12 Questions With Adrien Julious
Adrien Julious is the thirty-something-year-old mother of a teenage black boy full of magic and angst. During the day she runs two auto garages and a business-to-business automotive services startup alongside her wife. When she is not saving the world, writing, or playing the Sims she is desperately trying to save herself. She writes about her love of books, running multiple successful businesses while being a black woman, and raising black boys.
Her collection of poetry, Greenish Brown Female Sheep (VitalNarrative 2017) surveys love's many facets and faces.
IB: What poet/poem was your introduction to poetry? Were you hooked then or did you have to seek out more poems to realize you too were a poet?
AJ: My introduction to poetry was Langston Hughes, the first that I can remember anyway. At this point in my life, I can’t remember which poem it was but I love so much of his work. Even elementary school-aged Adrien understood how fantastic a line "I could take the Harlem night and wrap around you” is.
IB: Who is your favorite Black Queer poet?
AJ: Don’t make me choose! LOL! If I have to choose I would say Contemporary is Danez Smith, and all-time…. It’s a toss-up between Langston and Nikki Giovanni.
IB: What do you most enjoy writing about?
AJ: I enjoy taking the things that I think about or the things that I see and turning them into a fictionalized moment. I love exploring life and all of its what-ifs on the page. I recently read where one of the Greats was saying that she didn’t believe in writing about real people and it kind of jolted me because for most of my life fictionalizing moments of life is the way that I have processed the world.
IB: When you engage with a poem or a piece of writing, what is it that resonates with you?
AJ: Usually, it’s the lyricism or when a metaphor is so breathtaking it makes you put the book down to digest it.
IB: In your poetry collection Brownish Green Female Sheep how does the title balance the content?
AJ: Brownish Green Female Sheep translates to Olive Ewe - I love you. It’s about Love, all the types in all of the ways. The title pulls everything I try and portray in the work together.
IB: There is so much about Love: learning what is and isn’t, the different types of love, etc, in BGFS. Why do you think poets are known for writing about their experiences with love? What makes poets qualified to talk about it the way they do?
AJ: I think that poetry is love and communication. Poets were just granted the gifts to teach the world about it in verse.
IB: What do you want your poetry to do to a reader? (Ex. Teach, soothe, move)
AJ: I love it when a reader tells me that the felt seen in the work. It reminds me that I’m not alone.
IB: You are an entrepreneur, a parent, a partner, a nurse, a writer, an avid reader. How do you make it all fit? What does a writing day look like?
AJ: Fitting everything in is difficult but I have employees, which gives an entrepreneur a bit of freedom. I’m learning that writing has to be scheduled like the rest of my life so I write for an hour a day and I don’t take any meetings or anything else during that time. I don’t always do a great job at balancing everything but I make sure and try to take care of all of the really important things. My son is 17 with a full life that includes sports and my wife is a Serial Entrepreneur so having two very focused busy people in my life helps me to be able to stay focused on all of the things on my plate. OUTSOURCING, I haven’t washed my own laundry in years and I’m not ashamed to get household or any other assistance that is required to help my life function.
IB: What are you working on now?
AJ: Currently I’m working on a novel about a group of friend’s going through their Saturn Return and next I’ll be working on the novel that terrifies me (a crime/mystery thriller).
IB: Has the pandemic changed or affected how you create?
AJ: It has made it very difficult to create. I’m a very empathetic person and that coupled with the uncertainty of almost everything in my life related to the pandemic has definitely stopped my progress more than once. At one point I hadn’t even read a book in over a month. When I’m usually reading 5 at a time.
IB: Who are you reading right now? Who do you recommend?
AJ: I’m reading Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron. I recommend that people check out anything by Fiona Zedde, Sheree L Greer, Katrina Jax, Justina Ireland, Tasha L. Harrison, or Beverly Jenkins. I could do this all day.
IB: How can readers find your work?