On the anniversary of Blake's birth, I'm very pleased to announce the launch of the second issue of VALA, The Journal of the Blake Society, as well as a new web site for an international conference in 2022 on William Blake's global influence and reception. I've been working as Managing Editor for the magazine alongside Sibylle Erle as Editor and John Riordan as Art Director.
VALA is now in its second year, and this issue takes as its theme the subject of women and Blake, as well as wider themes of gender and sexuality. It is a much larger issue than the first, being nearly four times as long with a far larger number of contributors. As well as articles dealing with different readings of women in Blake's prophetic works or of how Blake approaches different aspects of gender, the journal includes original works by several artists and illustrators. It's always been our aim with this publication to provide a focus for original creative work as well as different interprations of Blake's life and art.
An electronic PDF version is available for free at Vala — The Blake Society.
As well as the new edition of VALA, the site goes live for Global Blake: in the first instance, this is the landing page for an international conference that will run in January 2022, but is also intended as an ongoing project to host materials related to that conference as well as other relevant documents that arise. The conference is also being run with Sibylle Erle and, as we note in our introduction, while Blake ahs become one of the most important figures in British cultural life we want to understand more his significance elsewhere in the world.
You can find more details about Global Blake, including a schedule of speakers and a link to book a place, at globalblake.zoamorphosis.com/.