Arien Reed

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.

—from "Rainmaking"

A survivor and also a Baha'i, invisibly disabled, queer, transgender man, Arien Reed shows through his creative works what it means to overcome PTSD and to contentedly live with an uncommon identity in a resistant and misunderstanding world. With humor and optimism, he explores what it means to find love and happiness despite the many internal and external challenges survivors and people of minoritized and marginalized backgrounds ceaselessly encounter.

Publications, Readings, Awards


The Chapbook

Published 2020 by Roaring Junior Press
Screen Shot 2021-03-19 at 2.49.25 PM.jpg
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



"Gender Keeps Me Awake at Night" was chosen as a finalist for the Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in the San Diego Poetry Annual, 2021

"Ballad of the Married Trans Man" was a finalist in Florida Review's Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in Florida Review, 2021

"The Silvering Hour" is forthcoming 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One of Arien's unpublished manuscripts was a finalist for the 2020 Grayson Books Poetry contest and the 2021 Press 53 Award for Poetry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" and "Proxima" were published by La Piccioletta Barca, February 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


"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

"Pre-T" was published in Beyond Words, Spring 2020

"Transition" and "Pre-T" were published to the Infinity Room, April 2020

"Colin Borey," "Desperation," "Fenris," and "Nabil Reed" were published in National University's GNU Journal, Spring & Summer 2017

But so what if my cheeks are stinging

and I cannot meet your eyes?

I never said my arms were open.

—from "Glass Cage"

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