The questions Reed asks are as ambitious as the ways in which he explores them. Do myths obfuscate reality? How does society demonize what it fears and what might topple its configuration?
Justin Phillip Reed’s second collection of poetry — following his 2018 National Book Award for Poetry–winning debut Indecency — is a tour-de-force featuring a striking voice and artistry that will dazzle the vision, stun the ear, and demand attention.
In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce writes, “When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets.” Kaveh Akbar’s Calling a Wolf a Wolf offers various artist portraits of its own, exploring this ground with candor and lyricism, traversing time, culture, and language to create a poetic topography that is both familiar and unexpected.