In this lovely review at The New Inquiry, Keguro Macharia writes:
“The Table of Contents to Hope Wabuke’s The Leaving anatomizes: the first poem is titled “Mind” and the final word in the last poem’s title is “Hips.” Between the two, readers encounter “Mouth” (poem 4), “Breath” (poem 5), “The Nerve” (poem 8), “Skin” (first word in poem 10), “Spine” (poem 14), and “Belly” (poem 15). As a student of the black diaspora and of poetry, I am intrigued by how these titles map and re-map the black woman’s body—a body I approach through the poet’s gendered signature… .Wabuke’s truncated form—the fragments in place of complete sentences, the sentences shattered by enjambment—join familiar black diasporic forms that ask how one can imagine loss, how one can write the unspoken, how can follow traces, knowing that to follow them is to risk madness. This is the world of M. NourbeSe Philips’s Zong! It is the ongoing work of the black diasporic poet: to seek forms that might offer a glimpse of ongoing dispossession.”
Read the rest of this well-thought out and astute review here.