Sat 15 September
12.00pm Opening of the Athens Graffiti Art Exhibition (Curators - Professor Hugo Frey and Dr Luke Walker)
12.00pm Saturday Dancing with Albion - Miniature bronze of 16ft proposed sculpture (Sculptor - Vincent Gray)
Come and preview one of the proposed sculptures for Bognor and Felpham
12:00pm 'Allen Ginsberg's Blakean Albion: Felpham and Beyond' Professor Hugo Frey and Dr Luke Walker
In 1979, the American Beat poet and activist Allen Ginsberg visited Felpham, where he was photographed in front of Blake's cottage, holding up Blake's own depiction of the cottage from Milton a Poem. Ginsberg was one of the most important figures responsible for the creation of the 'countercultural Blake' of the 1960s, and his Felpham visit was one of many Blakean pilgrimages he made to these shores.
This talk examines the way Ginsberg used Blake's myth of Albion in the poems he wrote during these British visits, and argues that the American poet's (re)introduction of Blake into the British Sixties also reveals some of the broader tensions between nationalism and internationalism which are present within Blake's Albion myth and within the transatlantic counterculture of the period.
Luke Walker is the author of a number of articles and book chapters on the reception of Blake and other Romantic poets during the 1960s. He currently teaches at the University of Roehampton and has previously taught at the University of Chichester and the University of Sussex, where he also completed his PhD on 'William Blake in the 1960s'.
12.30pm Dr Naomi Foyle A Blade of Grass
New Palestinian Poetry
‘Admit not, a Grain of Sand, or a Blade of Grass Insignificant.’ William Blake
‘Against barbarity,’ wrote the celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1942- 2008), ‘poetry can resist only by cultivating an attachment to human fragility, like a blade of grass growing on a wall as armies march by.’
A Blade of Grass brings together, in English and in Arabic, new work by poets from the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, from the Palestinian diaspora and from within the disputed borders of Israel. Featuring work by Fady Joudah, Mahmoud Darwish, Maya Abu Al-Hayyat, Deema K. Shehabi, Ashraf Fayadh, Mustafa Abu Sneineh, Naomi Shihab Nye, Marwan Makhoul, Farid Bitar, Fatena Al Ghorra, Dareen Tatour and Sara Saleh, it celebrates the flourishing cultural resistance of the Palestinian people to decades of displacement, occupation, exile and bombardment. Voices fresh and seasoned converse with history, sing to the land, and courageously nurture an attachment to human fragility. Written in free verse and innovative forms, hip-hop rhythms and the Arabic lyric tradition, these poems bear witness both to catastrophe and to the powerful determination to survive it.
Ashraf Fayadh and Dareen Tatour are both currently imprisoned, respectively in Saudi Arabia and Israel, on charges relating to their poetry. A percentage of the receipts of this book will be donated to support their legal fees.
12.45pm Tamar Yoselof: The Practical Visionary
The Practical Visionary is a collaged dialogue between Sophie Herxheimer and Chris McCabe and their luminary inspiration, William Blake. The works were made through imaginary letters between Blake and the Citizens, and photographs of puddles in Lambeth in an attempt to capture glimpses of Blake's visions, including the eye of Urizen and the lakes of Udan-Adan. Ballast has been added from pages taken from a nineteenth century bible and a non-conformist self-help book salvaged from a skip. The Practical Visionary offers an invitation to move freely between Blake's world and ours, demonstrating why his voice is a powerful and necessary as ever.
1.00pm Blake and the Divided Brain: Dr Simon Mouatt
2.00pm Mikey B Georgeson: An Actual Occasion, A Silent Disco (Artist - Mikey Georgeson)
A silent disco relaying a song, KindnezAisavirus. A free to enter playful interactive Art installation.
3.00pm Blake and Revolutionary Women Professor: Professor Fiona Price
Blake is well known for his revolutionary thoughts about sexual relations but what about the women in his wider circle? Professor Fiona Price will talk about his connections with early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and prolific Sussex novelist Charlotte Smith (who shared a patron with Blake), as well as about the important role Catherine Blake played in his artistic production.
Professor Fiona Price
Interested in women's writing, politics and the historical novel, Professor Fiona Price is author of the monographs Reinventing Liberty (Edinburgh University Press, 2016) and Revolutions in Taste (Ashgate, 2009). Having written on 'Regional and National Affiliations' in the Cambridge Companion to British Women's Writing, she is also editor of Jane Porter's The Scottish Chiefs (1810) and Sarah Green's Private History of the Court of England as well as author of a wide range of other publications on the eighteenth century and Romantic period.