The Academy of American Poets has selected Mary Jo Bang’s translation of Dante’s Inferno as one of the Notable Books of 2012.
Bang is a professor of English in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
Bang’s Inferno: A New Translation (Graywolf Press, 2012) was one of only 12 books that made the Academy of American Poets notable list for 2012.
To see the complete list of honored books, click here.
The American Library Association (ALA) also recently selected Inferno: A New Translation as one of only two books of poetry to make its Notable Books for Adults 2013 list.
To see the complete list of ALA-honored books, click here.
In a Publishers Weekly review, Bang’s translation of the Inferno is referred to as “an epic both fresh and historical, scholarly and irreverent.”
“Where Dante looked to the politics and culture of his contemporary Italy for allusions to illustrate his sense of faith and morality, Bang mines American pop and high culture,” according to the PW review.
“Yes, traditionalists and scholars may shriek upon seeing Eric Cartman (of South Park fame), sculptures by Rodin, John Wayne Gacy, and many others make anachronistic cameos in Bang’s version of Hell, but this is still very much Dante’s underworld, updated so it pops on today’s page,” the PW review continued.
Bang is the author of six books of poetry, including Apology for Want (1997), which received the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize; Louise in Love (2001), which won the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award and an Academy of American Poets Poetry Book Club selection; Elegy (2007), which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award; and The Bride of E (2009).
To read more about Bang’s Inferno, see “Three Questions for Mary Jo Bang” in the February 2013 online Washington University Magazine.