New talks from the Blake Society

Two talks in May and June explore the influence of Blake on Maurice Sendak, as well as using Blake to explore soul-writing.

The Blake Society has announced two new talks to take place in May and June, 2024.

For the first, illustrator Tamsin Rosewell has teamed up with academic Jason Whittaker to discuss the influence of William Blake on popular children's author, Maurice Sendak. This will be followed by novelist Sarah Walton, who will use Blake's art as a tool for exploring soul writing.

‘In the Deserts Wild’: William Blake and Maurice Sendak

On the anniversary of Sendak's death in 2012, this conversation between writer and academic Jason Whittaker and illustrator Tamsin Rosewell will explore some of the ways in which Sendak drew inspiration from Blake up until his final work.

In 1967, following a promotional tour for the UK publication of Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak produced a Christmas keepsake of seven illustrations to poems from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence. Published as a limited print run of 275 copies by The Bodley Head, no copies of it were sold but it was given away to friends of the publisher and artist. Sendak had described Blake as ‘from the first, my great and abiding love . . . my teacher in all things’. As his fame following the publication of Where the Wild Things Are grew, so he collected Blake originals, including copies of the Illustrations to the Book of Job and the Ballads written by William Hayley and illustrated by Blake.

Soul Writing with Dr Sarah Walton

In this workshop, we will activate Blake’s use of the Gothic arch as a symbol of stepping from one realm into another, to embrace rejuvenation and personal truth. In guided meditations designed to support you to write from your intuition, you will be enabled to take a journey led by your own poetic imagination. Your inner poetic guide will lead the way, as Virgil did for Dante, and you will have the opportunity to create your vision on the page.

There will be an option, if you wish, to share your writing, and Sarah will offer approaches to sustain your writing after the workshop.

Tamsin Rosewell is an illustrator and former bookseller. She is also a trustee of The Blake Society.

Jason Whittaker is a writer and academic who has published a number of books on William Blake. He is also Content Director of the Global Blake Network.

Dr Sarah Walton is a novelist and writing coach with a PhD in Creative Writing, and has taught an MA in Creative Writing. She is the Founder of Soul Writing Coaching.

These events can be registered for via The Blake Society web site.