Dr. Jacob Riyeff

Jacob Riyeff
Dr. Jacob RiyeffMarquette University

Marquette Hall, 234

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-0211Personal Website

Visiting Assistant Professor


I am fascinated by the long view of English literature, approaching antique and medieval literature as the beginning of an enduring (if rocky) trajectory of Anglophone literary endeavor that is culturally, socially, and historically inseparable from the study of later periods.

More specifically, my research focuses on the intersection of religious worldviews and verbal art, with particular attention given to the exegetical and contemplative aspects of monastic culture in Old and Middle English poetry. In this vein, my first book makes available for the first time in Modern English St. Æthelwold of Winchester's tenth-century Old English Rule of St. Benedict (Cistercian Publications, 2017). In addition, my current monograph project isolates and describes what I call the Old English meditative verse prayers, a group of poems that are often overlooked, in order to see how they contribute to a performative process of self-fashioning in their early medieval milieu. As I continue to concentrate my efforts on the exploration of Old English literature, my recent work also includes an essay on Middle English poet John Lydgate, an edition and translation of two fourteenth-century Latin treatises for Benedictine novices at Lydgate’s monastery of Bury St. Edmunds, and the first translation of the collected French poems of the Benedictine monk Swami Abhishiktananda (Resource Publications, 2018).

As a teacher and publishing poet, my interests broaden to include especially the mutual influence of literature and social realities upon one another throughout history, the history of poetics, contemporary poetry, and the visionary and contemplative aspects of literature more generally.

I also head up a medieval English reading group for interested students at Marquette that meets weekly throughout the year (please feel free to email me if you would like more information).

Courses Taught

  • Medieval Literature
  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • Modern Literature
  • Honors First-Year Seminar: Memory and Forgetting

Research Interests

  • Old English Language and Literature
  • Middle English Language and Literature
  • Poetics
  • Monastic Culture


  • "The Necessity of Long-Form Art." deep down things. dappledthings.org.June 9, 2020.
  • More, Dame Gertrude. The Poems and Counsels on Prayer and Contemplation. Edited by Jacob Riyeff. Leominster, Herefrdshire: Gracewing, 2020
  • De modo meditandi vel contemplandi: A Pedagogical Treatise for Novices from Bury St. Edmunds.” Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures 45.2 (2019): 139-82
  • Sunk in Your Shipwreck. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2018. (Poetry collection)

  • Swami Abhishiktananda. In the Bosom of the Father: The Collected Poems of a Benedictine Mystic. Translated by Jacob Riyeff. Resource Publications, 2018.
  • Saint Æthelwold of Winchester. The Old English Rule of St. Benedict: With Related Old English Texts. Translated by Jacob Riyeff. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 2017. Winner of Best Edition or Translation of an Anglo-Latin Text, awarded by the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, 2019.
  • "‘Tenlvmyne’ the Laetabundus: John Lydgate as Benedictine Poet.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology. 115.3 (2016): 370-93.
  • "Dualism in Old English Literature: The Body-and-Soul Theme and Vercelli Homily IV." Studies in Philology 112.3 (2015): 453-68.
  • "Homo Contemplans: The Order of the World, Gregorian Contemplative Anthropology, and Old English Poetics." Viator 46.1 (2015): 1-20.
  • "Lectio Divina and Cynewulf's Epilogues: The Poet in Community." American Benedictine Review 65.3 (2014): 271-90.

Additional Information

Office Hours

Fall 2021

  • M 10:00-12:00
  • W 1:00-2:00
  • Virtual as desired

Teaching Schedule

Fall 2021

  • 1001/136 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Cramer Hall 038
    • Foundations in Rhetoric
  • 1995H/906 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Lalumiere 184
    • Honors First Year Seminar
  • 1995H/904 TuTh 3:30-4:45 Lalumiere 184
    • Honors First Year Seminar
  • 3000/103 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Cramer Hall 038
    • Critical Practices and Processes in Literary Studies

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of English
Marquette Hall, 115
1217 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7179

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