Black and white photo of a film camera

Dark Angels Note 174

Dearest Friends

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



This week in 1933 Susan Sontag was born (16 January 1933 – 28 December 2004).

Dubbed the “Dark Lady of American letters”, Sontag was a writer and cultural critic well known for her essays.

Her body of work includes seven non-fiction books, six fiction, and two film scripts. Her last book, At the Same Time, collects 16 essays wrote in the years before she died and was published posthumously in 2007.

During her life she received many honours and prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for On Photography in 1978 and was the president of international writers’ organisation, PEN America, between 1987-1989.



According to this blog on the New York Public Library’s website, Susan Sontag was one of the “smartest voices in American letters”.

The range of topics that she covered, and her inimitable intellect might make her work unapproachable to those unfamiliar with it. That same blog article provides an entry point by signposting you to five books.

Read: Where to Start with Susan Sontag.



In her essay, Regarding the Pain of Others, Sontag wrote “to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude.”

Look back through your camera roll and choose a photo that you took. What else was going on in that place, at that moment? Why did you choose to capture that image, what did you exclude and what is unseen in the frame?

We’d love to see what you come up with if you’d like to share.



This week’s Sharing is a reminder from Jamie about his upcoming weekend workshop in February.


If Not Now, When?

Jamie & Sarah Jauncey are running this weekend for anyone who may be facing change – for example, a big new project, a career move, children leaving home, the end of a relationship, retirement or anything else that feels major. What will help you move forward? What may be holding you back?

Find out more at


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.




Come to The Lab

Join Neil Baker for an afternoon of creativity and uncertainty at The Lab, in London on Friday, February 9 for just £30+VAT. Tickets and more info here.


Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Join us again 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.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.

From everyone at Dark Angels



Photo by Diana Di on Unsplash