Shirley Dent is an associate fellow of the Institute of Ideas and was formerly communications director. She has written and commented widely on arts and literature, including a blog at Guardian Arts Unlimited, and reviews for the Times Literary Supplement. She researched the editorial and bibliographic history of William Blake’s works for her PhD, co-authoring a book on the subject with Jason Whittaker, Radical Blake.
Shirley continues to contribute academic essays to scholarly collections, including essays on copyright, censorship and the hymn ‘Jerusalem’ and its use by the far right.
Shirley was formerly head of communications at the Policy Studies Institute and assistant editor at the New Humanist. She has led work on children and their use of connected devices, such as smartphones, and currenty manages media relations for the British Veterinary Association; edits tlfw.co.uk, a website and network for women childfree by circumstance or choice; and lectures on London and literature.
Radical Blake: Afterlife and Influence from 1827 (co-author with Jason Whittaker) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)
"It alerts me to new areas of debate, and gives thought-provoking new angles on topics I thought I already knew well. Altogether it's a wonderful intellectual tonic, which cheers up the dog days of November."
Ivan Hewett, music critic, Daily Telegraph