What Noise Against the Cane

Longlisted for the 2021 National Book Award for Poetry

"Bailey invites us to see what twenty-first-century life is like for a young woman of the Black diaspora in the long wake of a history of slavery, brutality, and struggling for freedoms bodily and psychological."—Carl Phillips, from the Foreword

What Noise Against the Cane cover


From the Blog


August 19, 2021

The links between the Taliban and some of the extreme Pakistani Deobandi groups are solid because of the common ground they share. Several Deobandi leaders from both sides of the border originate from the Durrani Pashtun tribes based around Kandahar and Chaman in Pakistan. The Deobandi tradition is opposed to tribal and feudal structures, from which stems the Taliban’s mistrust of the tribal structure and the clan chiefs and whom the Taliban have eliminated from any leadership role. Both are united in their vehement opposition to the Shia sect and Iran. Now, Pakistani Deobandis want a Taliban-style Islamic revolution in Pakistan.

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Brainwashing—A Bubbe-meise?

August 24, 2021

When I tell people I am interested in brainwashing, I get mixed responses. “Isn’t that kind of a stale, musty topic—Communists, bad science, and all that stuff?” That’s fair: brainwashing has some of those characteristics. It is an old phenomenon, linked to religious conversion and torture. It certainly rose to prominence in the context of the Cold War, and there was plenty of bad science (and unscrupulous scientists) involved in its development.

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