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Laura Varnam on Beowulf

On 26 October, Univ’s Lecturer in Old and Middle English Literature Dr Laura Varnam appeared on the award-winning literary podcast Backlisted to discuss the Old English epic Beowulf.

Laura made her Backlisted debut in October 2019 discussing Daphne du Maurier’s short story collection The Breaking Point and she returned again for this year’s Halloween episode, joining hosts John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, and special guest Andrew Male. The discussion explored the original poem through the lens of translation and adaptation, including versions by Seamus Heaney, JRR Tolkien, Michael Morpurgo, Edwin Morgan, and Maria Dahvana Headley. Writers, artists, and film-makers continue to be inspired by Beowulf and the podcast also featured creative re-imaginings such as John Gardner’s novel Grendel, the 2007 computer-animated film starring Ray Winstone, and finally concluding with a reading from Laura’s own collection of poetry inspired by the women of Beowulf.

You can listen to the podcast and follow links for clips and suggested reading on the Backlisted website.

Published: 10 November 2020

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