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K-State Today

September 28, 2015



Readers needed for a medieval birthday party celebrating Italian poet Dante

By Anthony Nussmeier

Would you like to read from one of the world's most beautiful works of literature to the K-State community? This year marks the 750th birthday of the great medieval poet Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321.

To celebrate the occasion, the modern languages department and the Italian program at Kansas State University are sponsoring an unprecedented marathon reading of his epic poem "Divine Comedy" from 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 23, to approximately 2 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, in the Coffman Commons, on the south side of Hale library and in front of Eisenhower Hall.

We are looking for faculty, students, staff and community members volunteers to read a canto — or a chapter — of the poem. Each canto — there are 100 — requires no more than 10 minutes to read. Readers are encouraged to choose a favorite canto, and may read the comedy in translation — French, English, Russian et. al— or in the original Italian.

Throughout the reading light refreshments will be provided. If interested in reading, please contact Anthony Nussmeier at aun21@k-state.edu, or sign up to read a canto on the Google Doc. Include your name, your affiliation, contact information and the language in which you will be reading.

The event will begin with a brief introduction by Anthony Nussmeier, professor of Italian, and feature a medieval Italian-inspired printmaking exhibition by Jason Scuilla, associate professor of art, and the K-State Pussycat Press Printmaking Society, as well as a display of various editions and translations of the comedy.

People around the world have been celebrating Dante in 2015, from Pope Francis to the Italian actor Roberto Benigni and even the astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti recently read verses from the canticle "Paradise" while living aboard the International Space Station.

Please join us to read, or to listen, to Dante's masterpiece. Thank you in advance for your collaboration, and we look forward to seeing everyone Oct. 23.