Keynote Speech at the Annual Conference of the Australian Early Medieval Society

In April I turned sixty while attending this very lively conference, at which I sold some books and delivered a keynote address.  Belated  photo below.

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The MLS Refectory, series III

The MLS Refectory series continues . . .

Wednesdays 1-2 in Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane.  Schedule at link below.  You bring $10, I bring the poems.

The MLS Refectory 2017 Series Three

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Still Experiencing Techinical Difficulties

Sorry for my long absence!  The version of WordPress that drives this site has stopped uploading images, which has stalled my communications department.  I’m still here, though!  And you can still get in touch via the ‘contact us’ link or directly to my email at

Thanks for your patience!  I shall be posting some new course tidings, albeit imageless, shortly.

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A Malthouse Theatre Gig (sort of)

On 26 April I will be participating in an on-stage panel discussion at the Malthouse Theatre after Felix Nobis’s performance of his adaptation of Beowulf. Details at this Malthouse link.

Beowulf · Malthouse Theatre
. Based on his own translation of the Anglo-Saxon poem, Nobis tells a story of kings, monsters, heroes and dragons in a version that is both faithful to the original and accessible to the modern ear.

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A Blast from the Past

Some time in 1988-1989 at the University of Toronto I did a large piece of palaeographical calligraphy (kind of insular minuscule): the latter half of one of my favorite shorter Old English poems, The Order of the World from The Exeter Book. The poem had figured in a chapter of my dissertation, and I did the piece as a thank you to the Centre for Medieval Studies, which had been a very happy place for me during my years at the University. Nearly thirty years later, the Centre’s director has just got in touch to ask if they can use it as decoration for their program for the American Medieval Association conference they’re hosting this year. Apparently it’s been on display all these years. I am seriously touched. The text comprises ll. 68-102, in case anyone’s curious.

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Not Just for Anglo-Saxons . . .

The opening of Beowulf as it stands in ms Cotton Vitellius A xv

My latest essay for Arena Magazine (no. 146), ‘Beowulf for Today’, has just been published.  If you’d like to hear (among other things) how a sixth-century heroic boast might sound as a Trump tweet, read on . . .Arena 146 Beowulf article

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Bourke Street, 20 January 2017

sunrise-cape-sounionThose of us who were in Ross House for the first session of the course on Homer’s Iliad heard the noise of today’s incident on Swanston and Bourke Streets that has so far claimed four lives.  It’s a small gesture, given the enormity of the incident, but I’m sure I can speak for us all in extending our sorrow and sympathy to those who have suffered.


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First Courses for 2017

We’ll be off and running with

1. CH27-monk-monastery-refectory-lecternThe MLS Refectory starting its weekly run of hourlong lunchtime poetry sessions on Wednesday 18 January, 1-2 pm in Ross House room 2.1.  Room booking details for the whole of 2017 available here:


2. homer-iliad-faglesThe twelve-week course on Homer’s Iliad will begin on Friday 20 January, 1-3pm in Ross House 3.1 (The Jenny Florence Room).  Room book details and course particulars are contained in these two files:




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Going Large in 2017: The Classics

Yup.  All the biggies.  homer-iliad-faglesOver the course of 2017 I plan to offer a series of twelve-week seminars, each of which will take up Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey,fagles-odyssey Virgil’s Aeneid penguin-aeneid-faglesand Ovid’s Metamorphoses. penguin-metamorphoses-david-raeburn-denis-feeney In addition I will try to squeak another twelve-week seminar on Melville’s Moby Dick, a text enormously indebted to those exemplars of the classical tradition. penguin-mobdy-dick Initial details on the PDF below, full scheduling details to be posted as soon as they’re sorted.


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On the Road

kyneton-talk-flyerkyneton-talk-flyerIn November I’ll be giving a talk in the Salon-Salon series at Alice & Co. in Kyneton.  Details on the flyer below.kyneton-talk

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