Connection to Illinois: Randall lives in Chicago. Biography: Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. His poetry and essays are published in the New York Times Magazine, POETRY, The Atlantic, and Vibe. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Julian holds an MFA in Poetry from Ole Miss. His first book, Refuse, won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He was also a contributor to the #1 New York Times-bestseller Black Boy Joy. Julian has previously worked as a youth mentor, teaching writing workshops to children on house arrest.
- Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa A New England Independent Book Association's Spring 2022 Windows & Mirrors List Pick; A Washington Post 2022 Summer Book Club Pick; Starred Reviews - Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal; Illinois READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2023
- Refuse Cave Canem Poetry Prize 2017; Finalist for a 2019 NAACP Image Award
|Pilar Ramirez and the Curse of San Zenon (Pilar Ramirez Duology Book 2)
ISBN: 1250774128 OCLC: 1296117975 Henry Holt and Co. 2023 The Land of Stories meets Dominican culture and mythology come to life in Julian Randall's Pilar Ramirez and the Curse of San Zenon, the action-packed fantasy duology finale―for fans of the Tristan Strong series and Amari and the Night Brothers. After being magically transported to the mythical island of Zafa and rescuing her long captive cousin Natasha, Pilar is back in Chicago . . . and hiding the shocking truths about Zafa and Natasha being alive. So, when she and her family are invited on a trip to Santo Domingo, Pilar welcomes the distraction and the chance to see the Dominican Republic for the first time. But when Ciguapa and close friend Carmen magically appears in the DR searching for help, Pilar is soon on the hunt for the escaped demon El Baca and his mysterious new ally. Now, with a cursed storm gathering over the island to resurrect an ancient enemy, Pilar will have to harness her newfound bruja powers if she has any hope of saving her own world, Zafa, and most importantly her family before the clock runs out and ushers in a new era of evil.
|Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa (Pilar Ramirez Duology, 1)
ISBN: Twelve-year-old Pila OCLC: Henry Holt and Co. 2022 Twelve-year-old Pilar Violeta “Purp” Ramirez’s world is changing, and she doesn’t care for it one bit. Her Chicago neighborhood is gentrifying and her chores have doubled since her sister, Lorena, left for college. The only constant is Abuela and Mami’s code of silence around her cousin Natasha―who vanished in the Dominican Republic fifty years ago during the Trujillo dictatorship. When Pilar hears that Lorena’s professor studies such disappearances, she hops on the next train to dig deeper into her family's mystery. After snooping around the professor's empty office, she discovers a folder with her cousin’s name on it . . . and gets sucked into the blank page within. She lands on Zafa, an island swarming with coconut-shaped demons, butterfly shapeshifters, and a sinister magical prison where her cousin is being held captive. Pilar will have to go toe-to-toe with the fearsome Dominican boogeyman, El Cuco, if she has any hope of freeing Natasha and getting back home.
ISBN: 0822965607 OCLC: 1048403194 University of Pittsburgh Press 2018 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.