Monday, June 23, 2008

A Mervyn Peake talk in Swindon

An illustrated Powerpoint talk will be given as part of the Swindon Arts Festival on Wednesday 29th October at the Swindon Arts Centre. For further details call 01793 771080 or 07940 827624.

Mervyn Peake at Camberwell Arts Week

Parents and children alike are seen here at the Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell colouring in, under the supervision and guidance of a professional artist, photocopied pages taken from Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor after a presentation for children.

The final day of the 2008 Camberwell Arts Week then ended with an evening talk on Mervyn Peake at the same theatre, this time for adults, when a full house listened with interest and watched slides and inserted clips from the BBC Televison series Gormenghast.

SFX Magazine, Top 100 Authors

Mervyn Peake is No. 48 on the list.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The publication of The Collected Poems of Mervyn Peake

On 25th June 2008 one of the most exciting events in recent Peake history will take place, with the publication of the quite wonderful Carcanet edition of The Collected Poems of Mervyn Peake. If the pre-publication copy sent me a couple of weeks ago is anything to go by, then I can tell potential readers that they are indeed in for both a written and visual treat, in this magnificently produced volume.
With over 230 poems and 40 drawings, a well-laid out, easy to read text, and an impact on the eye that truly attracts, my guess is that this collection will be seen for what it is, a tour de force of presentation, imaginative writing, intuitive thought and considered ideas which will not, I can guarantee, be bettered in my lifetime.

4th July, a Talk in Paris

Arranged with the co-operation of Michael Moorcock whose literary connections range worldwide, the talk at the New York University at Passy in Paris on Independence Day early next month will be a chance to introduce both American students of English literature and members of the Paris Writers' Guild to Mervyn Peake, for the first time on French soil. With the aid of a new Powerpoint talk which includes various TV programme clips, a new audience will be introduced to the eclectic world of the writer and artist, poet and illustrator that was Mervyn Peake.

Manchester City Art Gallery

The talk on the life and work of Mervyn Peake to be held at the Manchester City Art Gallery on 21st October at 12.30pm, will be given appropriately near the Glassblower painting itself, in gallery 15 on the 1st floor.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, French audio edition

With a drawing taken from my father's illustrations for Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde for the cover, a very attractive two CD audio reading of Robert Louis Stevenson's masterpiece is shortly to be released by Editions Theleme in France. The well-known actor Denis Podalydes from La Comedie Francaise will read the text of this dramatic evergreen.

Captain Slaughterboard in Camberwell

Sunday, June 08, 2008

501 Great Writers

Both a photograph and a comprehensive biography of Mervyn Peake will feature in a new book to be published by Quintessence, part of Quarto Publishing, in September 2008. Titled 501 Great Writers - A Comprehensive Guide to the Giants of Literature (price £15) this will be a 'one stop guide to the men and women who have written the greatest books of all time', we're told by the publisher.

Peake poetry in Texas

The Austin Chamber Music Workshop, of Austin, Texas, will be performing their own compositions to accompany certain Mervyn Peake poems. This will be a single performance, open to the public, free and held at the Austin Chamber Music Centre, on July 26th 2008.

A watercolour from Sark

At some point during my father's two years on Sark, 1933-1935, he gave this painting to Joan Miller, who worked during several winters as the island's relief pharmacist. Signed, but not dated, the picture might or might not be a local Sark scene, but certainly shows the influence of China which Mervyn had only recently left behind.