Stack of four folded pairs of denim jeans

Dark Angels Note 159

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our Friday Note – our weekly collection of writerly thoughts.



This week in 1902, the founder of Levi Strauss died. The pioneering fashion company, the first to manufacture blue jeans, takes its name from its founder.

Strauss set up the company in the 1870s making heavy-duty work trousers, patenting a design for metal rivet pocketed “waist overalls” of denim, which were dyed blue to help hide stains.

The brand is synonymous with jeans, available in 100 countries, and one of the largest clothing companies in the world. And while its pioneering design for “clothes built to endure” has an enduring appeal, its advertising is also legendary.



When the world zigs, zag” – Levi’s “Black Sheep” poster.

Launching two acting careers and creating seven European number one singles are byproducts of the iconic advertising campaigns created for Levi’s by the agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

For a little trip down advertising memory lane, read ‘Levi’s A Stitch In Time: Bringing denim back from the brink’  on BBH’s website.



Whether you’ve stayed strong to the Sta-Prest or are a fan of the 501, find your favourite denim item.

You’ve got space for eight words. Create a strapline for their poster campaign.



A few weeks ago in Highgate Woods, we held the ‘Writing what we hear’ workshop. Participant Alice Harvey shares her response to one of the partner exercises inspired by the words of John Simmons.  Read A birds eye view’ on her Substack.


Keep sending us any poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family. We love to read them.





Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

No Gathering for the next couple of weeks. Neil’s away with Dark Angels in Spain and then Scotland. He’ll be back on the 17 October.

Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome – from the Dark Angels community and beyond. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance.


Don Roberto – the making of a biography, 12 October 2023 at 7pm

John Simmons in conversation with Jamie Jauncey about his recent biography, Don Roberto: the Adventure of Being Cunninghame Graham. Register for this event here.


Poetry’s Circle of Growth, 19 October 2023

Dark Angels in association with Bloomsbury Festival 2023 presents an inspiring, uplifting and accessible evening of poetry on 19 October 2023, 18:30 – 19:30 at The Art Worker’s Guild, London. Get your tickets here.


26 Wordstock @ The Bloomsbury Festival, 21 October 2023

A mini-version of 26’s Wordstock created in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts – a three-and-a-half-hour exploration led by Neil Baker and featuring a selection of speakers (from poets and artists to experts on the natural world). Get your tickets here.


A journey into the Sahara, 19-26 November

This is our intrepid journey deep into the Sahara Desert. Jamie Jauncey and Neil Baker will meet you in Marrakech, and take you east into the Atlas mountains, about ten hours later arriving at a stunning desert retreat centre called Cafe Tissardmine. Contact Susanne to find out more.
Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.

From everyone at Dark Angels


Photo by Claire Abdo on Unsplash