Saint Louis University

Adorjan 330

Paul Acker received his Ph.D. in English and his M.A. in Creative Writing from Brown University. 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. He teaches and lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock; writes poetry; and visits out-of-the-way village churches in England. He has been an editor at the Middle English Dictionary and a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He has been the Director of Creative Writing at Saint Louis University, and editor of the journal ANQ (American Notes & Queries).


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


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


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

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