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

photo by francine j. harris

photo by francine j. harris