Editors: David Hadbawnik & Sean Reynolds
Part I: 48 pages, softcover, saddle-stitch binding
Part II: 46 pages, softcover, saddle-stitch binding
The poet Jack Spicer, a serious medieval scholar who trained at University of California, Berkeley in the late 1940s, undertook a largely complete translation of Beowulf. It was never before published and only recently discovered in his papers. The translation pursues questions of language and explores the famous "gaps and fissures" in the text, as well as its tendency to challenge notions of coherent authorship via multiple digressions and a seemingly uneasy balance between the lyric, the elegiac, and the epic, in ways that would haunt and inspire Spicer through his poetic career. In these two volumes, editors David Hadbawnik and Sean Reynolds present the fully annotated translation for the first time.
JACK SPICER (1925-1965) was born in Los Angeles into a Calvinist home
with Midwestern parents. While attending University of California,
Berkeley in 1946 he met fellow students and poets Robert Duncan and
Robin Blaser with whom he would form the “Berkeley Renaissance.” Though
he was a leading figure within the San Francisco poetry scene in 50s and
early 60s, Spicer’s restriction of the circulation of his work
guaranteed that he would remain a largely obscure poet up until his
death at the age of 40.
- Jack Spicer Papers, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA