Beowulf — my precious….

Look, I know you’ll get it. Yes, you. You’ll get it because you wrote Beowulf fan-fic too (about Wiglaf and also Scyld Scefing), and you translated Beowulf in college, and you have written about how the Old English poem The Wanderer and the folksong Wayfaring Stranger are doing the same things, just one thousand years apart. So yeah, you get it. When a new translation of Beowulf comes out, you read it with great relish Read more…

Untitled Novel Experiment

In 1984, I had just graduated with my BA in English from Marist College (Go Red Foxes!). I was ill-equipped for setting out in the world, to say the least. A shy, plain English major, who didn’t want to be a teacher (at the time, whenever someone asked me my major, the follow up question was, “Oh, so you want to be a teacher?”), who didn’t know what she wanted, I entered the world with Read more…

Long-lost treasures, found once more

They don’t look like much, these notebooks and that battered white book. But they hold treasures. The notebooks hold an early novel draft. The white book contains poetry written when I was 10 or 11, and then up to my early twenties. The purple notebook, with the hand-written pages — that, my friends, is the record of my daughter’s birth, recorded by the attending midwife. And then there are the Breyers, long-cherished models that I Read more…