This volume builds on recent scholarship on contemporary poetry in relation to medieval literature, focusing on postmodern poets who work with the medieval in a variety of ways. Such recent projects invert or “queer” the usual transactional nature of engagements with older forms of literature, in which readers are asked to exchange some small measure of bewilderment at archaic language or forms for a sense of having experienced a medieval text. The poets under consideration in this volume demand that readers grapple with the ways in which we are still “medieval” – in other words, the ways in which the questions posed by their medieval source material still reverberate and hold relevance for today’s world. They do so by challenging the primacy of present over past, toppling the categories of old and new, and suggesting new interpretive frameworks for contemporary and medieval poetry alike.
Will Rogers and Christopher Michael Roman
This collection of essays asks contributors to take the capaciousness of the word "queer" to heart in order to think about what medieval queers would have looked like and how they may have existed on the margins and borders of dominant, normative sexuality and desire. The contributors work with recent trends in queer medieval studies, blending together modern concepts of sexuality and desire with the queer configurations of eroticism, desire, and materiality as they might have existed for medieval audiences.