Refuse: Poems (Pitt Poetry Series) (Paperback)

Refuse: Poems (Pitt Poetry Series) Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Fort Greene
2 on hand, as of Jul 14 10:30am
Prospect L Gardens
1 on hand, as of Jul 14 10:30am


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

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.

Praise For…

. By Julian  Randall Sept. 2018. 102p. Univ. of Pittsburgh, paper, $17 (9780822965602). 811 
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. In "Portrait of My Father as Sisyphus," the
speaker depicts a man who must care for his ailing mother and who, like Sisyphus, will bear this difficult
burden until one of them perishes. Elsewhere, Randall depicts the only black boy in a cold Nebraska
classroom who is subjected to "the savage lick of a whip as a means of explaining an entire history." A
native Chicagoan, Randall weaves President Obama throughout the book, drawing on shared experiences
of biracial black men, but closes the series at a vital crossroads with a Langston Hughes homage: "Obama
Speaks of Rivers but We Have Always Been on Different Shores." Throughout, Randall is a master of
simple, unexpectedly devastating lyrics
: "sometimes being Biracial / is to have two half-filled gasses /
& die of thirst anyway." In its raw ferocity and scintillating intelligence, Randall's debut stands with
those of the best of new voices, including Saeed Jones, Danez Smith, and Rickey Laurentiis. 

— Diego Báez

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’ . . . And no matter who would dare an argument, or seek to deny Randall’s utter personhood, Refuse is an inscription that won’t allow erasure.--Vievee Francis, Judge
Product Details
ISBN: 9780822965602
ISBN-10: 0822965607
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication Date: September 18th, 2018
Pages: 80
Language: English
Series: Pitt Poetry Series