What Dante did with Loss by Jan Conn

What Dante Did With Loss is Jan Conn’s fourth book of poems. Central to this powerful new collection is a suite of poems charting the explosive emotions surrounding her mother’s suicide. Other poems range from meditations on South American flora and fauna to postmodern encounters with immortality.

“Jan Conn was brought up in Asbestos, Quebec. She now lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and works as a professor of Biomedical Sciences whose research is focused on mosquitoes, their evolution and ecology. She has published seven previous books of poetry.”    —Véhicule Press, 1998.

You can purchase Conn’s book of poetry through Véhicule Press or through Amazon.

“Wood of Suicides” Cake by Elisabete Caseiro

Wood-Suicides-Cake-Dantes-Inferno-Elisabete-Caseiro“This was the result of a challenge made by the fabulous Kevin Martin a while ago – to create a cake or sugar centerpiece inspired by Dante’s work Divine Commedy.

“This is my first international collaboration and I’m really thrilled to be part of it. Dante’s work was not very familiar to me so It was a great opportunity to learn more about it.

“My creation was inspired by the Wood of Suicides (Dante’s Inferno, Canto XIII, 7th Circle, 2nd Ring – Violence against themselves). The suicides occupy the circle of violence. Since they have ‘denied the God-given sanctity of their bodies on Earth,’ their souls are condemned to grow into anguished and gnarled trees or bush, into the Wood of Suicides. The souls of the Suicides endure further pain and torment due to the harpies (creatures with big wings, the head of a woman, feathered belly and claws on their feet) that inhabit the forest. These harpies nest in the forest, rend the branches of the trees and feast on their leaves, causing immense pain and making them bleed. This is the only time they can speak and express their pain.” — BetySugarland Cake Design by Elisabete Caseiro (Lisbon, Portugal), on cakesdecor.com

“Nel Mezzo”

tumblr_ntp8x5McBh1uwkglro1_500

Nel Mezzo: A Little Trip through Dante’s Inferno
Contributed by Bryce Livingston

What Dreams May Come, 1998

What Dreams May ComeVincent Ward’s 1998 film, What Dreams May Come, starring Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra, explores the after-life. The film’s protagonist, Chris Neilson, finds himself in heaven after death. His wife, Annie, has committed suicide and resides in hell; when Chris sets out to find her, he travels through a representation of the first seven circles of Dante’s Inferno.