Desiree was featured on episode 6 of The Poetry Gods podcast, ran by Aziza Barnes, José Olivarez and Jon Sands! Desiree talks about her early years in Trinidad, allowing herself to "take up space" and navigating between the genres of fiction and poetry.
"If I don’t write the past, I’ll never write anything. In telling my great great great grandfather’s history, I am recognizing both his humanity and mine. I am honoring those who came before, who made sacrifices to ensure my existence and my future." - Desiree C. Bailey, TEDxCUNY
I'm blessed to have friends & writers who support my work & my entire person. This photo is of Bridget Brewer reading In Dirt or Saltwater in Sweden. Also, if you haven't read her short stories, do yourself a favor asap!
"The rufous hummingbird travels five thousand miles from summer home to winter home and back. This hummingbird can fit into the palm of a hand. Its body defies the known physics of energy and flight. It knew its way before all known map-makers. It is a bird whose origins and paths are the blood of its small body. It is a bird whose desire to find its way depends on drops of nectar from flowers." - Dionne Brand, A Map to the Door of No Return
"I work between the memory, with shadows and wavering voices..." - Desiree C. Bailey
Desiree is a 2016 Kimbilio Fellow and will be writing and workshopping in Taos, New Mexico come July!
"Kimbilio means “safe haven” in Swahili. We are a community of writers and scholars committed to developing, empowering and sustaining fiction writers from the African diaspora and their stories."Read More
"For me, intersectionality is a reality that I can’t escape. As a black woman, an immigrant, a citizen from a recently decolonized nation, a working writer, an urban dweller, and on and on, for me to highlight only one aspect of oppression is to only recognize one aspect of myself, is to actually dismember the self. It’s an act of incredible violence, the violence of non-recognition and suppression. And of course, I extend this view outward in order to be cognizant of experiences that I do not immediately relate to. Intersectionality is important to my artistic and social spaces because I want to be in spaces where everyone is seen and heard, where there is an understanding of interconnectedness and ubuntu, that I am because you are. I want to be free. I want to write free. I can’t be free if we all are not free." - Desiree C. Bailey
"Bob Marley, Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, Sly Stone, Gwendolyn Brooks, Audre Lorde, Lucille Clifton, Halie Selassie I, Marcus Garvey, Lord Kitchener (of Trinidad, not Great Britain), Lord Invader, Mighty Sparrow, and the many others I haven’t named. I’m pretty sure I have too many ancestors to count that I don’t know whom I owe a debt to artistically." - Sean "Mega" DesVignesRead More
The Conversation, founded by Aziza Barnes and Nabila Lovelace, has launched! Desiree is a 2016 fellow along with some incredibly talented writers and thinkers!
"The South had space. We at The Conversation, are seeking to build a sustainable organization that refocuses the literary landscape, moving from accolade into agency, from inaccessibility to service. We want to complicate how Black American citizens perceive the South, interrogate our myths and fears of the South, embedded in our psyche since the Reconstruction era. To that endThe Conversation will be a week-long tour of 3 states: Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. 17 writers from varying places in the spectrum of Blackness and various birth cities, come down to Oxford, Mississippi and continue with us as we move Southeast to Tuscaloosa, ending in New Orleans. This year the conversation will occur October 16th - 22nd. We cordially invite you attend any of the events happening along the tour in October, and especially ask you to join us in New Orleans for the larger conversation." - The Conversation FoundersRead More
"I knew what it was to be uprooted. I knew what it was to reach down and fist a soil that did not feel like it was mine. I knew how to ache for chenet and pomerac, to make do with the juice of another fruit. I knew the women in my family, how they held to the center of remembrance while working long hours and baking cassava pone and helping with the homework and telling stories of our blood’s great greats, thwarting time and its atrocities, pushing forward centuries of customs, surviving and surviving and surviving." - Desiree C. BaileyRead More