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A groundbreaking collection about Afropioneerism past and present from Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and New York Times bestselling author Rio Cortez

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.


Rio Cortez is an award-winning poet and children’s book writer. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The ABCs of Black History and her debut poetry collection, Golden Ax, is forthcoming from Penguin Books in 2022. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT, she now lives and writes in Harlem, NY.


  • Publisher: Penguin Books (August 30, 2022)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: ‎80 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎0143137131
  • ISBN-13: ‎9780143137139
  • Item Weight: ‎4 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎5.5 x 0.22 x 8.44 inches
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