Welcome to our calendar of events for 2018-2019 !

This year the Society’s activities run from May 2018 through to January 2019 with an event held each month.  

EVENTS 2018-2019

Month of May
Thursday 31 May 2018 at 7 pm
St James’s Church, 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL

Daemon Voices – Annual Lecture

The 2018 Annual Lecture will be given by the President of the Blake Society Philip Pullman.
Philip will talk about the importance of stories and the craft of storytelling, giving examples from his newest work: ‘La Belle Sauvage’ (the first novel in the new trilogy ‘The Book of Dust’ and the earlier Blake-inspired trilogy ‘His Dark Materials’.
The lecture will draw on ‘Daemon Voices’ ~ Pullman’s recently published book on storytelling as well as the influence on his writing of Blake, Milton and the Bible. Philip Pullman’s talk will be accompanied by selected readings given by the actor Olivia Vinall (The Woman in White – BBC TV; Othello, King Lear, Young Chekhov – National Theatre).
The evening will open out into a Question & Answer session followed by the opportunity for the author to sign books.
Tickets cost £10 for Members and may be booked online :

Month of June
Thursday 14 June 2018 at 18.45 pm
Meet under the Coade stone lion at the eastern end of Westminster Bridge, London SE1 7GL

Lovely Lambeth – A Walk through Blake’s Landscape

Jon Newman leads a walk around Lambeth, re-imagining the urban landscapes that William Blake would have known in the decade he lived and worked at Hercules Buildings, and considering some of the influences the place may have had on his writings of the 1790s. This circular walk will last two hours.
Jon Newman is the Archivist of Lambeth Council and a writer on the history of South London. There will be copies of his recently-published booklet, ‘Lovely Lambeth’ on sale.
The event is free but numbers are limited so please book tickets online :

Month of July
Thursday 5 July 2018 at 3 pm
The Cardozo Kindersley Workshop
152 Victoria Road, Cambridge CB4 3DZ

A Visit to the Letter Cutting Studio

An opportunity to visit the studio of the leading letter-cutter in England, the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop who have been commissioned by the Blake Society to cut the new ledger stone for William Blake in Bunhill Fields.
There is a cultural cascade of influence leading back from Lida Cardozo through David Kindersley to Eric Gill and William Blake and then onwards into the medieval workshops where apprentices learnt the craft of cutting beauty into stone.
Places are limited so if you would like to attend, please email :

Month of August
Sunday 12 August 2018 at 3 pm
Bunhill Fields, 38 City Road London EC1Y 1AU

The Unveiling of a new Gravestone

It is one hundred and ninety-one years since the death of William Blake.
He was buried in an unmarked grave but not an unrecorded one. The exact location was rediscovered by two members of the Blake Society, Luis and Carol Garrido, and for the past dozen years we have worked to secure the permissions and funds to mark his grave. We have received the generous support of our members and the encouragement of writers, artists, performers and the City of London. Together we have created a simple and enduring memorial that Blake lovers the world over may visit.
The stone, being carved at present by master letter-cutter Lida Cardozo, will be laid in time for the anniversary of Blake’s death on 12 August.
The ceremony of unveiling will be marked with some personal reflections from eminent & immanent Blakeans who have supported us over the years, together with the performance of a specially commissioned choral work by the Australian composer Chris Williams. A little later, towards dusk, there will be a candle ceremony in which everyone present will be invited to place one of 191 candles around the grave.
We welcome all our members, friends or passers-by to pause and share in this wake for Blake.

Month of September
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

Month of October
Wednesday 17 October 2018 at 6.30 pm
Waterstones Bookshop, 82 Gower Street, London WC1E 6EQ

Jerusalem – Blake, Parry and the Fight for Englishness

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

Month of November
Wednesday 28 November 2018 at 7pm for 7.30pm
We look forward to seeing you at Blake’s Birthday Revelry.
!!! Please note the change of venue from that published in our printed programme !!!
7pm for 7.30pm on Wednesday 28 November 2018
The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-28 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL

Birthday Revelry

Then was a time of joy and love
And now the time returns again

Come and celebrate the 261st anniversary of the Eternal Prophet’s entrance into this vegetable universe with an evening of art, poetry, music, drama, and wit.
Join the Tithe Grant Award winner Will Franken as he compères the night’s festivities, introducing a bevy of talented performers of all stripes in honour of the manifold layers of Blake’s unique genius as poet, painter, satirist, rebel, and prophet.
If you would like to perform or be involved, please email:

Month of December
Wednesday 12 December 2018 at 7 pm
House of William Blake
17 South Molton Street, London W1K 5QT

Tithe Grant Award Ceremony 2018

This year’s Tithe Grant celebrates the art of the monogram and seeks the holistic design-of-line manifest in Blake’s own interwoven initials.
There will be an opportunity to see some of the entries and compare the shortlist of designs; and finally, the Winner of the Tithe Grant for 2018 will be announced, judged by the master of letter-cutting, Lida Cardozo.
Mince pies & Monograms

Month of January 2019
Wednesday 16 January 2019 at 6.30 pm
Waterstones Bookshop, 82 Gower Street, London WC1E 6EQ

Finding Blake

The AGM will be followed by a showing of a rough-cut of a new film provisionally entitled ‘Finding Blake’, with an opportunity for discussion afterwards.
‘Finding Blake’ has been documenting the creation of the new ledger stone for William Blake, from the stone being quarried in Portland, through the process of letter cutting, to the ceremony of unveiling at Bunhill Fields.
The screening will show how the project is bringing Blake to life in the current time. The project team have interviewed a range of scholars and creatives who have been influenced by Blake, and are also striving to create large-scale reproductions of his work.
The Director of ‘Finding Blake’ is James Murray-White who a filmmaker, lover of literature, craft … and kayaking along rivers, slowly.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM of the Blake Society will immediately precede this film.

Tithe Grant

Each year the Society gives a grant to encourage a work of the imagination. We call it the Tithe Grant because the prize is funded by donating 10% of the income from our annual subscriptions. The theme
of the Grant changes every year ~ music, photography, film, aphorisms, painting, letter writing …
This year the 2018 Tithe Grant will be awarded to a monogram.
William Blake’s own monogram integrates so many aspects of his life into a single seamless loop that we are inviting people in 2018 to create their own personal monogram that captures your life in your initials.
Monograms were important devices for artists from Albrecht Dürer through Eric Gill to David Bowie. They also personalise corporate endeavours through the likes of Coco Chanel, Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz.
We try to invite a Judge who champions the particular theme of the year, for example we have been honoured to have the Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir for choral music, the Hollywood director Alan Parker for film, the Turner Prize Winner Jeremy Deller for drawing, Stephen Fry for aphorisms, and Tracy Chevalier for letter writing. This year’s judge will be the letter-cutter Lida Cardozo of the Kindersley Cardozo Workshop.
The Tithe Grant is open to anyone, anywhere and is entirely free to enter.
Previous winners have come from as far afield as Australia and Alaska.
Full details of how, where & when to apply can be found on our website under Tithe Grant: