Follow-up to my Beowulf post

I need to add this! Now I have found out more about the Beowulf excerpt I so admired (see my last post). The translation is from an amazing community effort.

How cool is this?

Ancient words assembled by community tale-tellers long before being written down (and brought to the world’s attention by J.R.R. Tolkien, with unexpected consequences!). . .

Now a community of readers/translators is bringing the words to new audiences eager for the tales.

Illustration 217893701 © Jeffrey Thompson |

Read about it HERE.

Here’s the workbook! Sadly, I don’t know any Anglo-Saxon (aka Old English), but if you do, you can participate.

And HERE you can find the open-access PDF, with a rationale for participating:

“This project was conceived in early 2016 to counter the publications and statements of a small number of Anglo-Saxonists, whose comments and agenda were and are elitist, exclusionary, misogynistic, and anti-feminist. This is a community project, where anyone was invited to contribute translations of ​Beowulf to form a new version of the poem. We represent students, interested members of the public, scholars from all fields, librarians and archivists, long-time medievalists, lapsed medievalists, outraged inclusionists, and joyous fans of Old English.”

From Stanford University’s statement about the Beowulf By All project,

My poem in SWWIM everyday went live on Nov. 28th

I’m so pleased my work is featured on this great poetry web site.

SWWIM is a Miami-based poetry organization. Here’s what the organizers and editors say of themselves: “SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami) was co-founded by Jen Karetnick and Catherine Esposito Prescott. SWWIM publishes, promotes, and celebrates women writers, trans and cis women, nonbinary, intersex, and other gender-expansive communities, with a year-round reading series held at The Betsy-South Beach in Miami Beach, FL and the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.”

Take a look at all the wonderful poetry there! You can sign up to get one a day delivered to your in-box:

Here’s mine, at

Nov 28 Penelope, Exasperated

by Jane Wiseman

I have given you bread and salt.
You salted the furrows, you salted the wound. 
You wound your way across the Adriatic 
ten years to me, while I, at cross-purposes, 
wily, unraveled this loom, turned into your maybe, 
turn and return and turn again. Made me 
bitter. Made me old. You, what may you gain? 
Kill the suitors, hang the maids? What? What? 
You know the secret of our bed? It suits you that 
I wait. No. This time when you’re gone, when 
the weight of you is gone, I step onto the portico, and 
Goddess, I hold up my hands. You, down at the port 
with all your faithful hands. A sail stands in to harbor. 
This time I’m done. No more understanding woman. 
If you come back, know it, I’ll be gone. Don’t think to moor 
in that same cove again.

Great conference for writers!

If you are in the Taos NM area in late July, or if you can travel there, the SOMOS conference is just great. I attended last year online and got a lot out of the experience. The sessions are not just for poets, either. Writers of fiction and other genres will find some rich resources here, and this year, many sessions are live. As last year, online sessions are also offered. Check out the SOMOS information HERE.