07. October 2018 · Comments Off on Jerusalem – Blake, Parry and the Fight for Englishness · Categories: Society News

While Blake’s stanzas from ‘Milton, a Poem’ that begin ‘And did those feet’ have become well known in the centuries following his death, along with the circumstances of Hubert Charles Parry’s setting during the First World War, there has never been a study of the reception of the hymn better known as ‘Jerusalem’ in the hundred years since it was set to music. This talk will explore several ways in which ‘Jerusalem’ has been used and abused – as an anthem of both left and right, of sporting communities, royal celebrations, anarchist critiques of the state or pro-fascist bigotry – and whether it holds any answers to the thorny question of what is Englishness.
Professor Jason Whittaker is Head of the School of English and Journalism at the University of Lincoln. He has written extensively on Blake, in particular dealing with Blake’s reception in the twentieth century as well as the issue of nationalism in Blake’s work. His next book will be a history of the reception of ‘Jerusalem’ from 1804 to 2016.
Tickets are £6 each for members or £8 each for non-members and include a complimentary glass of juice or wine.
www.waterstones.com/events or www.eventbrite.co.uk


29. August 2018 · Comments Off on Joy · Categories: Society News

Catherine Blake. Verso: A Man’s Head and Other Drawings c.1805 William Blake 1757-1827 Bequeathed by Miss Alice G.E. Carthew 1940 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05188

Wednesday 12 September 2018 at 6.30 pm
Waterstones Bookshop, 82 Gower Street, London WC1E 6EQ
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 Dugdale is a poet, translator and editor. She 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. In the same year Sasha Dugdale received a Cholmondeley Award for her poetry. She has translated many Russian contemporary women poets and was editor of Modern Poetry in Translation 2012-2017. She lives and works in Sussex.
Tickets are £6 each for members or £8 each for non-members and include a complimentary glass of juice or wine.
www.waterstones.com/events or www.eventbrite.co.uk

21. July 2018 · Comments Off on Apocalypse – Unveiling of the Gravestone · Categories: Society News

Sunday 12 August 2018 at 3 pm
Bunhill Fields, 38 City Road London EC1Y 1AU
William Blake died on 12 August 1827 and was buried in an unmarked grave.The Society has commissioned a gravestone from the leading letter cutter in England, the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop and the ceremony of unveiling will be marked with music and personal reflections from eminent & immanent Blakeans who have supported this project over the last twelve years. There will be a performance of a specially commissioned choral work by the Australian composer Chris Williams sung by Sansara. The vocal trio Blake, celebrating their tenth anniversary will sing Jerusalem. A set of songs will be performed accappella by Nicki Wells. Speakers include our President Philip Pullman, the poet, singer-songwriter, priest, and academic Malcolm Guite, the bass guitarist and poet Jah Wobble, the satirist Will Franken and the poet Stephen Micalef. The Unveiling will conclude with a candle ceremony when everyone will be invited to place one of 191 candles around the grave, marking the 191 years since Blake’s death.
We welcome all our members, friends or passers-by to pause and share in this belated wake for Blake.