We wish to invite anyone with an interest in Latin verse to:

‘Inter Versiculos in Sicilia’, a 10-day workshop in Latin verse composition, sponsored by the University of Michigan, and led by David Money (Cambridge).

See our website for full details: https://inter-versiculos.classics.lsa.umich.edu/upcoming-workshop

This site also contains sections on previous workshops (2011, 2016), with poems by participants, advice on composition, etc, which may be of interest.

For applications and expressions of interest, please contact (as soon as you can): Gina Soter soter@umich.edu

Note for spoken-Latin enthusiasts: as long as there are sufficient participants interested, we are proposing to conduct some parts of the workshop in Latin: this will include social interaction (e.g. making a tantum Latine table available at meals) and perhaps some of the teaching; Dr Money has lectured in Latin about verse techniques on other occasions, such as the Lexington conventiculum, and would be willing to do so in more depth here, if it would be welcome. On the other hand, please note that this would be entirely optional, and participants would be able to enjoy the workshop fully in English.

We hope you will consider joining us. And we would also be very grateful if you could pass on the information to students and potentially interested colleagues and friends, and encourage any mentions of the workshop on social media or elsewhere, so that the message can reach a wider range of potential participants in all countries.

We would stress that the workshop is open to anyone at all (with reasonable Latin): no previous verse-writing experience is expected. We have found that most complete beginners can achieve some impressive results within the time of a workshop. It will be accessible to Latinists of varying levels: suitable for undergrads, but also for postgrads, and teachers at schools or universities – all of whom may find their appreciation of verse enriched by the practical approach we take.

Gina Soter writes that ‘the exercise can be unexpectedly compelling, illuminating and useful. As with many art forms, one of the best ways to understand what others have done, is to try to do it yourself.’

Here are a few comments from past participants:

  • Taught by a connoisseur of all the obstacles and traps in Latin poetry writing, we made the first stumbling steps on our newly discovered metrical feet; inspired by Sicilian sun, music, food, and wine, the stumble developed – little by little – into a dance.
  • Even if I do not continue writing poetry, Inter Versiculos has already improved my ability to read and appreciate Latin poetry. . . . my reading feels more natural and it is far easier to appreciate the poem’s meaning.
  • ‘Inter Versiculos’ not only opened my eyes to Latin poetry and its many wonders, but also to the gorgeous universe that is Sicily.
  • I was never more aware of the importance of quantities.
  • Having previously only studied classics in very traditional and rigid European schools, it is good to get away from the cobwebs of Northern scholarship and dash into the burning Sicilian sunshine.
  • I knew it was difficult to write with such confines as the different meters but I never truly understood until I tried it for myself. It was really satisfying to be able to have tangible evidence of my learning throughout the week.
  • Prose was always my thing–or so I thought. Now that I understand the skill involved in writing poetry, I have a completely different love for it.  Before I used to prefer the Caesar portion of the syllabus; now I far prefer the Vergil!
  • The way Latin poetry is conventionally taught, it can feel like trying to solve a puzzle … but the process of learning how to ‘write’ the poetry has augmented my understanding of it a thousand-fold . … This perspective is unique and invaluable; I certainly could have gotten it no other way.
  • I.V. also fostered a unique sort of community, the likes of which I never would have imagined: it brought tenured professors, ancient armchair Latinists, and green undergraduates all down to the same level of expertise.

‘Inter versiculos’ 2018 is now actively seeking anyone curious about Latin poetry. We invite you to join us in Trapani, Sicily, July 5-14, 2018.

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