Workshop in Latin Verse Composition

The University of Michigan is pleased to announce Inter Versiculos in Sicilia, a ten-day workshop in Latin verse composition to be held in Trapani, Sicily July 5-14, 2018. The workshop will be led by Dr. David Money, of Cambridge University. About Inter Versiculos:; How to Apply:

For this workshop, we seek to assemble an international group of Latinists including undergraduate and graduate students, teachers of Latin at the secondary, collegiate and graduate level, as well as interested amateurs. As the website states: "Open to anyone Latin poetry curious."

Not a poet? Not to worry!


The University of Michigan is pleased to announce a third edition of Inter Versiculos: a ten-day workshop in Latin verse composition.This summer's workshop will take place in Sicily.

Vergil allegedly wrote only ten lines a day (or was it three?); Ovid reports that whenever he opened his mouth, the verses poured out:


     scribere temptabam uerba soluta modis.
sponte sua carmen numeros ueniebat ad aptos,
     et quod temptabam scribere uersus erat.
Ovid, Tristia IV.10.24-26)


I tried to write words free from poetic meter.
Of its own accord, my song arrived in perfect rhythm,
and whatever I tried to write turned out to be poetry. (trans. K. Herndon)


Few of us are likely to become latter day Vergils or Ovids, but the exercise of writing Latin verse 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 some 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
  • The way Latin poetry is conventionally taught it can feel like trying to solve a puzzle and nothing else. Even before IV, I tried to breathe life into the language in any way I could on my own (learning pronunciations, getting a feel for the meter, learning about performance, etc.), but the process of learning how to write the poetry has augmented my understanding of it a thousand-fold
  • Ovid and Vergil, they make it look so easy!
  • 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
  • I had never really considered trying to write Latin poetry before IV and it made me think about the language in an entirely different way
  • Struggling with the mechanics and nuances of Latin verse composition, even in baby steps, has opened my ears to something I never heard before
  • Inter Versiculos not only opened my eyes to Latin poetry and its many wonders but also to the gorgeous universe that is Sicily
  • IV brought tenured professors, ancient armchair Latinists, and green undergraduates all down to the same level of expertise, and this fostered the sort of unique cooperative and mutually supportive environment that characterized IV
  • 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
  • Writing poems gives us new perspective, we are no more with the audience, we are with the authors themselves

Open to anyone Latin poetry curious. We invite you to join us in Trapani, Sicily, July 5-14, 2018.

Here is our flyer.

Please also visit our Facebook page:

For additional information, please contact:

Gina Soter, PhD
Head of Latin Program at the Residential College
and Lecturer IV in the Department of Classical Studies
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI