Mary Jo Bang with Eileen Myles - Purgatorio

Wednesday, July 14, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books and Saint Louis Poetry Center welcome St. Louis' Award-winning poet and professor
Mary Jo Bang,
who will discuss her new translation of Dante's 
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on July 14th.
Bang will be in conversation with acclaimed poet and writer
Eileen Myles.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a SIGNED copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About Purgatorio

The second installment in Mary Jo Bang's exhilarating, innovative translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy

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.

In her signature lyric style, accompanied by her wise and exuberant notes, Bang has produced a stunning translation of this fourteenth-century text, rich with references that span time, languages, and cultures. The contemporary allusions echo the audacious character of the original, and slyly insist that whatever was true in Dante's era is still true. Usain Bolt, Tootsie Fruit Chews, the MGM logo, Leo the Lion, Amy Winehouse, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, and Gertrude Stein are among those who make cameo appearances as Bang, with eloquence and daring, shepherds The Divine Comedy into the twenty-first century.

"After Mary Jo Bang's brilliant time-traveling Inferno, I couldn't wait for her Purgatorio, which turns out to be every bit as meaty, luscious, erudite, straight-talking, and joyful as I had hoped. Bang has an uncanny sense of how to slip inside and between Dante's lines, guiding us along his most perilous paths."--Susan Bernofsky

"'Luminous, empathetic, and inventively reverent, this thrilling sequel to Bang's Inferno maps a passage between hell and heaven for our purgatorial historical moment. . . . Above all, this ingenious and artful translation reminds us that Dante's Purgatorio, like the divine comedy in which we are all extras, is a poem about love." --Srikanth Reddy


About our Speakers

Mary Jo Bang: has published eight poetry collections, including A Doll for Throwing and Elegy, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and new translations of Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio. She teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis.

Eileen Myles (they/them) came to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet, subsequently novelist, public talker and art journalist. A Sagittarius, their 22 books include For Now, evolution, Afterglow, I Must Be Living Twice/new & selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. In 2019 they wrote and directed an 18-minute super 8 film, The Trip, a puppet road film. See it on youtube. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim, a Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, 4 Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize, and a poetry award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2016, they received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. In 2019 Myles received a poetry award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. In 2020 they got the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. They live in New York and Marfa, TX.


All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - 7:00pm
Virtual Event
Purgatorio Cover Image
By Mary Jo Bang (Translated by), Dante Alighieri
ISBN: 9781644450574
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Graywolf Press - July 13th, 2021

Inferno Cover Image
By Dante Alighieri, Mary Jo Bang (Translated by), Henrik Drescher (Illustrator)
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781555976545
Availability: Special Order
Published: Graywolf Press - September 3rd, 2013

For Now (Why I Write) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300244649
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Yale University Press - September 22nd, 2020

Chelsea Girls: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062394668
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Ecco - September 29th, 2015

Inferno: A Poet's Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781944869106
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: OR Books - September 13th, 2016

A Doll for Throwing: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977818
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Graywolf Press - August 15th, 2017

The Last Two Seconds: Poems Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781555977047
Availability: Special Order
Published: Graywolf Press - March 3rd, 2015