The upcoming session for Wednesday 6 June has been cancelled, because I have an out-of-town teaching commitment. Apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience, but we’ll be back to our usual weekly schedule from Wednesday 13 June, at our usual time and place:
1-2pm, Ross House, second floor room 2.1
Big thanks to Felix Nobis and Marieke Hardy for inviting me to take part in a discussion of the forthcoming novel, The Mere Wife, by Maria Dahvana Headley at the Melbourne Writers Festival in August.
The story re-imagines Beowulf in the setting of a modern gated suburb. This could be fun . . .
The event is scheduled for a mid-morning session on Sunday, 26 August.
Here’s a PDF of my write-up of my keynote address for the conference of the Australian Early Medieval Association last year, which just got published in the Association’s annual journal. I tried to have some fun . . .
Ovid played naughty kid brother to his contemporary, Virgil, whose Aeneid became the normative (and soberly revered) foundational text for imperial Rome. Ovid’s Metamorphoses plays a much different game, resisting the unified effect of the Homeric model to produce a patchwork of short stories in verse, no less ambitious in scope, but shot through with comedy and parody, as well as profound observation of the human (and surperhuman) world.
Ovid’s work provided a rich vein of narrative for Renaissance verse and drama, many of whose stories you’ll know even if you’ve never read the originals. His takes on classical myth are part parody, part canny psychologising. Find out where Chaucer learned a great deal of both his wisdom and his cheeky audacity. David Raeburn’s translation for Penguin Classics is both a good read and well annotated.
Penguin ISBN 13: 9780140447897 12 weekly 2-hour sessions, beginning Friday, 2 February, 1-3pm in Ross House second floor room 2.1
fee: $240.00 (or $20.00 per session)
As I’ve previously posted, I’m curtailing my teaching commitments in 2018 to take a writing sabbatical. One of the big projects is a novel I’ve been trying to write for decades, that’s begun happening again with a curious twist of authorship. Long way to go, but worth posting a teaser cover mock-up.
And here’s the PDF of a scrappy verse prelude that (sort of) explains the basic frame. I’m hoping putting this stuff up will force my hand and keep me writing. We shall see . . .
A poem I’ve recently written that alludes to an iconic suspension bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York City, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, a major fixture of my early life and travels. Fyi, the town on Long Island where I was born is called Babylon, which accounts for the title. Partly.