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BYU undergraduate essay wins national Dante Prize

Kyle David Anderson, a Brigham Young University graduate student, recently won the Dante Prize for the top undergraduate essay in the nation about classical Italian writer Dante Alighieri.

Anderson was an undergraduate at BYU when he submitted the essay.

"I felt incredulous," said Anderson about winning the award. "It was nothing that I counted on."

The Dante Society was founded in 1881 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell and Charles Eliot Norton. Dedicated to the furtherance of the study of the works of Dante Alighieri, its headquarters are at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Anderson's essay, a version of his Honor's thesis, is titled "Dante, Love and Virgil's Bees."

In it, he discussed a connection between the Roman poet Virgil and Dante, in which Dante, in "Divine Comedy," uses an image of bees similar to one from a Virgil simile.

Anderson made the connection after studying comparisons between Virgil, St. Augustine and Dante in a comparative literature class at BYU.

Anderson graduated from BYU with a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and a minor in Italian with university honors in August 2003.

For more information, contact Heather Price at (801) 422-1997.

Writer: Thomas Grover

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