Epic Poem: "The Real Game of Thrones"

William Carpenter
February 20, 2021

That's what poet Frederick Turner called the new epic poem Eþandun, written by William G. Carpenter and just published by Beaver’s Pond Press with illustrations by Miko Simmons.  

Thanks to Netflix, King Alfred of Wessex is once again a household name.  In the winter of 878 AD, Jarl Gormr’s pagan Danes drive Alfred into the flooded Somerset levels.  By endurance, faith, and cunning, Alfred struggles for the survival of his people, as Gormr struggles to establish his warband as permanent settlers. 

Carpenter is a Minneapolis writer with a long-time interest in epic poetry.  Eþandun is cast in the familiar blank verse format so that the nuggets of Dark Age history will go down easily in bite-sized lines.  “Alfred was an educator,” Carpenter says.  “He promoted the translation of classic texts of the era from Latin into English.  But before he could educate, he had to succeed as a soldier.” 

Simmons is an internationally recognized set designer based in St. Paul who specializes in computerized sets for opera and musicals.  These often involve historical elements.  A graduate of Hamline University in art and physics, he is also a painter.  His show “Just Us, Awakening Liberatory Consciousness” opened in October 2020 at the Modus Locus Gallery in Minneapolis and will run through February 2021.  

Eþandun:  Epic Poem is a hardbound volume 6” x 9” in size with full-page color illustrations.  It is available at Magers & Quinn, Nokomis Beach Gallery, Doodlebird Designs, Twisted Groove, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral Bookstore in Minneapolis; from Next Chapter Books in St. Paul; and from www.williamgcarpenter.com and Amazon.