Dr. Jacob Riyeff

Jacob Riyeff
Dr. Jacob RiyeffMarquette University

Marquette Hall, 234

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

Teaching Assistant Professor and Academic Integrity Director


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). I have turned my hand increasingly toward additional editing and translation work, with the aim of making relatively arcane texts from the Benedictine world from the early medieval to the modern eras more available to contemporary audiences. This includes an edition and translation of two fourteenth-century Latin treatises for Benedictine novices at Lydgate’s monastery of Bury St. Edmunds, the first translation of the collected French poems of the Benedictine monk Swami Abhishiktananda, a translation and commentary on "The Old English Advent Lyrics," an edition of the poems and shorter prose of Dame Gertrude More (with another project editing her longer prose meditations), and a book-length collection of Benedictine prayers from over a thousand years.

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, media ecology, and our relationships as natural creatures with the earth and other species.

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

  • Honors First Year Seminar: Claiming Our Attention

  • Honors First Year Seminar: Humans and Other Natural Phenomena

  • Epic

  • Critical Practices and Processes in Literary Studies

  • Foundations in Rhetoric

Research Interests

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


  • The Saint Benedict Prayer Book. Edited by Jacob Riyeff. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2021.
  • O Shining Light: Old English Meditations for Advent and Christmastide. Leominster, Herefordshire: Gracewing: 2021.
  • "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

Spring 2023

  • Mon 1:00-2:00
  • Wed 10:00-12:00

Teaching Schedule

Spring 2023

  • 1929/102 TuTh 11:00-11:50 Marquette Hall 200
    • Methods of Inquiry
  • 3000/101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 O'Brien Hall 226B
    • Introduction to 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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