In stock (can be backordered)

ISBN: 978-0-9994471-4-7
Categories Chapbooks, Nomadic, Poetry

The Horse Eaters

Publication Date: September 2017


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

This is an origin tale, a reclamation of memory, a movement towards wholeness in thought that helps shape action and inform deed. These poems are an anchor cast out from the graveyard in the Atlantic ocean tethering the beginning of the myth of me in North America to a place.


Ayodele’s poetry is a combo of her MFA training and her Lower Bottom Playaz socialization. One must be aware she is a dramatist as well; thus, her style reflects our oral tradition, especially in the rawness and truthfulness of her writing as an extension of the Black Arts Movement.
—Marvin X

The Horse Eaters is a masterful blending of a resilience blueprint, wisdom for the poetic journey into justice, and artfully divine inspiration. How does one negotiate life when given the tools of negativity but the inner spirit houses an abundance of gifted determination? Dr. Nzinga writes, “If you have a bulldozer; you can wait for opportunity. If you have a teaspoon; you must learn to make it.” The Horse Eaters beautifully displays the notions of searching for freedom inside of a given storm, and pulls no punches in regard to the harshness of the traverse. But, it also delivers a roadmap, lined with prophetic clarity, on how to survive a systemic trampling. The words are not simply to be read. They are to be ingested and worn upon the heart.
—Regina Evans

Ayodele Nzinga clings to metaphors with the same force that forms diamonds out of sand. Not letting them go until their value is apparent. Her plain-spoken flow is bereft of pretension, yet clearly a linguistic gift. In the eponymous essay which opens The Horse Eaters, Nzinga holds truth close to her heart, and it explodes onto the page like a bomb-or better yet, a balm, salving at a centuries-old wound which can only be healed by understanding, compassion, and the manifestation of racial equity. She abstracts her expression in the prose poems which follow, each one ringed with emotional resonance and resilience born out of her ancestors’ struggles—as well as her own lived experience.
—Eric Arnold

Ayodele Nzinga has arrived as a poet of heroic strength and authority. Ayodele sows word seeds and clears an upward path through concrete and bulldozers, armed with only a teaspoon of hunger and determination to give voice and testament to the powerful spirit of her people in the on-going struggle for freedom.
—Genny Lim

About the Author

Ayodele Nzinga

Ayodele Nzinga is a multi-hyphenated artist; a brilliant actress, producing director, playwright, poet, dramaturg, performance consultant, educator, and community advocate. She is the director of the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc., Oakland's oldest North American African Theater Company and founder of Lower Bottom Playaz Summer Theater Day Camp. She is co-founder of Janga’s House a Black Women Arts collective and a founding member of BlacSpace Collective. She is the Executive Director of the Black Arts Movement Business District Community Development Corporation, of Oakland, (BAMBD CDC); and founder and producer of BAMBDFEST International Biennial a month-long arts and cultural festival animating the Black Arts Movement Business District in Oakland CA. Nzinga holds an MFA in Writing and Consciousness; a Ph.D. in Transformative Education & Change; is a Cal-Shakes Artist Investigator Alumni; a San Francisco Foundation Arts Leadership Fellow; a member of the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame; recognized by Theater Bay Area as one of the 40 faces in the Bay that changed the face of theater in the Bay Area; is recognized by the August Wilson House as the only director in the world to direct the complete August Wilson American Century Cycle in chronological order; a YBCA 10 Fellow, a BIPOC Circle Fellow and a VOICES Community Journalism Fellow. Nzinga is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Oakland CA. Nzinga's work for the stage has been reviewed internationally. Her blog is read in 81 countries. She is the author of Preforming Literacy a Narrative Inquiry into Performance Pedagogy, The Horse Eaters, SorrowLand Oracle, and Incandescent and her work can be found in numerous journals and anthologies. Nzinga, a cultural anchor, is part theoretician and part partitioner. She describes herself as a cultural architect invested in creating structures for culture making.

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