Black Ballad by Afua Ansong

Editors’ Selection from the 2020 Frost Place Chapbook Competition
by Afua Ansong

released July 12, 2022

Pay what you want. We believe books belong to everyone. While copies of this book will be $12.00 on other sites, Bull City Press is making it available on a “pay what you want” basis. If you can throw several bucks our way to cover printing and shipping, that’s great. If you can’t, we understand, and we want you to have the book anyways. Limit one per order. Unfortunately, because we are not charging a shipping fee, we are unable to ship this item internationally at this time. More about “pay what you want” here: https://bullcitypress.com/about-us/pay-what-you-want-books/

ISBN: 978-1-949344-26-4
Softcover, 28 pages


For a young Ghanaian girl who traveled from the hot winds of Accra to the pulsating rhythms of the Bronx, belonging is elusive. Torn between her desires to be West African and American at the same time, she negotiates linguistic and cultural barriers that force her to reinvent herself. Set in spaces that often drown out the songs of Black women, Black Ballad offers us poems of compassion toward womanhood, toward rediscovery in the exhaustion of migration. Afua Ansong sounds the chant of joy into existence.

“These rocking arms. This big heart. This anger that is so tender. In Black Ballad, her tremendous, new collection of poems, Afua Ansong is only one woman, but somehow, she is a chorus of many. A poet of ‘grace and lavender,’ with a glorious, essential lyric. If there is a woman who could stand in two lands, who could sing us into healing with her words, it is Afua Ansong. With her kin and litany. With her truth, which is so needed in these times. With her wisdom. With her love. With her witness.”
—Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, author of The Age of Phillis

“In Afua Ansong’s Black Ballad there is a grace at the tip of every line that carries the reader into a world where care and intuition are ever present. What you hold in your hands are a series of poems intent on re-centering the gravitational pull of Black women, an organizing principle for how we understand our relationship to earth and tide, life and death, to one another and ourselves. “
—Matthew Shenoda, author of Tahrir Suite

Afua Ansong is scholar and artist, currently working on a collection of poems about Adrinkra Symbols from Ghana, interacting with these symbols as modes of grief and artistic freedom. Her work can be seen or is forthcoming in The Common, Prairie Schooner, Frontier.

Additional information

Weight .3 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 7.75 × .25 in


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Black Ballad by Afua Ansong”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Bull City Press

We love readers, we love writers.