Monday, January 26, 2009


It's good to hear that the Carcanet publication, Mervyn Peake: Collected Poems was the top selling book in 2008 of this respected imprint. With repeat orders from booksellers like Waterstone's and others coming in on a regular basis the publisher tells me, the future looks bright for this comprehensive poetry collection.

Readings from the book will take place at Poetry-next-the-Sea on Thursday. Details: 01328 855545

Peake in the Guardian list

In the Science Fiction and Fantasy section of The Guardian newspaper's 1000 Books One Must Read, Titus Groan joins novels by Rabelais, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson and others, in the 33 books chosen for this category.

Mervyn Peake: The Man and His Art

Having been informed by the publishers last autumn that the hardback edition of the book had sold out, it was good to hear that 20 copies had been found in the warehouse. These very last copies have been signed by the compilers Alison Eldred and myself and thus become collectors items. If you would like to order a copy please contact me at The price, including postage and packing, is £43.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Morris Kestelman at the Imperial War Museum

At the Imperial War Museum currently is a very poignant exhibition called Unspeakable, The Artist as Witness to the Holocaust, which displays paintings and drawings by various artists, some of whom were prisoners at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

The largest painting, entitled Lama Sabachhami (Why have you forsaken me - taken from the opening verse of Psalm 22) is by Morris Kestelman, who worked at the Central School of Art in London for 35 years. It was in his capacity as head of art, that he kept my father employed as a tutor long after the effects of Parkinson's Disease had taken hold. I dedicate this blog therefore both to the memory of a kind employer, and to the victims of the infamous death camp my father visited in June 1945, and which left such a profound and terrible visual and emotional legacy.

A new Mr Pye clip

A new addition to the site shows a clip from The Making of Mr Pye which begins with Le Seigneur of Sark's views on the island, the filming and the novel. The currently beleaguered head of the old order speaks about the filming enthusiastically, while standing in front of the impressive Seigneurie where he lives.

Joanne Harris and Gormenghast

The writer Joanne Harris will be including extracts from Gormenghast in a BBC Radio 4 programme called With Great Pleasure to be broadcast in March. A great fan of my father's work, it will be interesting to hear which parts of the novel Joanne chooses to have read.

Further details as to the exact time and date when the broadcast will take place, will be announced on the blog as soon as they are known.

Peake at Wells-next-the-Sea

I will be speaking at Poetry-next-the-Sea, on Thursday 29th January, at Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, when I will be reading from the recently published Mervyn Peake: Collected Poems. The talk will begin at 7.30 pm and be held at the Granary Theatre, Staithe Street, a lovely site near which there is even free parking.

Read Kiron Pim's article from the Norfolk Daily Press..

Monday, January 12, 2009

Titus Groan - a Hungarian edition

Using an adapted version of Eleanor Crowe's elegant design for the current Vintage Books edition of the Titus Trilogy, Alexandra Publishers of Hungary have brought out Titus Groan. Translated by Berta Bakonyi this will be the first time that a Mervyn Peake novel has become available in this language. The other two parts of the trilogy will follow in due course.

Poem of the Week

A great fan of Mervyn Peake's poetry, Neil Hampton noticed this in Blackwell's Booskshop in Oxford. In response to the poetry he wrote this:

"Oh love, oh death, oh ecstasy"
A fie upon captivity ...
Oh endless day, oh barren night -
Tortured dreams and return of light.
Oh needless waste of precious time
Suburban life: the death of rhyme.