Golden Ax

Longlist, National Book Awards 2022 for Poetry

book cover for Rio Cortez, Golden Ax
ISBN 9780143137139
Penguin Books / Penguin Random House
author photo of poet Rio Cortez. (Photo credit: Paul Tran)
Rio Cortez

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Rio Cortez is the New York Times bestselling author of The ABCs of Black History and I Have Learned to Define a Field as a Space Between Mountains, winner of the 2015 Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize. More about this author >

Award Years

Award Status

Award Categories

From the publisher:

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.