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Author launches book at Sherwood Hall

Robert Walch, The Salinas Californian, April 2014

“Bull: The Journey of a Freedom Icon” by James B. Golden. (Silver Birch Press. $12).Local connection: The inaugural Poet Laureate of Salinas, James B. Golden graduated from North Salinas High and CSU-Northridge. A 2012 NAACP Image Award winner, Golden is a freelance writer and published poet. He presently lives in Southern California.


Content: This collection of poetry is divided into two sections. “A Rainout in South Carolina” features twenty short poems and the second part, “What Follows a Rain,” contains 29 verses. The book’s title refers to the author’s father. “My father, while flawed, is a representative of what I’ve always considered the great Black American Man, the old school cat, the Bull,” writes Golden. “He falls in line with the icons that were raised during one of the most horrificperiods in America for people of color.”


Many of the poems in the collection’s first section are stories Golden heard from his father and chronicle his childhood. The second selection of poems focuses on Golden’s father’s adult life and experiences here on the Central Coast.


Explaining why he selected “Bull” as the book’s title, the author writes, “My dad’s tenacity and ability to overcome every hindrance of a pitiless world makes him Bull — an unrelenting beast stamping his hooves through many darknesses or, like Emmett Till, a father of many.”


Given the personal nature of these poems, Golden includes a family chronology at the back of the book so that the reader can place various events in the correct time perspective.Exuding unbridled emotions that range from anger and love to despair and hope, these short poems not only starkly chronicle a life but they also give voice “to a forgotten group of people.”


Launch party: On Friday, April 25, beginning at 6 p.m. at Sherwood Hall, 940 N. Main St., Salinas, James B, Golden will launch this collection of poetry. A free community event sponsored by the city of Salinas and Salinas Public Libraries, the evening will feature an opening performance from the Salinas Youth Poet Laureate, Mikey “The Poet” Frias, as well as other local talent. Golden will read from “Bull” and be available to sign copies of the collection.Audience: Copies of “Bull” will be available at the Friday Sherwood Hall presentation and online at


Those who have followed Golden’s career or enjoy poetry will want to obtain a copy of this powerful collection of poems.

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