WHAT: The 49th annual Beowulf Marathon at the University of California, Berkeley, a poetic rite of spring for the early medieval set.
Alliterative souls interested in the medieval period, dead languages and great poetry will take turns reading aloud the 3,182-line Old English epic poem about a warrior named Beowulf, a man-like monster named Grendel, and a dragon.
WHEN: 4 p.m. Friday, May 4, until approximately 9:30 p.m.
WHERE: The English faculty lounge, 330 Wheeler Hall, just northeast of Sather Gate.
BACKGROUND: The marathon is being sponsored jointly by the Graduate Medievalists at Berkeley, UC Berkeley's English department and UC Berkeley's program in medieval studies.
On-the-spot instruction will be available in Old English pronunciation.
Novices are welcome, and attendance is strictly drop-in. The event also encourages attendees to "BYOB" - Bring Your Own Beowulf. Any edition of the poem in Old English will do.
Patrick Schwieterman, an organizer and long-time participant, warns that friends will ask, "You spent five hours doing what?"