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Blake Conference in York September 5th, 2007

In late July I attended a conference celebrating the 250th anniversary of Blake’s birth.  “Blake at 250: A Three-Day International Conference” was hosted by the University of York in Yorkshire, England, and it featured about 60 papers on Blake’s life, art, and poetry.  My own presentation was based on thoughts inspired by my CD project.  Entitled “Blake the Musician,” it concluded with an a cappella musical rendition of “The Ecchoing Green.”  I must admit that I was nervous about singing for a room full of professors and graduate students, but the audience was warm and friendly, and my presentation and song were well received.  Afterwards a number of folks hung around to talk about the performance, and I signed a bunch of CDs (a good sign!).

 At the Blake conference I also had the pleasure of chairing an engaging panel devoted to the theme “Blake and Cultural Negotiations.”  All in all, it was fun to spend time with so many scholars and enthusiasts of Blake’s work both at the conference venue and in some of York’s many excellent pubs.  If the conference was an indication of the state of things, Blake’s spirit is alive and well in the twenty-first century.

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