Poetry: Mississippi Genesis
A poem after the invented form of poet Amanda Johnston, the speaker tale spans of five generations told as a collective, disjointed account of history across the Mississippi landscape. Without a clear vision of their future but an unrelenting spirit to run towards it anyways, each of the five iterations of the speaker (“Nameless”, “Great-Grandfather”, “Grandpa”, “Father”, and “Last Citizen”) fight back against history’s insatiable appetite for destruction. And the poet encapsulates all the voice’s single dirge best, “We are buried in the North crown that refuses to sprout.”
Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. A recipient of multiple fellowships, Julian is the winner of a Pushcart Prize. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Ole Miss. Julian is the author of Refuse (Pitt, 2018), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award, Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa (Holt Books for Young Readers, March 2022). He can be found at @JulianThePoet and on his website JulianDavidRandall.com.