“Abdul Ali’s Trouble Sleeping awakens the mind. Like the guts of a marvelous timepiece, the incremental details tick with merciless accuracy and timeless certainty. Urban, gutsy, each poem exposes the conflicts of an inner-city speaker. Yet even in the midst of conflict one believes the voice saying, ‘I love the city.’ Here, popular culture converges with iconic moments of American history; personal and worldly affairs, and a knowing, practiced music holds Trouble Sleeping together as a needful song.”

–Yusef Komunyakka

“This book is an open book. There is no lying in it, no sleep in reading it, no hiding from the person or the place it comes from. The poems are deeply steeped in the African American experience and a tradition I would trace to Langston Hughes and Washington, D.C. where buses are good places for poets. You can write on your lap, read an open book and listen to beautiful conversations. This is what reading Trouble Sleeping is like to me. You get somewhere.”

Fanny Howe, Judge of the 2014 New Issues Poetry Book Prize