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ISBN: 978-1-955239-28-8
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Categories Nomadic, Poetry

Love, Lyric, and Liberation

Publication Date: March 2022


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Love, Lyric, and Liberation was originally published by Nomadic.

Love, Lyric, and Liberation is a collection of reflections, epiphanies, and warnings for those who find themselves existing in the intersection of blackness, femininity, art, and resistance. These poems and essays pay homage to our ancestors while offering the rest of us a warm embrace.


Asantewaa has healing powers. She heals through the determination to make us love ourselves regardless of a world that deems us unworthy. She has built infrastructures of community care. She is Yemayaa. Her truth is potent, puncturing hole after hole in this toxic patriarchal, womb stifling, trifling abyss. Her words cut deep in Athena, which seems to be about her infant daughter who died within six months of her mom, ‘Though I hoped you’d be a boy so that no one would rape you.’ I followed Asantewaa through her life’s journeys, from the struggle of losing a child to the concrete street jungle demanding law enforcement stop killing our people. I followed her because she had something to show me, and it fit like a glove. Please read this book, read it to your daughter and son, pick it up when you are unsure and need some healing. Make it a part of your self-care.
Laila Aziz

These poems insist upon the world being remade. They are hungry poems, they want things for the poet, the reader, all of us. This collection is lit from within by embers from a fire smoldering quietly in all its corners. These are buoyant poems they lift; they tug, they soar into the spaces that long for freedom, yearn for beauty, value love and the sound of laughter. Boykin’s work is a brave assertion of the right to love, protect, dream, to BE.
ayodele nzinga, 1st Poet Laureate of Oakland, author of Incandescent, The Horse Eaters, and Sorrow Land Oracle

Asantewaa Boykin’s Love, Lyric, and Liberation is raw, unapologetic, and beautiful. Her latest work showcases the softer side of rebellion addressing the necessity of self-love and radical joy for those doing liberation work while still naming and confronting injustice with the fearless pen she has come to be known for. A stand-out voice in Sacramento as a community leader, frontline activist, nurse, mother, and poet, Love, Lyric, and Liberation is an unabridged collection of thoughts that America should be listening to right now.
Andru Defeye, Sacramento Poet Laureate 2020–2025

Asantewaa’s Love, Lyric, and Liberation Will make you cry, laugh, feel, and think. Her words will make you reflect deeply about what position you take in the war against Blackness, against femininity, against poverty, and against justice. The words in this book will make you question if you are at war with yourself, and if so the book will provide a way for you to find peace. Love, Lyric, and Liberation is a gift and a treasure. The words in this book are medicine to all the weary freedom fighters, social justice warriors, and Black mothers who struggle everyday to maintain dignity and hope for the voiceless, the powerless, and the innocent Black babies who deserve a genuine opportunity to thrive, to love and to just be. Asantewaa’s book of poetry offers a scathing critique and assessment of today’s current brand of systemic terror against Black bodies. Her words are a weapon and a curse to those who bask in willful ignorance and intentionally stand against justice, love and freedom for others. However, her book also provides a blueprint and map for resistance, joy, and healing. Her words are a chisel and the poem exquisite sculptures reflecting both unspeakable pain and unspeakable hope.
Alexandria White, Professor of Literature and Language Arts

Asantewaa Boykin’s labor of love to build crisis responses rooted in politicized communities of care through Mental Health First have been an inspiration to thousands of organizers across the country in the context of the 2020 Uprisings. Love, Lyric, and Liberation illuminates the forces that underlie this work: the calls of ancestors and future generations, a deep sense of purpose, a profound love for self, children, and community, and a fierce commitment to shape worlds unfolding. This collection of poems and essays from one of the leading voices calling forth a new world affirms that organizing is, fundamentally, an act of love and creation.
Andrea J. Ritchie, author of Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color and co-author of No More Po

This collection of prose and poetry by Asantewa Boykin is a visceral experience of romance & rage, liberation & love. The images and experience hit you in the face with ferocity moving the reader to pain and presence. We must be present to get the message. This collection brings us into a space eye to eye with what moves us; moves us to a place “white supremacy can’t concede to.”
Professor Jahsun Edmonds

About the Author

Asantewaa Boykin. R.N, M.I.C.N

Asantewaa Boykin. R.N, M.I.C.N is the Daughter of Valerie Boykin, Granddaughter of Bertha Brandy and Gladys Boykin and the Great-Granddaughter of Nonnie Boykin and Drucella Bluford. She is a proud San Diego, CA native who found her voice in Oakland, CA Berthas’ home and Drucellas’ frontier. Her poetry combines her love of words, storytelling, and resistance. Exploring topics like; space-travel, black-femme militancy,& motherhood. Which describes her first full length poetry collection, Love, Lyric and Liberation (Nomadic Press/Black Lawrence Press). The intersection of Art and Resistance is where Asasntewaa feels most at home. Asantewaa is a Co-founder of APTP (Anti Police - Terror Project) an organization committed to the eradication of police terror in all of its forms. Asantewaa  is the Co-founder of APTP, an organization dedicated to the eradication of police-terror in all its forms. She uses her knowledge of nursing and activism to provide “Street Medic” training for direct actions and “Trauma Centered First -Aid.” Asantewaa along with a brave group of organizers and medical professionals developed Mental Health First or MH FIRST a mobile mental health crisis response team aimed at minimizing police contact with those who are in the midst of a mental health crisis. While her greatest honor is being the mother of her son Ajani, bonus daughter Aryana and granddaughters Lilith and Rinoa.

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