If a literary movement arises but no one notices, is it still a movement? In Speculative Poetry and the Modern Alliterative Revival: A Critical Anthology, editor Dennis Wilson Wise argues that the answer is “yes.” Over the last ten decades, poets working in fantasy, science fiction, and horror have collectively brought forth a revival in alliterative poetics akin to what once happened in the mid-fourteenth century. Altogether, this anthology collects for the first time over fifty speculative poets—several of whom previously unpublished—from across North America and Europe. Alongside such established names as C. S. Lewis, Patrick Rothfuss, Edwin Morgan, Poul Anderson, Jo Walton, P. K. Page, and W. H. Auden, this anthology also includes representative texts from cultural movements such as contemporary neo-Paganism and the Society for Creative Anachronism. A lengthy critical introduction by the editor—written accessibly for a general audience—explains and contextualizes the Modern Revival for critics and readers alike, and extensive footnotes offer aids to anyone new to medieval history or Norse mythology. Overall, this indispensable anthology—the first major academic book to focus on speculative poetry—establishes where the medieval meets the modern in the hitherto unrecognized Alliterative Revival.
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