Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Prize
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
"Randall's work speaks to his refusal to abide by the expected boundaries and binaries set out for him. As we contemplate how to go forward in an America whose fault line runs deep, an immigrant son entrenched in the American experience, a black man owning his Dominican heritage, a sensualist uncowed by the magnetic poles of sexual appeals, a poet unabashedly forwards, interrogates, and illumines the fulsome measure of his 'I'." Vievee Francis, Judge
"In this stunning breakout collection, Randall writes with brilliance and verve about what it means to be black, biracial, and queer, exploding delineations between the personal and political. The son of an African American father and a Dominican mother, Randall obsesses over lineage and legacy, both biological ties between people and the lives of exceptional individuals." Booklist (Starred Review)
About the Author
Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT, and The Watering Hole and was the 2015 National College Slam (CUPSI) Best Poet. Julian is the curator of Winter Tangerine Review's Lineage of Mirrors. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as New York Times Magazine, The Georgia Review, and Sixth Finch and in the anthologies Portrait in Blues, Nepantla, and New Poetry from the Midwest. He is a candidate for his MFA in Poetry at Ole Miss.