This page gives information on new activities about William Blake. If you know of events, forthcoming books, films or media coverage, or other activities in the coming months that we should feature here, please do let us know through the Contact page.
NB: Events are listed here as we become aware of them (the most recent discoveries at the top), not in their date order. Once an event has occurred, we place it in A Blakean Archive. If you went to one of these events, why not use our Contact page to offer us a Finding Blake post about it?
Sunday 30th September - London Jerusalem's Pillars - A William Blake Walk from Tyburn to Primrose Hill Niall McDevitt – having created westerly, easterly and southerly Blake walks – unveils the first of two northerly Blake walks. The site of Tyburn is undoubtedly the most abhorrent in the Blakean imagination. While the Vatican chose to counteract the executions by building the Tyburn Convent, Blake erected a psycho-architectural monument which he called ‘The Gate of Los’. The walk follows the course of the Tyburn river while telling the stories of Catherine Blake, The Jews Harp Tavern, the Cato conspiracy and George Richmond. The pilgrimage ends on the magical apex of Primrose Hill where Blake ‘saw the spiritual sun’, and where – 150 years later – Allen Ginsberg meditated with Iain Sinclair filming. See Poetpography for details.
Wednesday 12th September - London Joy: On Catherine Blake with Sasha Dugdale For this Blake Society event, poet, translator and editor Sasha Dugdale will read from her Forward Prize-winning poem Joy, a monologue written in the voice of Catherine Blake following William Blake’s death, and talk about the process of researching and writing the poem. Sasha has published four collections of poetry, most recently Joy (Carcanet, 2017) which was a Poetry Book Society Choice. Joy’s title poem was recipient of the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2016. See Waterstones for details.
Friday 14th September - University of Chichester, Bognor Campus Building Jerusalem A public meeting, held as part of BlakeFest 2018, involving talks and a panel discussion exploring the relevance of William Blake’s poem/hymn Jerusalem and wider philosophy, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Britain’s potential role in finding a solution to it. The event is an inter-faith and truth-seeking initiative and there will be no promotion of ideological or religious views that favour one faction of humanity over others. A talk from English literature scholar Dr David Fallon (University of Roehampton) will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Daud Pidcock (Muslim Council); Dr Atef Alshaer (University of London) author of Poetry and Politics in the Modern Arab World; Rabbi Wright (London Liberal Jewish Synagogue) [TBC]; Canon Peter Challen (Southwark Cathedral) and Blake scholar Dr Luke Walker. The panel will be chaired by Dr Simon Mouatt (Associate Professor, Chichester University). Free entry, Donations welcome. Building Jerusalem was inspired by the Community Poem - 'We'll Do It' - crafted by Stella Bahin, during her time as BlakeFest's Poet-in-Residence. "'We'll Do It'", said Rachel Searle, "reveals the heartbeat of Blake's Jerusalem in the people of Bognor Regis today and, with Blake's own visions of both Beulah and Jerusalem, the idea of an inclusive inter-faith panel discussion emerged. This was followed by a sobering trip to Jerusalem and the West Bank. The highlight of the trip was meeting Dareen Tatour who used her precious last hours of freedom to give us a tour of her beloved Nazereth." See Blakefest for details.
Saturday 15th September 2018 - Bognor Regis, West Sussex Blakefest 2018 A celebration of William Blake and his impact on the 60s. This quirky music festival now in its fourth year is bigger and brighter than ever. Headlined by Lene Lovich who is a leading and iconic figure in the New Wave Scene. Also including the music of George Harrison from the 10-piece All Things Must Pass Orchestra and Jazz from Emily Dankworth with the Jamie Lemming Trio. Nestling inside is this year's Southdown’s poetry featuring Sasha Dugdale and ‘On the Streets’ Art Exhibition with the English and Creative Writing Department of Chichester. On Sunday 16th September, Blakefest also features Finding Blake contributor Niall McDevitt with poetry and a talk (and a peformance by musician Olivia Stevens) at William and Catherine Blake's Cottage in Felpham. Jerusalem Tradition in English Literature explores how writers from Chaucer to Shakespeare to Blake and beyond treat the theme of Jerusalem in their literary works. "Sometimes the writers are twinning England with the Holy City, or imagining a New Jerusalem as radicals and millenarians e.g. Blake; sometimes they are visiting Jerusalem as pilgrims and travel writers e.g. Margery Kemp. Americans such as Melville and Eliot and Irishmen such as Joyce and Yeats later gatecrash the party." The Jerusalem Tradition in English Literature was first performed in Jerusalem in 2017 to an international audience of Christians, Muslims and Jews including the legendary nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. Niall McDevitt is delighted to be bringing it to BLAKEFEST in Felpham, where the most famous lyric of the tradition was composed. See the Blakefest site for details.