Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Callaloo, BOAAT, Tin House and the Watering Hole. Julian is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Julian was the winner of the 2019 Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle and named the 2015 National College Slam Best Poet.His poetry has been published in New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, Sixth Finch, Tin House and POETRY and anthologized in The Breakbeat Poets Vol.4, Nepantla and Furious Flower. He has essays in Vibe, Black Nerd Problems and other venues. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Ole Miss.Julian is the author of Refuse (Pitt, 2018), winner of the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2019 NAACP Image Award in Poetry and the forthcoming Middle Grade Fantasy Pilar Ramirez and the Prison of Zafa (Holt, Winter 2022). Julian is the inaugural Milkweed Books Fellow and currently lives and writes in Minneapolis. He talks a lot about poems and other things on Twitter at @JulianThePoet.
Set against the backdrop of the Obama presidency, Julian Randall’s Refuse documents a young biracial man’s journey through the mythos of Blackness, Latinidad, family, sexuality and a hostile American landscape. Mapping the relationship between father and son caught in a lineage of grief and inherited Black trauma, Randall conjures reflections from mythical figures such as Icarus, Narcissus and the absent Frank Ocean. Not merely a story of the wound but the salve, Refuse is a poetry debut that accepts that every song must end before walking confidently into the next music.