The Grinnell Beowulf is a translation and teaching edition of the Old English poem. Six students at Grinnell College—Eva Dawson, Emily Johnson, Jeanette Miller, Logan Shearer, Aniela Wendt, and Kate Whitman, all ’14—worked with Tim Arner, Associate Professor of English, to translate Beowulf into readable and poetic modern English. What started as a Mentored Advanced Project became an extended collaboration that resulted in the production of an edition designed for both first-time readers and advanced students. The Grinnell Beowulf includes over 165 annotations that accompany the text, as well as introductions to the poem and the translation process.
Beowulf is the most celebrated poem of the Anglo-Saxon era. It tells the story of a mighty warrior who defends his friends and homeland from lethal threats both human and monstrous. Beowulf’s battles with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and an angry dragon are interwoven with scenes of feasts and feuds that provide a view of Scandinavian cultural practices and historical traditions. Though the poem had been absent from the English literary tradition for centuries, Beowulf has become a canonical text in high school and college English courses, thanks in part to J.R.R. Tolkien’s study of the poem and his use of it as a source for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy
You can order a print copy of The Grinnell Beowulf from Amazon. All profits from sales of the edition will be used to support faculty/student research at Grinnell College.
The Grinnell Beowulf in Digital Grinnell — a digital edition of the text that can be downloaded as a .pdf for free. This edition is part of Digital Grinnell, a repository for student work and information about Grinnell College.
The Grinnell Beowulf audiobook: you can download the seven translators reading the poem here.
The Grinnell Beowulf team hard at work, July 2012