by James B. Golden

Book cover featuring an old photograph of an African-American mother and her children

Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce the April 2014 release of BULL: The Journey of a Freedom Icon, a 106-page collection of poems by James B. Golden — the Poet Laureate of Salinas, California.


My father's recollections are the basis for BULL: The Journey of a Freedom Icon. While flawed, my father is a representation of what I've always considered the great Black American Man, the old school cat, the Bull. He falls in line with the icons that were raised during one of the most horrific periods in America for people of color. In many ways, writing this book has been a cleansing of my own soul. I feel more connected to my father than ever, and he's someone I'd want to be connected to forever. As I experienced on the discovery of Rita Dove's Thomas and Beulah, the stories of our elders heal our souls. My soul is healing.


"Bull swaggers blues & rams through Klan days & lynch nights & he meditates & rumbles on Presley & Memphis, he stops visits, breathes family, chows catfish, gets hauled off to prison, alcohol afternoons & contraband inmate pruno drink. He is strong & lyrical, and most of all, Bull gores the veils & static stiffs of history. Bull is hungry most of all, to come back where he started, where he is, unafraid of pain, for he has suffered, he is suffering and because of that his virtue is courage, harmony, love, yes Bull is doused with the blues of love, where racism, segregation, slavery, are part of the double-dutch, hip hop scrim where Bull rises and transcends. A power-poetry here — a liberation heart-fire collection by our Salinas Poet Laureate, James P. Golden — no other like it."
JUAN FELIPE HERRERA, Poet Laureate of California

"His vernacular and prose are a rare find, he speaks truth to power and that power into contemporary issues."
Senses Lifestyle Magazine

"Golden creates phenomenal works of art."
The National Steinbeck Center

"We are proud to have a writer that hails from our great city return with the gift of poetry."
MAYOR JOE GUNTER, City of Salinas

"Golden's poetry celebrates the contemporary experiences of young African Americans while delving into both the poet's professional and personal life."
The Salinas Californian

"Golden's poems are frank, explicit, and poignant."
ROBERT WALCH, literary critic

BULL: The Journey of a Freedom Icon is available at Amazon.com.


was born and raised in Salinas, California, and received his M.P.A. and B.A. in English and Pan-African Studies Arts & Literature from California State University, Northridge. He has edited Kapu-Sens Literary Journal and the Hip Hop Think Tank Journal. He is the author of The Inside of an Orange, Sweet Potato Pie Underneath The Sun's Broiler, and 2012 NAACP Image Award Winner Afro Clouds & Nappy Rain. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is a freelance music journalist. His articles have appeared in such periodicals as Vibe, The Root, Clutch Magazine, Jazz Times, and Los Angeles Our Weekly. Golden is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Salinas, California. Visit him at jamesbgolden.net.