Jeremy Reed is one of the UK’s most prolific and skilful poets, yet he remains unknown to a great many readers. For some reason, Jeremy Reed’s work is often overlooked or ignored in favour of the work of far less talented writers.
Jeremy Reed has written a vast number of poetry collections, novels, short stories and non-fiction works. His music biographies include studies of Lou Reed, Scott Walker, Brian Jones and Marc Almond. His literary biographies include studies of Rimbaud, Genet and Anna Kaven, amongst others.
He is a translator of great subtlety and versatility. He has translated key texts by Novalis; Rimbaud; Bogary; Genet; Cocteau; Montale – to name only a few.
His poetry is some of the most beautiful and insightful poetry ever written, particularly the collections: Patron Saint of Eyeliner; Red-Haired Android; Kicks and This Is How You Disappear.
If you are unfamiliar with Jeremy Reed’s poetry, then start with a copy of Kicks or Patron Saint of Eyeliner.
If you want to start with his fiction, then try reading his novel Diamond Nebula, or even Dorian, his sequel (of sorts) to Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey.
If you prefer non-fiction, then A Stranger on Earth – The Life and Work of Anna Kavan is a good place to start, as is Waiting For the Man – a Biography of Lou Reed. Also worth looking at is Another Tear Falls – A Biography of Scott Walker; Born To Lose – A Biography of Jean Genet; and Delirium – An Interpretation of Arthur Rimbaud.
Here is a partial bibliography:
The Lipstick Boys
Isidore (a novel about Lautréamont)
Red Hot Lipstick (erotic stories)
When the Whip Comes Down (a novel about De Sade)
The Pleasure Chateau (an erotic trilogy)
Chasing Black Rainbows (a novel about Artaud)
Dorian (a sequel to The Picture of Dorian Grey)
Here Comes the Nice
A Long Shot to Heaven
The Isthmus of Samuel Greenberg (1976)
Saints & Psychotics
Bleecker Street (1980)
A Man Afraid
By the Fisheries (1984)
Selected Poems (1987)
Engaging Form (1988)
Brigitte’s Blue Heart
Claudia Schiffer’s Red Shoes
Red Haired Android (1992)
Sweet Sister Lyric (1996)
Saint Billie (2000)
Patron Saint of Eyeliner (2000)
Dicing For Pearls
Heartbreak Hotel (2002)
Duck and Sally Inside (2006)
Orange Sunshine (2006)
This is How You Disappear (2007)
Bona Drag (2009)
West End Survival Kit (2009)
Black Russian: Out-Takes 1978-9 (2010)
Piccadilly Bongo (2010)
Bona Vada ((2011)
Pop Stars (1995) – with Mick Rock
Big Orange Day (2010) – with Lisa Wilkerson
Exploding into Colour (2012) – with Lisa Wilkerson
The Coastguard’s House (Eugenio Montale)
Tempest of Stars (Jean Cocteau)
The Complete Poems (Jean Genet)
Praries of Fever (Ibrahim Nasrallah)
All That’s Left to You (Ghassan Kanafani)
On Entering the Sea (Nizar Qabbani)
The Sheltered Quarter (Hamza Bogary)
Hymn to the Night (Novalis)
Heart on my Sleeve
Madness: The Price of Poetry
Angels, Divas and Blacklisted Heroes
Caligula – Divine Carnage (with Stephen Barber)
Lipstick, Sex and Poetry (autobiography)
Bitter Blue (autobiography)
The Last Star (Marc Almond
Another Tear Falls (Scott Walker)
Waiting For the Man (Lou Reed)
The Last Decadent (Brian Jones)
Born to Lose (Jean Genet)
Delirium (Arthur Rimbaud)
A Stranger on Earth (Anna Kavan)
The King of Carnaby Street (John Stephen)
Recently Jeremy Reed has been involved with musician/dj/electronica maestro Itchy Ear on a performance poetry/music/spoken word project called The Ginger Light.
The Ginger Light’s youtube channel is:
And here’s a fantastic promotional film of The Ginger Light in action – putting the fire back into poetry readings:
And here’s a link to The Ginger Light’s debut CD, Big City Dilemma, released by Cherry Red Records:
I would recommend that you listen to The Ginger Light or that you read one of the above books. Jeremy Reed is a unique voice in literature. His work seems to be a fusion of the decadent, the erotic and the surreal. He is definitely worth reading.
Jeremy Reed’s website is:
In Praise of Jeremy Reed
© R J Dent (2012)
Photo of Jeremy Reed by John Robinson