Please Do Not Touch by Casey Bailey


  • Image of Please Do Not Touch by Casey Bailey
  • Image of Please Do Not Touch by Casey Bailey
  • Image of Please Do Not Touch by Casey Bailey
  • Image of Please Do Not Touch by Casey Bailey

‘This is a beautifully shattering collection. How delicately it unstitches small and personal disasters on the page. How Casey flattens Birmingham and soaks our hands into its soil so we too feel it’s warmth, it’s grit, the seeds that may still germinate one day. Wow.’
- Caleb Femi

Walk around any stately home, museum or National Trust property and you are likely to see the words please do not touch more than a few times. The irony is in most cases the sign is telling you not to touch something that was stolen from another land, something that should have never been touched in the first place. This collection asks important questions about these things, these places and this society. Where would these things be if they were never taken from their rightful place? How have the ill gotten gains of colonialism shaped our society today? What does it mean to appreciate and enjoy spaces that were never meant for you?

‘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


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.

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