Leaked Footages

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Leaked Footages

Abu Bakr Sadiq
Foreword by Kwame Dawes

African Poetry Book Series

82 pages

Paperback

November 2024

978-1-4962-4013-2

$17.95 Pre-order

About the Book

Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets

The poems in Leaked Footages carry urgent subjects, ranging from death to disappearance to grief to memory. Not only do the poems fulfill the tradition of witnessing often manifested in contemporary poets such as Garous Abdolmalekian and Ilya Kaminsky, but they extend that tradition by the medium through which they witness: the technical and the technological. Here, the camera, the closed-circuit TV, cinematographic techniques, and the cyborg are trusted for truth-telling. Reality is represented in footage seen through the eyes of multifaceted speakers.

In Abu Bakr Sadiq’s exploration of northern Nigeria in speculative poetry, the lyrical meets the chronicle. In this fusion of Afrofuturism with experimental poetic techniques, the reader witnesses a country ravaged by terrorism and the consequences of war, as well as the effects of these on those who survive. While the tone is grave with concern and conscience, the poems do not take the easy route of sentiment. Instead, attention is paid to structure—from the erasure poems that are informed by the theme of disappearance to the contrapuntal poems that are influenced by the testaments of leaving.

Author Bio

Abu Bakr Sadiq is a Nigerian poet born and raised in Minna. He is an undergraduate student at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Sadiq is the winner of the 2022 IGNYTE award for Best Speculative Poetry and a finalist for the 2023 Evaristo Prize for African Poetry. His work has been published in Boston Review, The Fiddlehead, Mizna, Fiyah, Palette Poetry, Uncanny Magazine, Augur Magazine, Fantasy Magazine, and elsewhere.

Praise

“In Abu Bakr Sadiq’s Leaked Footages we encounter a speaker addressing us from a richly-imagined future while haunted by the past. The result is an interrogation of the many ways the world can end, the many scales of that apocalypse. These poems haunt me and teach me. Here is a poet I will follow into every future.”—Safia Elhillo, author of Girls That Never Die

“In Abu Bakr Sadiq’s Leaked Footages we enter into a world concerned with untangling the ontological realities of our present-day. Populated with cyborgs and a speaker navigating the violence of their world, there is a deep yearning and precision in the language of these poems aimed at comprehending how we have come to engage one another. The poems here ask what it means to be a person, a Nigerian, a Muslim, in the face of a world so deeply adjudicated by conflict and the myriad lenses of technology. Mediated by the nuances of received narratives, intersecting histories, and family lineages, this book is at once deeply rooted and otherworldly, an oscillation between a kind of distant witnessing, and a meticulously intimate living. Each poem in this collection feels like an arrival!”—Matthew Shenoda, author of The Way of the Earth: Poems
 
 

Table of Contents

Foreword by Kwame Dawes
 
Introducing Bhabi to the Cyborg
WORMHOLE
ROAD MAP
MAQTOOB
Explaining Bot Fights to Bhabi
Uncensored Footage of the Cyborg in an IDPs Camp
FLIGHT THEORY
CRANE SHOT
After Bhabi Dreams of a City Filled with Light
Ars Poetica with a Broken Shahada
Report from an Inkblot Test Reveals
DISPLACEMENT THEORY
The BBC Explains the Country’s Challenges to the Cyborg in Sixty Seconds
RHUBARB SHOT
A Patrol Officer wants to know
IN CONVERSATION WITH BHABI
my god swears / by the fig, by the olive, by the brightest star, by the prophet who penned no ghazal
Uncensored Footage of the Cyborg at a Shooting Practice
drainAGE
APOCALYPSE
MUTILATION THEORY
VIDEO VILLAGE
6pm at AbdulHameed’s Barbershop
Everything I’ve Lost Returns to me as Wind
Second Encounter with Bhabi in a Dream
READING BHABI’S DIARY
DRIVING DOWNTOWN
Uncensored Footage of the Cyborg Leading a Protest in Lagos
News Reports Confirm the Cyborg is Missing
The Cyborg asks for my Excuses
In Defense of Burnt Cities
Leaked Footage of the Cyborg in an Interrogation Room
While a Newly-Elected President is being Sworn-in
REACHING AN ENDPOINT
After a Conversation about Janazah with Bhabi in a Dream
Uncensored Footage of the Cyborg at the US Embassy
SURVIVOR’S GIFT
ESTRANGEMENT THEORY
TRANSLATION
RE-SHOOTS
Midnight in Maiduguri
REBIRTH
DRONECODE
CYBORG’S DIARY
POST MASSACRE PSYCH EVALUATION
DIRECTOR’S CUT: Recovered Footages from the Cyborg’s Disk Drive
reCAPTCHA asks the Cyborg to Confirm he's not a Robot
After Escaping Fire
HOMECOMING
EVENSONG
CAST [In Order of Disappearance]
 
Notes & Acknowledgements

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