiority steeped in earthly grief and a desire for the unseen spaces of the afterlife. With incredible fidelity Dzukogi unravels a series of poems that wrestle with his loss and make meaning of our most unbearable moments. His is a song of embodied witness and recollection shaped by a voice skilled in the musicality of duality. These are poems that find their way to the reader’s depth and open a window to the otherworld.”—Matthew Shenoda, author of Tahrir Suite

“‘Where your headstone was, I put a mirror, / each time I come to visit / I see that you live in my face,’ writes Saddiq Dzukogi in this heartbreaking, powerful collection of poems. A love song, an elegy, a book-long sequence, Your Crib, My Qibla is a parent’s epistles to a deceased child, an exploration of pain that continues to sing through pain (‘your songs endure // inside his bones. / They will nourish the loneliness— / yours and his.’). The mourning here is endless and yet transformative (‘Today Baha is not dead; she is six years old, / forcing marshmallows into his mouth. / Says I’m grown enough to feed you, Abba, / with the future’). Impossible not to be moved by this voice of a father who sees a dead child’s face everywhere (‘He presses a deep kiss on your grave, / on your forehead’), by this need to pull the dead out of the ground. This is a stunning, memorable book.”—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa

“Saddiq Dzukogi’s Your Crib, My Qibla signals the arrival of a poet of assured craft, of courageous sentiment, and one who possesses a capacious facility with language and musicality. In this collection Dzukogi offers an elegy to innocence and to the false security of the living, and yet he demonstrates that the art of lamentation is as forceful an expression of hope as we have available to us. This is a remarkable introduction to a poet for our moment and time.”—Kwame Dawes author of Nebraska: Poems

Table of Contents


I. Your Crib
Song to a Birdwoman    
Burial Sheet    
So Much Memory    
The Fruit Tree    
A Nimble Darkness    
He Didn’t Get to Say Goodbye    
The House Held by Chaos    
Measurable Weight    
The Gown    
This Web    
A Kind of Burden    
Learning about Constellations    
Back to Life    
Ba Shi, Ba Shi    
The Conceit of Shadows    
Is Memory in Her Brother’s Body?     
The Breadth of a Butterfly    
Flower’s Tenderness    
Memories by the Sea    
When He Says Your Name    
A Song in the Mouth of a Ghost    
What Belongs to Him    

II. My Qibla—A Dialogue
She Begins to Speak    
Journey Home    
Measuring the Length of Grief by the Length of a River    
Unexpressed Grief    
My Son Asks if I Miss My Daughter    
At Your Grave I’m Reminded of the Day You Were Born    
Where Pain Lives    
Inner Songs    
One Year After    


Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry Winner
Julie Suk Award Winner
Nigeria Prize for Literature shortlist

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