The Joy of Catherine Blake, with Sasha Dugdale

Finding Blake creator and filmmaker James Murray-White announces a new addition to the project’s film archive, with a reading by Sasha Dugdale of her award-winning poem, Joy, in the voice of Catherine Blake.


In anticipation of the launch of our ‘Finding Blake’ film in early autumn, we have great delight in launching online here today a stunning short film of Sasha Dugdale’s poem Joy, through the mouth of Catherine Blake, read by the author herself…

Catherine & William Blake — a spiritual union

Published in 2017, and winning the 2016 Forward Prize for best single poem, and the 2017 Poetry Book Society Winter Choice Award, Joy is a long monologue from the mouth of Catherine Blake, reflecting upon William’s death, and their life together.

Long known as Blake’s muse and beloved partner, Catherine was beside William as he painted, wrote, and printed. She is thought to have assisted him with — and even completed — many of the masterworks. This nuanced piece fleshes out this strong and spiritual woman. It is an epic poem of love, and grief, and the spiritual union that bonds those with genuine and authentic connection through lifetimes of creativity and deepening knowledge.

Joy from James Murray-White. Produced by James Murray-White, as part of the Finding Blake Project. A Sky-larking Film, 2020.

Showing poet Sasha Dugdale reading from her poem about Catherine Blake, 'Joy'
Sasha Dugdale reading from Joy

With huge thanks to Sasha, for her energy and patience, to Jonnie Howard for filming, Dale Suttie for sound recording, B.T Lowry for the edit, Lola Perrin for the music, and Matthew Taylor for the use of the wonderful venue that so fits the atmosphere of Sasha’s words — Othersyde, in Cambridge UK.

We offer this work as a gift for these unusual times, and in hope that all beings find some joy…


Notes

Joy, by Sasha Dugdale, is published by Carcanet Press (2017).

Part of the poem features in a previous post from James, Blake and the Pandemic.

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