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Title: Orcrist
Publisher: Journal of the Tolkien Society of the University of Wisconsin
Editor(s): see below
Date(s): 1966-1977
Medium: print
Fandom: Tolkien
Language: English
External Links:
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Orcrist is a gen Tolkien anthology of fiction, poems, art and articles. For three issues, it was a dual publication with The Tolkien Journal.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Orcrist 1 Editors: Richard C. West and James B. Robinson. 1966-67, 55 pages. Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers. First printing in plain green cover. The 4th printing (1968) has cover illustrations by Laura Haglund: the front cover is called "Niggle -- by Leaf" while the back cover is untitled but depicts three hobbits.

  • "Introduction" (editorial) (pp. i-iii)
  • "Return of the King" (poem) -- Janet Boatner (p. 1)
  • "Tolkien in the Letters of C. S. Lewis" -- Richard C. West (pp. 2-16)
  • "The Wizard and History: Saruman's Vision of a New Order" -- James Robinson (pp. 17-23)
  • "Music To Read Tolkien By: Tunes for Two Poems" -- Deborah Webster (p. 24) [musical settings for "The Elves Welcome the 14 to Rivendell" and "Lay of Beren and Luthien"]
  • "The Interlace and Professor Tolkien: Medieval Narrative Technique in The Lord of the Rings" -- R. C. West (pp. 26-47) [a revised version of this essay was later published in A Tolkien Compass, ed. Jared Lobdell]
  • "The Picnic" (parody) -- Paulette Carroll (p. 50)
  • "An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism" -- Richard West (pp. 51-90)

Issue 2

Orcrist 2 Editors: Richard C. West and James B. Robinson. Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers. The 1st printing has a cover with a drawing of a sword (Orcrist) by Ivor Rogers. The 2nd printing has cover illustrations by Laura Haglund: the front cover shows a two-headed dragon; the back cover shows a Gollum-like creature.

  • "Introduction" (editorial) pp. i-iv
  • "Paean to Editors" (verse: double dactyl) -- Deborah Webster (p. 1)
  • "Errata to Orcrist 1" (pp. 2-3)
  • "The Tolkinians: Some Introductory Reflections on Alan Garner, Carol Kendall, and Lloyd Alexander" -- Richard C. West (pp. 4-15)
  • "Constitution of the University of Wisconsin Tolkien Society" -- The Members (pp. 16-17)
  • "Good Guys, Bad Guys: A Clarification on Tolkien" -- Deborah C. Webster, Jr. (pp. 18-23)
  • "The Tolkien Society Meeting: a no-act play" -- Paulette Carroll (pp. 24-27)
  • "Grendel, Gollum, and the Un-Man: The Death of the Monster as an Archetype" -- Karen Corlett Winter (pp. 28-37)
  • "Sing Along With Tolkien" -- Deborah Webster, Jr. (pp. 38-39) [musical settings for "The Dwarves' Treasure Song" and "The Wind" , both from The Hobbit]
  • "An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism, Supplement One" -- Richard West (pp. 40-54)

Issue 3

cover of issue 3

Orcrist 3 (same as Tolkien Journal v.4 no.1. It was published in Jan 1970 and contains 24 pages. Editor: Richard West, Art Editor: Glen GoodKnight, front cover: "The Hornberg in Helm's Deep" -- Tim Kirk. Dedication: For Deborah Webster: critic, composer, poet: "who has heard the horns of elfland."

  • "Introduction (editorial) pp. 2-4
  • "The Genre of The Lord of the Rings" -- Alexis Levitin (pp. 4-8, 23)
  • "Contemporary Medieval Authors" -- Richard C. West (pp. 9-10, 15) [on J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and T. H. White]
  • "Hobbits: Common Lens for Heroic Experience" -- David M. Miller (pp. 11-15)
  • "Tolkien and Coleridge" -- Clyde S. Kilby (pp. 16-19) [Rime of the Ancient Mariner]
  • "At the Back of the North Wind: George MacDonald: A Centennial Appreciation" -- Glenn E. Sadler (pp. 20-22)
  • "An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism, Supplement Two" -- Richard West (pp. 22-23)


  • George Barr - pp. 4, 7, 9, 10
  • Bonnie Bergstrom - pp. 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 24
  • Steve Fabian - p. 3
  • Tim Kirk - pp. 3, 14, 16
  • Bruce McMenomy - pp. 2, 15, 19
  • Diana Paxson - p. 20
  • Bernie Zuber - pp. 12, 13

Issue 4

Orcist 4 (same as Tolkien Journal v.4 n.3. It was published in 1970. Richard C. West, ed., Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers, front cover: Bilbo and giant spider -- Pete Poplaski, back cover: Nazgul in flight -- Laura Haglund. Dedication: In Memoriam: Francis Christensen: "He was gold that did not rust".

cover of issue #4, Pete Poplaski
  • "Introduction" (editorial) p. 2
  • "Tolkien and Spiders" -- Bob Mesibov (pp. 3-5)
  • "Errata to Orcrist no. 3" -- The Editor (p. 5)
  • "Progress Report on the Variorum Tolkien" -- Richard C. West (pp. 6-7)
  • "A Dose of Double Dactyls" -- Diverse Hands (pp. 8-10) [Royce Buehler, Carleton W. Carroll, Paulette Carroll, Duane Dobry, William F. Orr, Richard C. West]
  • "Letters" from Lloyd Alexander (16 January 1969) and Bonniejean Christensen (3 December 1968)
  • "Power in The Lord of the Rings" -- Alexis Levitin (pp. 11-14)
  • "Report from the West: Exploitation of The Hobbit" -- Bonniejean Christensen (pp. 15-16) [Don and Fred Bluth musical, Down in Middle Earth]
  • "An Ace Mystery: Did Tolkien Write His Own Retraction?" -- Bonniejean Christensen (p. 16)
  • "The Insurrection of the Toolies from Twee" -- Joe Snow (pp. 17-18)
  • "Satire" -- Paulette Carroll (pp. 19-20) [Free University course on fantasy]
  • "A Proposal for a Doctoral Dissertation in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison" -- Deborah Webster Rogers (pp. 21-23) [dissertation on J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis; proposal accepted 19 May 1970]
  • Illustrations by: Laura Haglund, Pete Poplaski, Ivor Rogers and Deborah Webster, Sr.

Issue 5

Orcrist 5 Same as Tolkien Journal v.4 v.4. It was published in 1971. Richard C. West, ed., Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers, front cover: "Mirkwood" -- etching by George D. Asdell, back cover: "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony" -- illustration by Deborah Webster, Sr. Dedication: For Duane and Peggy Jo Dobry: "Shire-folk from the science culture."

cover of issue #5
  • "Errata to Orcrist no. 4" -- The Editor (p. 2)
  • "Introduction" (editorial) (p. 2)
  • "Eschata for Charles Williams" -- Jared Lobdell (p. 3)
  • "The Critics, and Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis: Reviews" -- Richard C. West (pp. 4-9) [reviews of:
  • "William Ready, The Tolkien Relation (Regnery, 1968)
  • "Lin Carter, Tolkien: A Look Behind THE LORD OF THE RINGS (Ballantine, 1969)
  • "Gracia Fay Ellwood, Good News from Tolkien's Middle Earth: Two Essays on the "Applicability" of THE LORD OF THE RINGS (Eerdmans, 1970)
  • "Neil D. Isaacs and Rose A. Zimbardo, eds. Tolkien and the Critics: Essays on J. R. R. Tolkien's THE LORD OF THE RINGS (University of Notre Dame Press, 1969)
  • "Mark R. Hillegas, Shadows of Imagination: The Fantasies of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams (Southern Illinois University Press, 1969)
  • "Catharine R. Stimpson, J. R. R. Tolkien (Columbia University Press, 1969)
  • "Peter Kreeft, C. S. Lewis: A Critical Essay (Eerdmans, 1969)
  • "Nathan Comfort Starr, C. S. Lewis's TILL WE HAVE FACES: Introduction and Commentary (Seabury Press, 1968)
  • "William Luther White, The Image of Man in C. S. Lewis (Abingdon Press, 1969)
  • "Clyde S. Kilby, A Mind Awake: An Anthology of C. S. Lewis (Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1969)
  • "C. S. Lewis, Narrative Poems, ed. Walter Hooper (Geoffrey Bles, 1969)
  • "C. S. Lewis, Selected Literary Essays, ed. Walter Hooper (Cambridge University Press, 1969) ]
  • "The Lay of Beren and Luthien" -- musical setting by Laura Haglund (p. 10)
  • "An Interpretation of Gollum" -- Stephen A. Gottlieb (pp. 11-12)
  • "Moot Point" -- letter from Edward Felipe (5 March 1971) (p. 13)
  • "An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism, Supplement Three" -- Richard C. West (pp. 14-15)
  • Other, untitled illustrations by: Danny Frolich (pp. 7, 11, 13); Laura Haglund (p. 5); Pete Poplaski (pp. 8, 9, 12); Ivor Rogers (p. 4)

Issue 6

Orcrist 6 was published in 1972.

cover of issue #6

Issue 7

cover of issue #7

Orcrist 7 Summer 1973. 32 pages. Contains essays, poems, songs and illustrations. 8.5 x 11 in.

Issue 8

Orcrist 8 was published in 1977.

cover of issue #8