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What Noise Against the Cane

What Noise Against the Cane

Volume 115 (Yale Younger Poets)

Desiree C. Bailey
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The 115th volume of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, 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. Series judge Carl Phillips observes that Bailey’s “poems argue for hope and faith equally. . . . These are powerful poems, indeed, and they make a persuasive argument for the transformative powers of steady defiance.”


Desiree C. Bailey is the author of the fiction chapbook In Dirt or Saltwater and has been published in Best American PoetryAcademy of American PoetsCallaloo, and elsewhere. She was born in Trinidad and Tobago, and grew up in Queens, New York. Her website is

Carl Phillips is the award-winning author of fifteen books of poetry, most recently Wild Is the Wind and Pale Colors in a Tall Field. This is his tenth and final year as judge of the Yale Series of Younger Poets.


  • Publisher:‎ Yale University Press (April 13, 2021)
  • Language:‎ English
  • Hardcover:‎ 96 pages
  • ISBN-10:‎ 030025654X
  • ISBN-13:‎ 9780300256543
  • Item Weight:‎ 11.2 ounces
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