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Long Course: Learning from Love Poetry



Lucy Van




The Ancient Greek love poets had an epithet for Eros – limb-loosener – describing a force so powerful it dissolves the joints and disjoins the body. In this course, you will turn to and loosen three stages of love poetry in the Western tradition, developing your own writing in the process.
A photo of Lucy Van.


Three full-day courses:

Sundays 21 April, 5 May, 19 May, 10am – 4pm 

The Time of Love and the Geometry of Pleasure: Ancient Greek lyric hurled its audience out of the distant past and into the here and now. This session takes cues from Sappho, examining bittersweet time, romantic rivals, love triangles and the lover’s mind. 

The Desultor Amoris and the Desire for Discourse: This session introduces the loveworn, cynical and insincere protagonist of late Roman elegy, Ovid’s Naso. What does love, and Cupid particularly, have to do with Rome and power? What is writing to the lover? What if writing was not a substitute for sex, but a form of sex?

Love Poetry Today: What resemblance does contemporary love poetry bear to those original bursts of classical love poetry? Who is the lover today, and what do they do in the love-poetry connection? This session allows you to examine ways that other contemporary poets write into this tradition, developing your ability to engage across time as a writer. 

You Will Learn:

  • Ways into depicting subjective temporality and triangular circuits of desire
  • Ways into voicing love-worn cynicism
  • What paraclausithyron is, and how to engage with it
  • Legacies of classical poetry and deviations from this legacy
  • New possibilities afforded by love poetry
  • Ways into voicing domestic intimacy
  • Ways into voicing non-erotic love

About the Tutor:

Lucy Van is an Australian poet and researcher. She is a recipient of the Melbourne Research Fellowship (University of Melbourne, 2018) and the Overland Malcolm Robertson Foundation Residency (2019). Her poetry collection, The Open (Cordite, 2021), was longlisted for the Stella Prize, shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Award, and highly commended by the Anne Elder Award. She teaches poetry at the University of Melbourne.

Covid-19 restrictions:

You can find details of how Covid-19 restrictions will affect the workshop here: https://writersvictoria.org.au/about-us/covid-19-information/. You are encouraged to wear a mask in the workshop space. The Wheeler Centre’s policy is that close contacts should not attend the building. If you are a close contact of somebody with Covid-19, or have Covid-19 symptoms yourself, please do not attend; please contact [email protected] to arrange a refund in this situation.

Not a Member?

Members of Writers Victoria receive up to 37% off the full price of our workshops, seminars and courses. In addition, members have access to a range of other discounts and opportunities and receive a subscription to 'The Victorian Writer' magazine. Memberships start from just $50. Find out more about becoming a member here.

Book early to access our early bird prices! These expire 9 days before the course begins. Please keep in mind that our workshops require a minimum number of participants to run, so booking early also helps ensure that a workshop will go ahead. 

Cancellation Policy


The Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale Street
Victoria 3000 Australia


Phone: (03) 9917 8463
Email: [email protected]

Registration for this event ended on 19 April 2024 - 4:00
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