Philip Terry, “Dante’s Inferno” (2014)

KhalvatiCover“Following his irreverent, inspired Oulipean reworking of Shakespeare’s sonnets, in his new book Philip Terry takes on Dante’s Inferno, shifting the action from the 12th to the 20th and 21st centuries, and relocating it to the modern “walled city” of the University of Essex. Dante’s Phlegethon becomes the river Colne; his popes are replaced by vice-chancellors and ministers for education; the warring Guelfs and Ghibellines are reimagined as the sectarians of Belfast, Terry’s home city. Meanwhile, the guiding figure of Virgil takes on new form as Ted Berrigan, one-time Essex writer-in-residence and a poet who had himself imagined the underworld. In reimagining an Inferno for our times, Terry stays paradoxically true to the spirit of Dante’s original text.”  –backcover