BOOK REVIEW: The Malevolent Volume by Justin Phillip Reed

The Malevolent VolumeThe Malevolent Volume by Justin Phillip Reed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars page

Out in India on May 5th. Already out in the US.


This multifarious collection of poetry is stirring and evocative. While much of the poetry is free verse, Reed pays a great deal of attention to structure in his poetry. The overall tone tends toward the dark and somber, and much of the poetry requires intuition rather than intellect to glean nuggets of insight. That said, it’s pleasant to read and employs some stunning use of language.

At times, Reed engages in a kind of dialogue with other poets, which I appreciated. These included the founders of the American poetic tradition, Whitman and Dickinson, and Harlem Renaissance great, Langston Hughes.

I enjoyed this collection. Reed has a message, but it doesn’t come across as whiny or self-obsessed (which are traits I see too often for my own preference in new poetry collections.) Instead, there is a humanity and a depth to the way he makes his points. If you enjoy poetry, this is a great collection and you should check it out.

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