In the tradition of the Decadents, the Surrealists and the beat poets, Jeremy Reed has never been content to follow the fashionable trends in literature, preferring to explore the more colourful world of the imagination and to give a voice to the outsider. In this collection his poems about popular cultural figures of a previous generation Cocteau, Man Ray, Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday are brought together with his equally vivid poems about more recent pop icons, from David Bowie and Mick Jagger to Morrissey, Marc Almond, Prince and Madonna. Accompanying them are compelling photographs by Mick Rock, creator of some of the definitive images of Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and other luminaries of the 1970s and 1980s. Paralleling the poems, these portraits memorably convey the quality of the music and the larger-than-life personalities of its creators.
Jeremy Reed was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, and read for his PhD at the University of Essex. He is widely acknowledged as the most imaginatively gifted British poet of his generation, praised by Seamus Heaney for his 'rich and careful writing' and by David Lodge for his ‘remarkable lyric gift’. Björk simply called his work ‘the most beautiful, outrageously brilliant poetry in the world’. His Selected Poems were published by Penguin in 1987. Subsequent collections have been Nineties (Cape, 1990), Dicing for Pearls (1990), Pop Stars (1994), Sweet Sister Lyric (1996), Saint Billie (2001), Duck and Sally Inside (2004) and This is How You Disappear (2007), all from Enitharmon Press. He has also published Heartbreak Hotel (Orion, 2002), a verse biography of Elvis Presley. Jeremy Reed is currently Marine Society Poet Laureate.