Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Callaloo, BOAAT and the Watering Hole. Julian is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Julian is the winner of the 2019 Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle. His poetry has been published in New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, 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. His first book of poetry, Refuse (Pitt, Fall 2018), is the winner of the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2019 NAACP Image Award in Poetry. 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.