I want worlds in which it’s okay to be me and I’m not afraid
of even the people I love, where gender might be real
but it is the body that does not exist
—from "The Silvering Hour"
See, when you're this close to shattering, you sew
yourself together and call it love.
A survivor and a Baha'i, invisibly disabled, queer, transgender man, Arien Reed reveals his journey to overcome PTSD and to live with an uncommon identity in a resistant and misunderstanding world. Raw and unfiltered, he plunges right in and softens no blows that were not softened when delivered to him. He does not believe in feeling silent or timid when discussing violence he did not invite, nor does he sugar-coat actions that were never sweet. He owns his imperfections and makes bouquets out of them as he struggles to love himself through radical honesty. Writing is healing, and he has a lot to heal from.
Published 2020 by Roaring Junior Press
because this is a world where the villain
will care and spare the hero
where good does not win
but takes evil’s hand
and tells him it’s all right
to be afraid
of kindness, she too fears
what she does not understand
Every story has a hero and a villain, while a myth surrounds every fantastical creature. But before they were famous, they were alive. In this chapbook of poetry, Reed tells the untold tales of warriors, heroes, villains, creatures, mythical beings, and even mosquitoes.
"This collection is dripping with violence and violins; such sweet, battered music lofting from a body only he can claim and name."
—Andreas Fleps, author of Well into the Night
"Someone asked me what life as a queer person is like and I told them" is a finalist in Prometheus Unbound Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in Prometheus Dreaming, 2022
"If the Body is a Metaphor" was a finalist in the Pleiades Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in Pleiades, Spring 2022
"A Trans Man's Guide to Finding A Partner" was a finalist in the New South Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in New South, 2022
"The Hematoma" was published by Button Eye Review, September 2021
"Gender Keeps Me Awake at Night" was chosen as a finalist for the Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and published in the San Diego Poetry Annual, 2021
"Ballad of the Married Trans Man" was a finalist in Florida Review's Poetry Prize and published in Florida Review, 2021
"The Silvering Hour" was published in the second volume of the poetry anthology, Aurora, by Allegory Ridge, spring 2021
"requiem for a scream" won 2nd place in Red Wheelbarrow's 2020 Poetry Prize, was published in the winter publication, and was read aloud virtually by the author on December 8, 2020
"Oops... I think I caused COVID-19" is forthcoming in Ariel Publishing, LLC
One of Arien's unpublished manuscripts was a finalist for the 2020 Grayson Books Poetry contest and the 2021 Press 53 Award for Poetry
"There are barbed rose stems" was published in Sonora Review's anthology on gender-based violence, Spring 2021
"Henry" and "Glass Cage" were published in the We Don't Break, We Burn Brighter anthology by MindWell Poetry, Fall 2020 and "Henry" was read aloud by the author at a virtual reading on November 24, 2020.
"Stay" won an honorable mention in Common Ground Review's 2020 Poetry Contest and was published in their 2020 issue
"Rainmaking" won the Ekphrastic Challenge and was published in Issue XX by High Shelf Press, July 2020
"Canvas-19" was published in a COVID-19 Anthology by Poet's Choice, Summer 2020
"Stroke of Midnight" was published in Beyond Queer Words, an LGBTQ anthology by Beyond Words, July 2020
"Counting Back from 10..." won a commendation in the international 2020 Hippocrates Poetry Prize and was read aloud by the author at a virtual symposium, May 2020
"Wait" was published by What Rough Beast, April 2020
"Silver Swan" won 4th Place in Writer's Digest 88th Annual Writing Competition for Non-Rhyming Poetry, November 2019
One of Arien's unpublished books of poetry was a finalist in Kore Press's 2019 Poetry Contest
"Words as Weapons of War" won an Honorable Mention in the New Writer's Contest and was published by TulipTree Review, June 2019
"This is How Survivors Sleep at Night" is forthcoming in Unlimited Literature, spring 2021
"Unsilencing 3: Androgynous" won first place in the Monochrome Art Award and was published by J. Mane Gallery, 2021
"beauTiful bodies 3: River Eastwood," "beauTiful bodies 5: Aydian Dowling," and "beauTiful bodies 8: Andreja Pejic" were published in Raw Art Review, spring 2020 issue
"Self-Portrait as child but with short hair" and "Creations" were published in High Shelf Press's issue XXI, August 2020
"beauTiful bodies #4: River Eastwood" was published in Unlimited Literature, 2020
"Roots" was published in Flumes, May 2020
"Transition" was published to J. Mane Gallery, April 2020