Synopses & Reviews
Intricate, intimate, difficult, and confrontational poems that push at the boundaries of selfhood, skin, culture, sexuality, and blood.
Indecency is boldly and carefully executed and perfectly ragged. In these poems, Justin Phillip Reed experiments with language to explore inequity and injustice and to critique and lament the culture of white supremacy and the dominant social order. Political and personal, tender, daring, and insightful--the author unpacks his intimacies, weaponizing poetry to take on masculinity, sexuality, exploitation, and the prison industrial complex and unmask all the failures of the structures into which society sorts us.
“Reed wrestles with finding the language to convey the pain of that double oppression and still manages to create terrible beauty.” Signature
“Reed’s poems are formally inventive, especially when he works in concrete ways on the page....The reader winds up in a new place without realizing they were being moved there.” The Rumpus
“Reed’s visceral and teasingly cerebral debut probes black identity, sexuality, and violence and is inseparably personal and political. He displays a searing sense of injustice about dehumanizing systems, and his speakers evoke the quotidian with formidable eloquence...” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Justin Phillip Reed is an American poet living in St. Louis. His work appears in African American Review, Best American Essays, Callaloo, The Kenyon Review, Obsidian, and elsewhere. He holds a BA in creative writing from Tusculum College and an MFA in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis. The author of the chapbook A History of Flamboyance (YesYes Books 2016), he has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and the Conversation Literary Festival. Reed currently organizes the St. Louis community-based poetry workshop series Most Folks At Work. He was born and raised in South Carolina.