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Doleful City of God: William Blake in the work of a Mexican novelist - 29 March 2023

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In this illuminated talk Mexican poet and novelist Adriana Díaz Enciso will share her journey of twenty years in the writing of her novel Ciudad doliente de Dios (Doleful City of God, Alfaguara/UNAM 2018), inspired by William Blake’s Prophetic poems.

She will talk about her life-long fascination with Blake’s work and his spiritual quest, and of how in her novel Blake’s mystical city of Golgonooza, London and Mexico City merge into an unknown city where the characters strive to find the meaning of human pain.

This event is in-person.


Adriana Díaz Enciso

Adriana Díaz Enciso was born in Mexico and has lived in London since 1999. She has published (in Mexico) several books of poetry, four novels and two collections of short stories. In 2022 she published in the UK the poetry pamphlet Flint (Contraband Books). She’s the author of many lyrics for Mexican rock band Santa Sabina and has written for the stage and TV.

Her most recent novel, Ciudad doliente de Dios (Doleful City of God), published in Mexico by Alfaguara and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), is inspired by William Blake’s Prophetic Poems. Her latest literary translations include George Eliot’s The Lifted Veil (UNAM, 2021) and Walter de la Mare’s Seaton’s Aunt, which will appear in 2023.

She has contributed to over 30 literary publications in Mexico, the UK and other countries, including all major Mexican literary journals, and is a columnist for Literal Magazine. She’s been a trustee for Modern Poetry in Translation. With artist Pato Bosich she co-curated the exhibition “Beyond the Shadow of the Ship”, around Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, for the Three Highgate gallery. She’s currently working on her fifth novel, and is a beneficiary of Mexico’s Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte.

Adriana was for several years the Secretary of the Blake Society, and in 2014 was co-director of the project to turn Blake’s cottage in Felpham into a centre for creation. She has taught courses about Blake’s work for the Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico and Swedenborg House in London.

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