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February 24, 2022 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm

Join Northwestern University Press to celebrate the launch of Cheryl Boyce-Taylor’s WE ARE NOT WEARING HELMETS!

About this event

Join Northwestern University Press on Thursday, February 24 at 7:00 PM Eastern/6:00 PM Central to celebrate the launch of Cheryl Boyce-Taylor’s WE ARE NOT WEARING HELMETS (TriQuarterly Books; February 2022). Boyce-Taylor will be joined by special guest Aracelis Girmay.


• Please register to receive a link to the Zoom event via email. Attendees will also receive a discount code they may use to order a copy of the book.

• If you have any questions or need assistance, please reach out to Northwestern University Press through the “Contact” link at the bottom of this page.



We Are Not Wearing Helmets is a collection of political love poems rendered through the eyes of Cheryl Boyce‑Taylor, an immigrant living in New York City. For many women of color, aging in America means experiencing a lack of proper medical treatment, inhumane living conditions, poor nutrition, and often isolation. Many seniors feel thrown away, useless, and vulnerable. These poems challenge the injustices of ageism, racism, and oppression with rage, forgiveness, honor, and endurance. During these rough political times, they are salve and balm.

Born in Trinidad and having grown up in Queens, Boyce‑Taylor creates a framework for her own experience out of the life experiences and work of beloved Black women in history. She salutes the women who have lifted her, including Audre Lorde, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ntozake Shange, and Winnie Mandela, as well as her mother, Eugenia Boyce, and her beloved daughter‑in‑law, Deisha Head Taylor.

The poems in this collection are unapologetic, fierce, and confrontational while remaining caring and intimate. They stand strong in the face of adversity and boldly demand what is owed while still honoring and cherishing what is loved.

About the author:

CHERYL BOYCE‑TAYLOR is the author of four previous collections of poetry—Raw Air, Night When Moon FollowsConvincing the Body, and Arrival—and a memoir and poetic tribute to her son, Mama Phife Represents. A VONA fellow and a teaching artist, Boyce-Taylor is the founder and curator of Calypso Muse and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series, and she has led numerous poetry workshops for Cave Canem, the New York Public Library, Urban Word NYC, and Poets House, among others. She lives in Brooklyn.


February 24, 2022
6:00 pm–7:00 pm

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