Select Poetry

Order Running to Stand Still Now

"Rich in literary and pop culture references, the voice of Running to Stand Still is both specific and wide-ranging. Quotations from artists as disparate as Frank Bidart and The Killers splice and introduce poems. In one section, Reyes repurposes screenshots of text messages; in another, partial strikethroughs enable multiple readings. Through this juxtaposing of different forms and language, Reyes weaves a deeply intimate portrait out of impossibly expansive themes: modern life, Black womanhood, family history, and technology."
"Examining the Black female body through histories and stories, Reyes offers a lyric of restless music. Her preoccupation with the gaze of others and storytelling extends beyond boundaries, creating a layered narrative of power and self."
Valerie Wallace, author of House of McQueen
“These poems, with through lines of gender, race, adventure, desire, build into a deeply moving provocation of loss and discovery. The brilliance of these poems is their achievement of discomfit as they simultaneously travel distance and move inward. . . . The title of this collection is a promise: how poetry can at once run and stand still, and why that matters.”
Tyrone Williams, author of As iZ
"Pinballing between family lore, social media, and pop culture discourse, Reyes deconstructs the casual discourses of contempt her narrators are invited to embrace outside and within blood lines, however much 'birthright belonging / is the maim.' And yet, betrayed by the human desire to belong ('To be kept is to / be kept, and what you wanted'), they—she—never quite reach escape velocity: Running to Stand Still is thus the poignant record of an orbit, both victory and impasse."'
Brandi George, author of Gog
"In a poem about visiting Kara Walker’s Sugar Baby, Reyes writes, 'This is church. This is collateral. This is holy terrain. / I am ekphrasis, imbued to the frame.' How powerful is poetry? Can it write a woman into existence? Can it help a woman to exist in a world that denies her complexity? Kimberly Reyes’s collection, Running to Stand Still, has made me a believer. Her poems, sonically sharp and mysterious, create a self that is able to stand, to withstand, the horrors of the past and present."
Running to Stand Still stays true to its title, creating an orbiting, a gravitational pull that at once keeps us distant and brings us close. Reyes pulls off a unique feat of storytelling; at times jarring and at times slow paced, we as readers are made to experience both the stability and velocity of her narrative.
Available at Bookshop, Powell's, Green Apple Books, Waterstonesbooktopia and other bookstores around the world


Order the chapbook Warning Coloration


Also available at City Lights Books in San Francisco

 Select Poems

american poet: The Uncanny Valley

 academy of american poets:
The Body
Winner of the 2018 Harold Taylor Prize

The Poetry Society:
A Constitution
'Behind the Poem'

Atrocious Poets:
Bronzeville Women

Yemassee: The Blueprint

Mass Poetry

Sporklet: Upon the realization that you don't have a natural habitat & The Roost

Eleven Eleven: The Outback

SWWIM: Want. My MTV.

RHINO: Opening Lines

Juked: Intermission

Leveler: 2.14

The Acentos Review: Undertones

Other noted publications

  • “The foundation is likely beyond repair”, “corralled to complicit”, and “Don’t Let it Trouble Your Mind”, PROTOTYPE 4 (2022 anthology)
  • "Presentiment", Poetry London (Fall 2022)
  • "Tim Burton says I'm not his aesthetic" and "literacy", The Stinging Fly (Summer 2022)
  • "Frederick Douglass Aboard a Sonnet", Southword (Fall 2021)
  • "Stain In Creases", Poetry Ireland Review (Spring 2021)
  • "Candyman", The Poetry Review (Fall 2020)
  • "We're Goin to Save Us and other poems", About Place Journal (Fall 2020)
  • "Epigenetics, Elegy and Effigy", The Acentos Review Black and Glorious: Towards Black Liberation Special Juneteenth Issue (Summer 2020)
  • "Birthday and other poems", Poethead (Summer 2020)
  • "The crow is barking up a storm", The Stinging Fly (Summer 2020)
  • ·“The chill in the air,” “like backwards rain on the dashboard,” “Reanimation, “The Holidays,” and “The sickness”, Newtown Literary (Summer, 2020)
  • "An é Éireannach atá ionat?", Quarryman (Spring 2020)
  • "Imprint", Mary (Summer 2019)
  • “Heat Lightning/The Split Tree”– Finalist, Furious Flower Poetry Prize, Obsidian (Spring 2019)
  • “The Late Bloom” and “Recognition”, Berkeley Public Library Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 2018)
  • “@ Plannned Parenthood the Week Before the Inaguration”, Cosmonauts Avenue (Spring 2018)
  • “Push Notifications”, Paris Lit Up (Winter 2018)
  • “To fit the description,” “@ Plannned Parenthood the Week Before the Inaguration” – Winner of the Mark Linenthal Award (May 2016 and May 2017) “December,” “Push Alerts” – Honorable Mention for the Mark Linenthal Award, Transfer Magazine (December 2017)
  • “Blood in the Soil”, New American Writing (Spring 2017)
  • “Your last name is Reyes…is your husband Spanish,” “Hype Women,” “The Stage,” “Holding Pattern,” “A Piece of him”, Moko Magazine (December 2016)
  • “Beloved,” and “Fitting In”, Columbia Journal (September 2016)
  • “The Weigh In,” “The Dance,” and “Cape Town” – Poetry Prize Finalist, The Feminist Wire (February 2015)
  • “NYC” and “Cicadas”, belleville park pages (April and December 2014)


Sh!t Men Say To Me: A Poetry Anthology in Response to Toxic Masculinity (Moon Tide Press, Spring 2021)

Love is the Drug and Other Dark Poems (Red Light Lit, Summer 2018)