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First Books: Desiree C. Bailey and Aracelis Girmay
May 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Desiree C. Bailey discusses her recent debut, What Noise Against the Cane (2021), with Aracelis Girmay, who reflects on her own first book, Teeth (2007).
Desiree C. Bailey is the author of What Noise Against the Cane (Yale University Press, 2021), which won the 2020 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. She is also the author of the fiction chapbook In Dirt or Saltwater (O’clock Press, 2016) and has short stories and poems published in Best American Poetry, Best New Poets, American Short Fiction, Callaloo, the Academy of American Poets, and One World Two: A Second Global Anthology of Short Stories. Desiree was born in Trinidad and Tobago, and grew up in Queens, NY. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Aracelis Girmay is the author of three books of poems: the black maria (BOA Editions, 2016); Teeth (Curbstone Press, 2007), winner of the GLCA New Writers Award; and Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions, 2011), winner of the 2011 Isabella Gardner Poetry Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She is also the author/illustrator of the collage-based picture book changing, changing. For her work, Girmay was nominated for a Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2018. She has taught Hampshire College and lead community workshops for young people in New York and California. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Whiting Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, Cave Canem, and the Community~Word Project. Girmay is the editor of How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton (BOA, 2020) and is on the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund.