Rio Cortez with Rachelle Cruz

A much-anticipated first full poetry collection is that by New York-based Rio Cortez for her brilliant book that is Golden Ax (Penguin). Much happens in this book, which includes her family’s role as ‘Afropioneers” (she is from Salt Lake City). Rio Cortez is also the author of the children’s book, The ABCs of Black History, and has the inaugural Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for I Have Learned to Define a Field As a Space Between Mountains. She has worked in publishing (including editor at Copper Canyon Press), bookselling (the Schomburg Center), and received fellowships from Cave Canem, Canto Mundo, The Jerome Foundation, and Poet’s House along the way, as well.

“In Golden Ax, Rio Cortez communes with language and land on her own terms. Airy and spacious but dense in complexity and intention, this book wrestles with and falls in love with its landscape; situating itself in the plains of a new Black West tradition. These lush, inquisitive poems sing life, afterlife, and before-life. Brimming with lyricism and imagination, sensitivity and sly humor; Golden Ax is a perfectly innovative and relentlessly tender collection by a thrillingly dynamic poet.” — Morgan Parker.

“Complicate your shit, I hear myself saying more and more these days, about our two-dimensional, simplifying, reductive thinking to most everything worth thinking hard about, and so imagine my delight, or something heartier than delight, my relief, my gratitude, at Rio Cortez’s beautiful book, Golden Ax, which, I love—I mean, I love this book—for its sensuous, chiseled language; for all the trees and plants (aster, bluestem, birchwood, hibiscus); for its weird and brainy sense of humor; for its palpable yearning and need; and for its entangled, complicated, unfixable, and unfixing blackness. Its unsettled and unsettling blackness. Which is really just to say: its blackness. I am so grateful for this book, and this voice, and this heart, in the world.”— Ross Gay.

Appearing with Rio Cortez for this virtual program will be poet Rachelle Cruz, whose 2018 collection, God’s Will for Monsters (Inlandia Institute), received an American Book Award.

“An award winner non-stop, a deeply serious, studied set of investigations, yet, playful, a Tumbler of blurred faces, light, time, space, paint, medicine, plants and plates at the hands of a spiritcaller- writer, word-levitator of the 21st Century. One of a kind.” —Juan Felipe Herrera

Virtually hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company.





Golden Ax (Penguin Poets) By Rio Cortez Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143137139
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 30th, 2022

God's Will for Monsters (Hillary Gravendyk Prize #2) By Rachelle Cruz, Barbara Jane Reyes (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Rachelle Cruz, Barbara Jane Reyes (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780997093247
Availability: Ships in 2-10 Days
Published: Inlandia Institute - February 1st, 2017

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Tuesday, September 13, 2022 - 6:00pm
Time Zone: 
Author Image: 
Custom Book Image: