Authors including Deborah Levy, SJ Watson and Rowan Coleman are to take part in an event to celebrate the life and work of William Blake, and raise funds to help buy Blake’s cottage.
Celebrating William Blake, at Waterstones Piccadilly on Saturday 19th September, will feature Blake-themed readings, discussion and interpretations. Also taking part in the evening will be writers and artists George Szirtes, Daljit Nagra, Alex Marwood, Katherine Ellis, and Richard Skinner, who is director of fiction at Faber Academy as well as a poet.
The event will also showcase a series of new poems inspired by Blake, collected for a new pamphlet The Ecchoing Green edited by Skinner.
Last year The Blake Society launched an appeal to raise money to buy the Felpham cottage where Blake wrote the hymn "Jerusalem" and to keep it in trust for the nation. The fund has now reached nearly £250,000, with the help of Sussex-based The Big Blake Project.
The fundraiser was the brainchild of Coleman and Skinner. Coleman said: “Blake is an early inspiration to so many writers, poets and artists. I remember being enthralled by his drawings when I was very small, which led me to fall in love with his writing as I grew up. Beacons of inspiration as important as Blake should be treated as a precious legacy, and that includes preserving the places that inspired them, for generations to come.”
Skinner said Blake was a “total original, a visionary, a maverick”.
All proceeds raised by the ticket sales will go directly to the Blake Cottage fund. Tickets, which are available online, cost £10 each, or £6 for students, and include a glass of wine.