In this new collection, National Book Award winner Justin Phillip Reed dazzles the reader with inventive syntax and word choice. At its core, The Malevolent Volume is a critique of the injustice originated and maintained by the culture and systems of white supremacy. These poems—at once esoteric and coloquial—remind the reader of just how gorgeous the English language can be.
Subverting celebrated classics of poetry and mythology and examining horrors from contemporary film and cultural fact, National Book Award winner Justin Phillip Reed engages darkness as an aesthetic to conjure the revenant animus that lurks beneath the exploited civilities of marginalized people. In these poems, Reed finds agency in the other-than-human identities assigned to those assaulted by savageries of the state. In doing so, he summons a retaliatory, counterviolent Black spirit to revolt and to inhabit the revolting.
About the Author
Justin Phillip Reed is an American poet and essayist. He is the author of Indecency (Coffee House Press), winner of the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He is the 2019-2021 Fellow in Creative Writing at the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. His work appears in African American Review, Denver Quarterly, Guernica, the New Republic, Obsidian, and elsewhere. He earned his BA in creative writing at Tusculum College and his MFA in poetry at Washington University in St. Louis. He has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Conversation Literary Festival, la Maison Baldwin, and the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. He was born and raised in South Carolina.