Jeremy Reed and Bird Radio: “Last Rose Before World War III”

June 22, 2020

By Gabrielle Colangelo

Prolific and award-winning poet and performer, Jeremy Reed, shares a work-in-process as his contribution to Creativity in Isolation.

In collaboration with Mikey Kirkpatrick (performing as Bird Radio), Jeremy Reed recorded vocals for their new project Anemones Came to My Mind Today over a telephone. This demo track, “Last Rose Before World War III,” has been made into a lyric video by Tubyez Cropper, using images of roses and other flora from Beinecke Library’s digital library selected by Timothy Young, curator of modern books and manuscripts.

LISTEN to the rest of Anemones Came to My Mind Today, by Jeremy Reed and Bird Radio. 

FIND & FOLLOW Jeremy Reed online, at his website, and follow Jeremy Reed & the Ginger Light (a musical collaboration between Reed and the musician and producer Itchy Ear) on Facebook @jeremyReedandtheGingerLight and Twitter @theGingerLight

EXPLORE Jeremy Reed’s archive, housed at the Beinecke. A photo of several drafts of poems can be found in this blog post

LISTEN to audiovisual materials related to Jeremy Reed in Beinecke collections, available in the Digital Library

FIND & FOLLOW Mikey Kirkpatrick (performing as Bird Radio) online, at his website, Bandcamp, YouTube, and Instagram @mikeykirkpatrick. Also check out his digital radio station. Set up soon after the COVID-19 lockdown began, this station is where he broadcasts daily flute improvisations and weekly playlists of music and audio from around the world. 


Jeremy Reed has published over fifty books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and is well known for the uncompromising originality of his cutting edge poetry, and for his outstanding poetry performances both solo and with Gerry McNee as the Ginger Light. The two are the leading proponents of performed spoken word with electronics, and regularly perform all over London and in European festivals. In addition to his work with the Ginger Light Jeremy Reed is in the process of recording an experimental album with Bird Radio. As an extension of his involvement with musicians Reed has written the libretto for Against Nature to be performed by Marc Almond for a week at the Barbican Centre, London in summer 2021.

Mikey Kirkpatrick (who performs under the name Bird Radio) is a London-based flautist, singer, composer and performer originally from Hereford, UK, who performs original songs and compositions using technology such as live looping and effect processing, working both solo and in collaboration with film makers, sound artists, poets, artists and musicians. His music is inspired by folk traditions from around the world, ritual, protest music, storytelling, dream, the imagination, time and memory. He has toured extensively across the UK, Europe, US and Russia, composed music for feature films and touring theatre productions, and released multiple albums both independently and through Strike Force Entertainment / Cherry Red Records. Mikey also currently performs with the Mosaic Sufi Music Ensemble, the Zashiki Warashi Taiko and Flute Duo with Akinori Fujimoto, Bones And The Aft with poet and book artist John Bently, and Nighthaunts. He is also the founder and director of Alchemy at Goldsmiths University (where he is also an associate lecturer in music and education): a creative professional music lab and mentoring programme for local 14-18 year olds who are at risk of involvement with violent crime and / or dropping out of education. The programme has recently been awarded the Deptford Challenge Trust award has been championed by the Mayor of London.


The photos used in this video are all available in the Beinecke’s Digital Library.

0:00 – Roses, by Eric Knight, from the Norman Holmes Pearson Collection of “Art for the Wrong Reason”.  

0:14 – [Roses], by Eric Knight, from the Norman Holmes Pearson Collection of “Art for the Wrong Reason”.   

0:27 – [Illustration of a rose], by Beatrice Pullen, from the A.W. Smith Papers.  

0:39 – [Garden snapshot], from the William Carlos Williams papers.  

0:50 – Gold of Ophir Roses, Pasadena no. 53906, Published by the Detroit Photographic Co.   

1:00 – [Photograph of porch with rose trellis], by E.J. Hayward, from the Peter E. Palmquist collection of stenographs of California. 

1:07 – [Photograph of five unidentified family members, possibly Helene Raquel Helene Rose Hoheb Williams and her family in Sto. Domingo], from the William Carlos Williams papers. 

1:20 –  Azeleas, Magnolia-on-the-Ashley, South Carolina no. 53797, published by the Detroit Photographic Co.

1:30 – [Photograph of gardens in bloom in front of Edmund Wilson’s home in Talcottville], by George H Pollard, from the Edmund Wilson papers 

1:40 – [Photograph of Land’s End garden showing statue in front of house in Newport, Rhode Island], from the Edith Wharton collection  

1:50 – Century plant, by E.J. Hayward, from the Peter E. Palmquist collection of stereographs of California 

2:05 –[Photograph containing table and chairs in garden at Pavillion Colombe, St. Brice sous Foret, France], from the Edith Wharton collection  

2:20 – Artwork –Rice, William Carlton—Painting, by Jonathan Williams  

2:29 – [Pink Roses, pastel, framed], from the Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O’Keeffe archive  

2:40 – Grounds and gardens, from the Edith Wharton collection  

2:50 – Proliferous rose, Dried rose, from the Pressed Flowers box of the Speck collection

3:05 – Leaf and flower pictures, and how to make them, published by Anson D.F. Randolph.  

3:15 – No flower that blows, is like this rose, by James Gillray.  

3:25 – Watercolor drawing, 1786, by Mary Granville Pendarves Delany.   

3:35 – Scarf, from the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tolkas collection. 

3:50 – Wax seal for embossing envelopes reading: Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose, in a circle around a central rose graphic, from the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tolkas papers.  

4:05 – [Illustration of a rose], by Beatrice Pullen, from the A.W. Smith Papers  

4:20 – [Roses], by Eric Knight, from the Norman Holmes Pearson Collection of “Art for the Wrong Reason”.  

- Gabrielle Colangelo, Y’21

Yale Collection of American Literature Student Research Assistant