In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, Dante travels through a hell of his own construction, unscathed, but wiser at the end of his journey.


Inspired by Dante's journey, My Inferno is an imagining of what hell might be like, should I be damned. Having spent my childhood in an extremist church, I have often pondered the existence of hell and have feared for my own damnation.


Using Dante's words as a road map, I am reimaging his Inferno and applying it to my own perceived sins. Using constructed imagery and a toolbox of objects-as-metaphor, I am asking the questions: What would my journey through hell look like? What are the punishments for my sins, especially as a queer, non-binary, purity-culture dropout?


Like Dante, I am determined to escape these ruminations unscathed and wiser. 


This is a WIP, check back periodically for updates.

"Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here"


Dante's Infero, Canto III

"Bellowing there groan'd

A noise as of a sea in tempest torn
By warring winds. The stormy blast of hell
With restless fury drives the spirits on
Whirl'd round and dash'd amain with sore annoy.
When they arrive before the ruinous sweep,
There shrieks are heard, there lamentations, moans,

And blasphemies 'gainst the good Power in heaven."


Dante's Inferno, Canto V

"...For flames betwen the sepulchres were scattered, 

By which they so intensely heated were, 

That iron more so asks not any art.


All of their coverings uplifted were, 

And from them issued forth such dire laments, 

Sooth seemed they of the wretched and tormented.


And I: "My Master, what are all those poeple

Who, having sepulture within those tombs, 

Make themselves audible by doleful sighs" 


And he to me: "Here are the Heresiarchs, 

With their disciples of all sects, and much

More than thou thinkest laden are the tombs.


Here like togheter with its like is buriedl 

And more and less the monuments heated." 

And when he to the right had turned, we passed


Between the torments and high parapets." 


Dante's Inferno, Canto IX



"Now was I, and with in verse and I put it, 

There where the shades  were wholly covered up,

And glimmered through like unto straws in glass...


How frozen I became and powerless then,

Ask it not, Reader, for I write it not,

Because all language would be insufficient.


I did not die, and I alive remained not;

Think for thyself now, hast thou aught of wit,

What I became, being of both deprived."


Dante's Infero, Canto XXXIV

Using Format