Longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award for Poetry
Longlisted for the 2023 Pen Open Book Award
“Outstanding . . . the poetry in these pages is intelligent, lyrical, as invested in the past as the present and future with witty nods to pop culture.” —Roxane Gay, author of Hunger
“I’ve never read anything like it. Truly a sublime experience.” —Jason Reynolds, author of Ain’t Burned All the Bright
From a visionary writer praised for her captivating work on Black history and experience comes a poetry collection exploring personal, political, and artistic frontiers, journeying from her family’s history as “Afropioneers” in the American West to shimmering glimpses of transcendent, liberated futures.
In poems that range from wry, tongue-in-cheek observations about contemporary life to more nuanced meditations on her ancestors—some of the earliest Black pioneers to settle in the western United States after Reconstruction—Golden Ax invites readers to re-imagine the West, Black womanhood, and the legacies that shape and sustain the pursuit of freedom.