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Paul Acker, Ph.D.



B.A. Tufts University, 1974
M.A. Brown University, 1976
Ph.D. Brown University, 1983

Research Interests

Old and Middle English Literature; Old Norse Literature; Creative Writing; Film

Among his research interests, he particularly enjoys studying medieval manuscripts at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York and the Bodleian Library in Oxford; investigating the nature of dragons in medieval art and literature; and examining the representation of medieval subjects in Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian art.

Publications and Media Placements


Revisiting the Poetic Edda: Essay on Old Norse Heroic Legend, ed. with C. Larrington (New York: Routledge, 2013)

The Poetic Edda: Essays on Old Norse Mythology, ed. with C. Larrington (New York: Routledge, 2002)

Revising Oral Theory: Formulaic Composition in Old English and Old Icelandic Verse (New York: Garland, l998)


The Saga of the People of Floi
 and Valla-Ljot's Saga in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders, Including 49 Tales (Reykjavik: Leifur Eiriksson, l997) 3:271-304 and 4:131-147


"Love and Death in the Icelandic Ballad," in New Directions in Medieval Scandinavian Studies, ed. Martin Chase (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014), 150-61

"The Morris and Co. Windows for Vinland Estate, Newport," William Morris Society Newsletter (July 2014), 10-13

"Beowulf at the Movies," in Teaching Beowulf in the Twenty-First Century,ed. Allen Frantzen et al. (Tempe: Arizona State UP, 2014), 39-44

"Basilisk"; "Dragon"; "Grendel and Grendel's Mother"; in The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters, ed. Jeffrey Weinstock (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2014): 29-31, 183-89, 303-05

"Pseudo-Hildegard's Anti-Mendicant Prophecy in Columbia University, Plimpton Add. MS 3," Journal of the Early English Book Society 16 (2013): 261-68

"Elizabeth Siddal's Jewelry Box for Jane Morris," William Morris Society Newsletter (Jan. 2013): 5-6

"Dragons in the Eddas and in Early Nordic Art," in Revisiting the Poetic Edda: Essay on Old Norse Heroic Legend, ed. P. Acker and C. Larrington (New York: Routledge, 2013): 53-75

"Death by Dragons," Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 8 (2012 [2013]): 1-21

"Leif Eriksson (ca. 975-1020)," in Icons of the Middle Ages: Rulers, Writers, Rebels, and Saints, ed. Lister M. Matheson (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO/Greenwood, 2011), 1.289-322

"The Middle English Cooking Recipes in New York Public Library Whitney MS 1," Journal of the Early Book Society 14 (2011): 217-32

"Scientific and Medical Writing," The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, 1: To 1550, ed. Roger Ellis (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008): 407-20

"Introduction to Skjöldunga saga," ANQ 20.3 (2007): 3-9

"The Dragon Episode in Morkinskinna," ANQ 20.3 (2007): 65-68

"Horror and the Maternal in Beowulf,"PMLA 121 (2006): 702-716

"A Middle English Prognostication by Winds in Columbia University, Plimpton MS 260," Journal of the Early Book Society 8 (2005): 261-267

"Three Tables of Contents, One Old English Homiliary in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 178," Old English Literature in its Manuscript Context, ed. Joyce Lionarons (Morgantown: W. Virginia UP, 2004): 121-37

"A Schoolchild's Primer (Plimpton MS 258)," Medieval Literature for Children, ed. D. Kline (New York: Routledge, 2003): 143-54

"Texts from the Margin: Lydgate, Recipes, and Glosses in Bühler MS 21,"
The Chaucer Review 37 (2002): 59-85
also online:

"Dwarf Lore in Alvíssmál," in The Poetic Edda: Essays on Old Norse Mythology, ed. P. Acker & C. Larrington (New York: Routledge, 2002): 213-227

"Edda 2002," in The Poetic Edda, xi-xviii

"The Bird and Animal Captions in the Pepysian Sketchbook,"
English Language Notes 38 (2000): 1-7

"An Unedited Middle English Religious Lyric (IMEVS 250.3) in Plimpton MS Add. 2" Notes and Queries n. s. 46.1 (March l999):12

"The Emergence of an Arithmetical Mentality in Middle English Literature." The Chaucer Review 28 (1994): 293-302

"The Book of Palmistry." In Popular and Practical Science of Medieval England, ed. Lister M. Matheson (East Lansing: Colleagues Press, 1994), pp. 141-183

"Norse Sagas Translated into English: A Supplement." Scandinavian Studies 65 (1993): 66-102

"The Craft of Nombrynge in Columbia University, Plimpton MS 259." Manuscripta 37 (1993): 71-83

"An Anglo-Norman--Middle English Glossary of Tree and Bird Names." Medium Aevum 62 (1993): 285-288

"Alvissmal" and "Valla-Ljots saga." In Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia (New York: Garland, 1993), pp. 11-12 & 687

"Saint Mildred in the South English Legendary." In The South English Legendary: A Critical Assessment, ed. Klaus P. Jankofsky (Tübingen: Francke Verlag, 1992), pp. 140-153

"The Old English Rune Poem and Formulaic Theory." Language and Style 22 (1989 [1992]): 149-165

Middle English Dictionary (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1952) S.16 (1991): 956-1010; S.18 (1992): 1241-1267; T.1 (1993): 111-126; T.2 (1993): 127-129, 214-219

"The Arthur S. Napier Collection." Old English Newsletter 24 (1991): 19-20

"Valla-Ljots saga, translated with an introduction and notes." Comparative Criticism 10 (1988): 207-37

"Harvard MS Eng 1032: Exemplary Verse Concerning Charlemagne and Theobald." Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 87 (1986): 354-64

"The Going-Out of the Soul in Blickling Homily IV." English Language Notes 23.4 (1986): 1-3

"The Missing Conclusion of The Book of Physiognomy." Medium Aevum 54 (1985): 266-70

"'Wades boot' (Chaucer's MerchT E 142): A Different Tack." American Notes & Queries 21.1 (1983): 24

"Layamon." In Critical Survey of Poetry: English Language Series (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, 1982) 4: 1688-94

"Conventions for Dialogue in Peter Brook's King Lear." Literature/Film Quarterly 8 (1980): 219-24


"Postcard of New England Lobsters," Boulevard 16 (2000): 71

"Icelandic Love Song." Puerto del Sol 26.1 (1991): 166

"Rustic Furniture." In An Anniversary Collection 1984-1988 (Pawtucket: The Poet's Press, 1988), p. 39

"Pictograph Vs." The Newport Review 3.1 (1986-87): 48

"Skating in the Rooms of a Half-Built House." The Pennsylvania Review 1.2 (1985): 47

"Towards the Painter's Poem." Bennington Review 8 (1980): 52

"The Lone Assumption of the Pale Young Man." Graham House Review 5 (1980): 43

"Near Sestina of Satie and the Sea Cucumber." Chelsea 38 (1979): 174-75

"Excerpt from a Skaldic Correspondence." The Barat Review 7.2 (1979): 98

"In Memoriam." In Pourboire 16: Peter Kaplan's Book, ed. Jaimy Gordon and Ray Ragosta (Providence: Pourboire/Burning Deck, 1978), p. 35

"One Thing." Hellcoal Annual 4 (1978): 5

"The Miniaturist," "Contrary to the Practices," "Some Plates Some In Color," "The Back of Your Eye." Anyart Journal 4.1 (1978): 46

"A Nordic History." The Denver Quarterly 12.2 (1977): 344

"Cave Painter." The Hollow Spring Review of Poetry 1.2 (1976): [44]

"I'm Going to Sleep," "Wheel," "Fishermen," from the Spanish of Alfonsina Storni. The Nantucket Review 5 (1975): 1015

Poetry, booklet: A Terse Set (Providence: Windfall, 1976). Co-authors: Paul Corrigan and Marlene Youmans