Justin Phillip Reed

justin phillip reed

 Photo by Nicholas A. C. Nichols. 

Photo by Nicholas A. C. Nichols. 



who it is

Justin Phillip Reed is an American writer living in St. Louis. His first full-length collection of poems, Indecency, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press in May 2018. His work appears in African American Review, Best American Essays, Callaloo, The Kenyon Review, Obsidian, and elsewhere. A three-time high school expellee and an ex-college dropout, he received his BA in creative writing at Tusculum College and his MFA in poetry at Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as the Junior Writer-in-Residence. He has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Conversation Literary Festival, and the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. Reed was born and raised in South Carolina.

 Photo by Nicholas A. C. Nichols.

Photo by Nicholas A. C. Nichols.

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what it do



Coffee House Press, May 2018

   A History of Flamboyance   YesYes Books, 2016

A History of Flamboyance
YesYes Books, 2016

"More than their beauty, what the poems of A HISTORY OF FLAMBOYANCE flaunt is their insistence, a restless and, finally, necessary intellectual rigor that demands as much from the reader as it will delight and trouble her. But don't be tricked in thinking these are consequently too-stiffened poems, lacking blood. There's blood moving in every line of Reed's poems, and there's nerve, which is only to say that here is also honest if sometimes painful feeling, vulnerability articulated with power. If these poems are confessions, then Reed's many formal interventions mean to break up, down or apart, reveal and revise, perhaps, the performance of those confessions, an effort to expose their inner makings, motives, our histories, these 'constructed rituals' of shame and desire. I'd say this fits a mind that seems at turns insatiable, wanting more of our world and of the poem; at other times more reserved, wanting less; but at all times is a mind nevertheless committed to the poem's queerest possibility, evoking its many traditions just as it disrupts or rewrites them. So these poems teach me. Justin Phillip Reed is a productive new voice in contemporary poetry, 'rose up like a hard new fact,' and one that feels in every way as irrefutable."
— Rickey Laurentiis, author of Boy With Thorn


"Satisfying and revelatory confessional marked by an aching fury to revise the exclusionary narratives of creation."
Neyat Yohannes, for Vagabond City Lit

"His gods are the idea of god translated onto men and memories he loves or beds or worships or all of the above."
Kimberly Ann Southwick, for Ploughshares Blog

"Justin Phillip Reed is a voice worth hearing, the world a bigger and better place because of it."

Ryan Werner, for Tinderbox Poetry Journal



Black Warrior Review "Villainy"

The Rumpus "The Double Agency of Will Smith in Sci-Fi"

Catapult "Killing Like They Do in the Movies"
selected by Jonathan Franzen
Best American Essays 2016

 photo by francine j. harris

photo by francine j. harris



Where it finna be


Center for African American Poetry & Poetics

Feb 24 - Mar 3 | University of Pittsburgh 




where it been


Conversation Literary Festival, Southern U.S.

Comprising 16 poets of color, this weeklong fellowship program featured readings, workshops, and craft talks hosted in Oxford, MS, Tuscaloosa, AL, and New Orleans, LA. 



In conjunction with the 2015 Miami Book Festival, this event was coordinated by Neil de la Flor and JV Portela of Reading Queer, held at the Olympia Theater and featured the poets Dawn Lundy Martin, David Tomas Martinez, Justin Phillip Reed, and Danez Smith.



Paris is still burning, minneapolis

This AWP 2015 off-site event was curated by Patricia Smith, held in OOTN, and featured the queer poets of color Jericho Brown, Eduardo C. Corral, Saeed Jones, Rickey Laurentiis, Justin Phillip Reed, Charif Shanahan, Danez Smith, Jayson P. Smith, Phillip B. Williams, and L. Lamar Wilson.  The following readings were recorded by Erin Schwartz.



book it