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Photographer: Matt-Valentine

Award-winning poet Mary Jo Bang’s new translation of Purgatorio is the extraordinary continuation of her journey with Dante, which began with her transformative version of Inferno. In Purgatorio, still guided by the Roman poet Virgil, Dante emerges from the horrors of Hell to begin the climb up Mount Purgatory, a seven-terrace mountain with each level devoted to those atoning for one of the seven deadly sins. At the summit, we find the Terrestrial Heaven and Beatrice—who will take over for Virgil, who, as a pagan, can only take Dante so far. During the climb, we are introduced to the myriad ways in which humans destroy the social fabric through pride, envy, and vindictive anger....  >MORE

 Mary Jo Bang’s translation of Dante’s  Inferno brought back (or brought up-to-date) the fun of that classic, the biting playfulness of it, but without sacrificing the poetry. I’m really excited for her Purgatorio, coming in July, which feels to me—perhaps oddly, but I make no apologies—like the perfect post-pandemic beach read.

CJ Evans, Editorial Director, Center for the Art of Translation