Update: PhD, Projects, and a Patreon!

This blog has been pretty quiet as of late, and much of that had to do with the finishing up of my PhD and returning to the ‘States afterwards. Yes, my PhD is really finished, the defense was on October 22, 2021, and I’m now Dr. Westcoat! (I’m still not sure if it’s sunk in yet that I’m really finished.) After that, I enjoyed three weeks with my friends in Iceland, ending with a great metal music festival: Ascension. Then I flew back to Pennsylvania for a nice, solid break from Iceland. Yes, I really needed the break. I’m sure I’ll return to Iceland at some point, although when and whether it’s to live there again or just visit, remains to be seen.

Today is the 70th day of my life-after-PhD in Pennsylvania—yes, I’ve been counting up the days since my flight landed at PIT. As the days go by, they bring new wisdom and clarity to my life. I’ve had the opportunity to do some writing, both academic and non-academic, generally free from constraints or pressures, and I’ve given some thought to my upcoming publishing projects. Here’s a selection of what’s in the works, in poetry, esoteric prose, and academic scholarship, in no particular order:

  • My poetry will be appearing in another anthology soon! My fellow contributors in the heathen, occult, and runic scenes in this forthcoming volume are a truly august company to be printed with, and I’m excited and honored to be included in this collection. As to what exactly it is, I will leave that a surprise for the moment, since the publisher does not yet seem to have made any public announcement of it that I can see anywhere.
  • An academic article on the Old Norwegian Rune Poem: I’m told this is in the editing stage, and it should be published this year.
  • An academic article on the runes: this is drafted, and it’s in the pre-submission review and revising phase. It won’t be the final word on its particular runic topic (no final word is possible on this topic), but I think it will be a rather unusual one.
  • Unnamed poetry collection: This would be a small book of poems in the style of those appearing on this blog since the beginning of 2017, which are characterized by being more personal and in the Old English style of continuous verse, line after line, without stanza breaks. There’s quite a few of them I have not posted here. I think I have nearly enough poems for the book. Maybe it will come out later this year?
  • Unnamed esoteric prose collection: It’s been another long-term plan of mine to write essays on various esoteric or occult topics, and collect them into a book. Now, what do I mean by that? If you have my book Eagle’s Mead, you already have two of them: the essays “The Good of Galdralag” and “Runes for the Grails.” This has quite a ways to go before it’s ready as a book, and certainly needs at least several more essays than I have for it at the moment.
  • The publication of my PhD dissertation on the kraftaskalds. This is still in the early stages, and I don’t have a publisher yet. If you are an academic publisher who’s interested in it, or can recommend me a publisher, please do let me know. Academic publishing runs rather slow, so this certainly isn’t going to be out by the end of 2022.
  • “Book 3”: Not literally to be my third published book, but rather the third grand gesture in the trilogy that started with Viking Poetry for Heathen Rites and Eagle’s Mead. Still a very long way off, as in definitely not during 2022. A number of you out there have probably wondered when I’d publish something about how to write alliterative poetry in modern English. That indeed will be in this book, but there will be much more to this book than that.

Interested in previews of most of the above, long before they get into print, as well as other exclusive content that will never appear on this blog? How about how-to’s on alliterative poetry? Looking for a way to support me to make sure that more of my writing gets into print?

Join my upcoming Patreon! Yes, that’s right, I’m finally making a Patreon. It’s still in the early development stages, so it’ll be at least a number of weeks before I lunch it—gotta have a solid plan for it first. The bane and boon of having such a platform is the necessity of regular content for one’s patrons, and making it sustainable. And finally, I think I can do that. Keep your eyes on this blog (and my other social media presences), as there will be plenty of announcements for it as it gets closer. The exact and elected launch date for it has yet to be determined, but will probably be in early March.


The Skald as Scholar

In addition to writing poetry in modern versions of the traditional Old Norse and Old English meters, I also study those meters from a scholarly perspective. This week, I’m going to the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, where I’ll be presenting a paper on the uses of the galdralag meter in the Old Norse poetic corpus. It is a condensed version of a longer paper that takes a broader look at historical galdralag. In the future, I may post the shorter paper here or on my academia.edu page, and I intended to seek publication for the longer, more comprehensive paper.

As a brief taste, here are the two introductory paragraphs of the shorter paper.

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