Zoamorphosis Updates: February – April 2011

While there have been several new additions to the Zoamorphosis site, I’ve fallen behind a little with this newsletter. As such, this one will bring everything up to date for February-April 2011.


In the news, February saw the opening of a new display at Tate Britain, Watercolour, which includes several works by Blake and looks at the impact of this medium over 800 years. Also in the art world, a display of Blake’s works curated by John Frame at the Huntington Gallery, Born to Endless Night, accompanies an exhibition of his own sculpture and writing, much of it inspired by the Romantic poet and artist. At the end of March, a series of New Testament watercolours was added to the Blake Archive, and in April there was a round up of new exhibits and performances, including the opening of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem to rave reviews on Broadway and a new play by Mickle Maher, There is a Happiness that Morning is, which uses Blake’s poetry to explore sexual relations between two academics.

New reviews and articles.

The sole review during this period is a two-hander, covering two musical releases by Fernand Péna and Guy Pearson, both of them extremely talented and wonderful musicians who approach Blake’s poetry from completely different angles – one rock, the other classical.

In Arts and Culture, there were articles by Jason Whittaker on a new BBC series, Outcasts, which made use of Blake’s “The Tyger”, as well as the comic “My Pretty Rose Tree” by Jason Franks and Luke Pickett, and some observations on the use of the hymn “Jerusalem” at the Royal Wedding. Roger Whitson contributed two excellent articles on Mike Carey’s series The Unwritten and an extremely thoughtful piece on the appearance of Blake in various forms of paraphernalia as the new phenomenon of Blakesy.

We also welcome two new contributors to Zoamorphosis. Tristanne Connolly provided two extremely authoritative pieces on Blake and Jim Morrison: L.A. Woman, A City Yet a Woman, and some answers to the question of how much Morrison knew of Blake’s work. Finally, Tom Mayberry provided an overview of his Blake-inspired work at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.

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Zoamorphosis Updates: January 2011

Everyday Blake

Everyday Blake is a new project and part of the Blake 2.0 | Digital Reading Project at readers.blake2.org and is a series of resources that focus on the use of William Blake’s art and poetry in a variety of situations.

New reviews and articles.

January saw two new reviews on Zoamorphosis. James Rovira looks at Mary Lynn Johnson’s and John E. Grant’s update of their 1979 Norton critical edition of Blake’s Poetry and Designs while Jason Whittaker reviews Rovira’s Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety.

Also published in the Arts and Culture section were articles on Eduardo Paolozzi’s Newton sculpture, a Blakespotting feature on the link between Red John and Blake in the CBS series The Mentalist, and Samuel Palmer, all by Jason Whittaker, while Roger Whitson provided a fascinating insight into “Blakean trees” in Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist.

Zoamorphosis Updates: December 2010

“In my Blakean year” – round up for December:

Zoamorphosis has been up and running for nearly a year: some of the Blakean highlights from 2010 are available at the Zoamorphosis round up for 2010.

New reviews and articles.

This month saw a review of the book Queer Blake by Roger Whitson, as well as an article on Milton Klonsky on Blake by W. C. Bamberger and an account of David Dabydeen’s collection of poetry, Slave Song, which uses illustrations by Blake.

Zoamorphosis Updates: November 2010

Blake’s Birthday and other news for November:

To mark the anniversary of Blake’s birthday on 28 November, 2010, the Blake Society – itself 25 years old – held celebrations at Tate Britain. Zoamorphosis is updating with extra posts this week, including updates to the site’s first competition inviting suggestions to the William Blake Jukebox. Also new in November was publication of an electronic edition of Blake’s satire, An Island in the Moon, on the William Blake Archive as well as the opening of a display on Blake and Physiognomy, also at Tate Britain.

New reviews and articles.

This month saw three new reviews on the site, of the books William Blake on Self and Soul by Laura Quinney and William Blake and Religion by Magnus Ankarsjö, as well as the Blake and Physiognomy display.

Finally, articles were posted on David Jones, artist, poet and author of the Blake inspired The Anathemata and Aethelred Eldridge, artist and founder of the Church of William Blake.

Zoamorphosis Updates: October 2010

The Romantics exhibition and other posts for October:

With the launch of a major exhibition, The Romantics, at Tate Britain in September, this month Zoamorphosis includes an extensive review of the show with a particular focus on the new prints acquired by Tate at the beginning of 2010, as well as information on the smaller exhibition, The Sleeping Congregation.

Other stories include articles on two recent musical releases: Jeff Gillett’s version of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience and Fernand Péna’s Ode to William Blake, as well as a feature on the possibility of “The Tyger” becoming the UK’s favourite poem (to mark National Poetry Day).

Blake in Our Time:

The files available for this conference on Zoamorphosis have been updated to include eleven audio podcasts from the event. Visitors to the site will now find audio files as well as videos of all the talks from the symposium at http://zoamorphosis.com/2010/09/blake-in-our-time/.

Zoamorphosis Updates: September 2010

For regular updates and news, go to http://twitter.com/blake2_0.

Blake in Our Time:

Zoamorphosis is proud to make available video recordings of the recent “Blake in Our Time: A Symposium Celebrating the Future of Blake Studies and the Legacy of G.E. Bentley Jr.” held at the University of Toronto on 28 August 2010. “Blake in Our Time” explored the history of Blake studies, as well as its possible futures in manuscript studies, online resources, private collections, forgeries and oddities, variations in Blake’s illuminated manuscripts, modernist cinema, and media studies.

Visitors to the site will now find videos of all the talks from the symposium at http://zoamorphosis.com/2010/09/blake-in-our-time/ as eleven videocasts on the site.

Other posts for September:

This month saw the launch of a new book on Blake published by Romantic Circles as part of its Praxis series. Editing and Reading Blake, co-edited by Wayne C. Ripley and Justin Van Kleeck, is a collection of essays that looks at the profound challenges William Blake poses to both editors and readers. Also, Richard Wright, winner of last year’s Turner Prize, is the third and final artist to curate the Contemporary Art Society series at Tate Britain from 13 September to 5 December 2010.

In addition, this month saw two more articles on the Zoamorphosis blog, one on the collaborative William Blake Birthday Book which shows that social media is not restricted to the online sphere, and a piece on Esperanza Spalding who has been attracting a great deal of attention with her new album, Chamber Music Society, the first track of which is based on Blake’s poem “The Fly”.

Zoamorphosis Updates: August 2010


For regular updates and news, go to http://twitter.com/blake2_0.

New for August:

August is the anniversary of Blake’s death, and the event was marked by a meeting of the Blake Society at Blake’s grave in Bunhill Fields, which this year also included a talk by Robin Hatton-Gore on the topography of the area. The end of August also saw an important symposium on Blake’s work, Blake in Our Time: A Symposium Celebrating the Future of Blake Studies & the Legacy of G.E. Bentley Jr.

August also saw a review of Alice Thompson’s The Existential Detective. Published in May 2010, the protagonist of Thompson’s crime novel is a private detective named William Blake who is hired to investigate the disappearance of a woman in a Scottish seaside resort, a case that leads him into the underbelly of desire in the brothels of the town and revives memories of his own missing daughter.

Other articles included a feature on Philip Ringler’s photographic work which is inspired by lines from Blake’s Auguries of Innocence as well as J. G. Ballard and Edgar Allen Poe, an account of the influence of Blake on William Burroughs, the anniversary of whose death also falls in August, and a long article by Keri Davies on the setting of Blake’s work to music by composer Benjamin Britten.

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Zoamorphosis updates: June 2010

For regular updates and news, go to http://twitter.com/blake2_0.

Top articles of the month:

Blake news for June included the publication of a new edition of Visions of the Daughters of Albion on the Blake Archive, as well as details of art exhibitions during the Summer and two forthcoming events in July.

Articles in Arts and Culture included two pieces by Keri Davies on composers inspired by Blake, Cornelius Cardew and John Sykes, as well as an article offering detailed notes on the new Blake prints due to go on display at Tate Britain. Some pop-culture posts included links to musings on the character of Lucas North from the BBC drama Spooks, who has a Blakean tattoo on his chest, and reflections on the end-of-millennium influence of Blake on the band Blur.

June also saw a review of W. C. Bamberger’s novel, On the Backstretch, influenced by Joyce Cary’s The Horse’s Mouth.

Podcasts of the month

New in June 2010:

A reading of two of Blake’s poems from Songs of Experience, “The Garden of Love” and “The Sick Rose”.

You can subscribe to podcasts on the William Blake Channel on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/william-blake-channel/id355543235.

Newsletter – May update

Zoamorphosis.com – updates for May 2010

For regular updates and news, go to http://twitter.com/blake2_0.

Top articles of the month:

Blake news for May included the publication of two new significant works by Palgrave on the artist and poet, as well as the launch of the inaugural Blake Society Tithe Grant.

Articles in Arts and Culture included an update on the work of Philip Davenport, who guest edited an issue of Ekleksographia dedicated to of Blake, the surprising hairstyles of Konstantina Mittas based on Blake’s painting of Enitharmon, articles on the anniversaries of two artists inspired by the Romantic, Paul Nash and Austin Osman Spare, and an excellent article by new Zoamorphosis contributor, Roger Whitson, on Edinburgh-born artist Korshi Dosoo.

May also saw a review of Mei-Ying Sung’s William Blake and the Art of Engraving.

New releases

As part of the expanding Blake 2.0 network, Blake 2.0 updates and discussions can now be found on the new Facebook page.

Podcasts of the month

New in May 2010:

An analysis of two of Blake’s most popular poems, The Lamb and The Tyger.

Some background to the influential 1996 album by Jah Wobble, The Inspiration of William Blake.

You can subscribe to podcasts on the William Blake Channel on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/william-blake-channel/id355543235.