What Noise Against the Cane

Finalist, National Book Awards 2021 for Poetry

ISBN  9780300256536
Yale University Press
Desiree C. Bailey

Desiree C. Bailey is the author of the fiction chapbook In Dirt or Saltwater and has been published in the Best American Poetry series, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Callaloo, and elsewhere. (Photo credit: Wilton Schereka) More about this author >

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What Noise Against the Cane is a lyric quest for belonging and freedom, weaving political resistance, Caribbean folklore, immigration, and the realities of Black life in America. Desiree C. Bailey begins by reworking the epic in an oceanic narrative of bondage and liberation in the midst of the Haitian Revolution. The poems move into the contemporary Black diaspora, probing the mythologies of home, belief, nation, and womanhood.