The University of Michigan and The American University of Rome announce:

Inter Versiculos in Sicilia:

A Week-long Workshop in Latin Verse Composition
Led by Dr. David Money of The University of Cambridge

About David Money

Dr. David Money teaches Neo-Latin literature for the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge, and is a fellow of the Academia Latinitati Fovendae. He was an undergraduate at St John’s College, Oxford (1984-88); a postgraduate student at Magdalene College, Cambridge (1988-92); and has held fellowships at Magdalene, Darwin, and Wolfson Colleges in Cambridge. He has been Visiting Professor in Neo-Latin at K. U. Leuven, Belgium. He is active as a Latin poet, and seeks to teach and encourage others in the art of versification, both in Britain and internationally, with initiatives such as the ‘Inter Versiculos’ summer workshop (University of Michigan, 2011). His own original Latin poetry has been published in various collaborative volumes, and in journals such as Classical Outlook (2012) and the online Vates. He has also published widely on Neo-Latin topics, especially on British verse of the 16th to 18th centuries, as in his monograph The English Horace: Anthony Alsop and the Tradition of British Latin Verse (Oxford: British Academy, 1998); he has been a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Neo-Latin World (2014), and the Oxford Handbook of Neo-Latin (2015); other recent publications include the translation of Latin and Greek in James Ussher’s correspondence (ed. E. Boran, 3 vols: Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission, 2015); Fashioning the Elusive Self: Autobiography in China and the West (with Y. Wang: Cambridge: Bringfield’s Head Press, 2015); and articles including ‘Latin for Mrs Jones’, in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Intercultural Inquiry (2015). A key aim throughout his work has been to stress the accessibility of much Latin verse, when sympathetically explained, and the possibility of engaging fully with verse composition in our own age, both for fun and for its academic advantages.


From Virgil and Ovid to Erasmus, Milton, and Arnold – the practice of Latin verse composition has stretched across the ages and has – in the most hearty periods of classical study – occupied a vigorous, if limited, place in the pedagogy of schools and universities. But those times and practices have all but disappeared.

The Inter Versiculos workshop ameliorates this loss by connecting contemporary Latinists to this venerable tradition in a week-long semi-immersion workshop under the guidance of an internationally recognized writer of Latin verse.

As with many art forms, the best way to understand how it is done is to attempt to do it oneself. The shift in perspective – from reader to writer (from consumer to producer) of Latin poetry – activates new and charged awarenesses. Vistas of understanding unfold: why did a poet (oneself!) choose a particular word for this or that purpose, why and how did a poet (again oneself!) deploy this or that particular word order to this or that delightful effect? Why Hexameter rather than Elegiac Couplet? Why Sapphic rather then Alcaic Strophe? While thoughtful and observant scholars may gain such insights without themselves composing verse, upon those engaged in the actual challenges of Latin verse composition such insights press hard and fast, forever enriching readerly sensitivities. The practice of Latin verse composition holds tangible benefit for Latin students at all levels of study.

Gross utility aside however, for those so inclined, the primary justification of Latin verse composition is the sheer enjoyment derived therefrom; for to unite one's own efforts to a stream of delight enjoyed by countless others (both amateur and dedicated, from ancient times to present) is to begin again one’s Latin life – new and transformed.


Participants will walk away with a broad array of linguistic and critical skills that –

  • enable students and scholars to read and think like a working poet
  • heighten sensitivity to the difference between poetic and non-poetic diction
  • implant second nature awareness of metrical form as essential – rather than ancillary – to Latin poetry
  • enhance participants’ powers of self-expression in Latin – compositione recitationeque
  • build community among poets working in Latin and other languages
  • uncover points of contact and divergence between modern and ancient poetics
  • provide entré to opportunities for publishing ones own Latin poetry
  • empower teachers to incorporate verse composition into their teaching


The workshop will be held near Trapani, Sicily (ancient Drepanum) at the baglio Fontana Salsa, an Arab-style farmhouse in the middle of a working olive farm. The baglio specializes in Sicilian gastronomy, featuring dishes made with products grown and gathered from its farm. The facilities are air-conditioned and the grounds provide the remove and contemplative spaces necessary for us to focus on the poetry.

Situated on the extreme western tip of Sicily, the area around Trapani is steeped in history and legend, from Mount Erice, the site of a Temple to Venus Ericina, fabled to have been founded by Aeneas himself, to the Greek temples at Segesta and Selinunte, to the island of Motya, with material remains dating back to the 8th century Phoenicians. As Virgil sings:

Hinc Drepani me portus et inlaetabilis ora
accipit. Hic, pelagi tot tempestatibus actus,
heu genitorem, omnis curae casusque levamen,
amitto Anchisen: hic me, pater optime, fessum
deseris, heu, tantis nequiquam erepte periclis!     (Aeneid III. 707-711)

Eligibility, Cost, Funding

The primary requirement consists in a curiosity about Latin verse composition. Though selection is largely first-come, first-served, the organizers are keen to assemble a dynamic mix of participants.

Participants should have at least an intermediate knowledge of Latin grammar, typically the equivalent of one year of college or two years of high school Latin study.

Continuing Education Unit credits are available for K-12 teachers.

Cost for the workshop: $1600

This amount includes:

  • instruction and classroom materials
  • 7 nights accommodation and full board at Fontana Salsa
  • field trips (e.g. to Motya, Mount Erice, Segesta, Selinunte)
  • transportation between the Palermo airport and Fontana Salsa


We are working to secure funds for subsidizing individuals who are unable to afford the full cost of the workshop, however we ask that would-be participants pursue financial support for which they may be eligible. Student participants are encouraged to seek funding from their home colleges and universities. K-12 teachers may find grants available through their local Classical Associations. The Society for Classical Studies offers the David D. and Rosemary H. Coffin Fellowship for Travel in Classical Lands. This fellowship is expressly intended for teachers of Latin and Greek at the secondary level. The American Classical League, too, offers several scholarships that may be used for summer study programs abroad.


Deadline for Application is January 29, 2016. Please note, however, that admission will be primarily on a first-come, first-served basis, so once we have a full and sufficiently varied class, admission will be closed. You are encouraged to apply ASAP.

Please follow this link to the application.