As we come into a second year of challenging our national identity, our streets are full of protests and our institutions are being (continually) called on to reflect, change, update. Please Do Not Touch arrives to add to the conversation around our colonial past and how that affects the present of black communities in the UK. Walking into a museum with a critical eye is no longer an option, it is necessity – which Casey lays out in his brilliant second collection. Personal and political, this book is a 2021 highlight you don’t want to skip in.

Casey Bailey is a writer, performer and educator, born and raised in Nechells, Birmingham, UK. Casey is the Birmingham Poet Laureate 2020 – 2022. Casey was named as one of ‘Birmingham Live’s’, Birmingham ’30 under 30’ of 2018. Casey was also recognised in 2019 when he was made a Fellow of the University of Worcester. He was named the Greater Birmingham Future Face of Arts and Culture 2020.

Casey released his debut full collection of poetry, Adjusted in 2018 with Verve Poetry Press. His debut play ‘GrimeBoy’ was commissioned by the Birmingham Rep in 2020. Casey’s poetry has featured in a number of anthologies and he was commissioned by the BBC to write ‘The Ballad of The Peaky Blinders’ in 2019. In 2020 the poem was internationally recognised, winning a Webby Award. Casey has performed his poetry nationally, and internationally.


To celebrate the release of Please Do Not Touch, enjoy four selected readings from the book. Read by Yomi Sode, Sideman, Scarlett Ward Bennett and Amerah Saleh. Find these on Casey’s instagram.


‘The poems within have formal rigour and thematic punch, unafraid to address pain but also lingeron moments of irony, beauty and transcendance. One of Birmingham’s best and brightest voices, it’s great to see his words in print.’ – Vanessa Kisuule

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