Home » Workshops and Courses » Long Course: Learning from Love Poetry

Long Course: Learning from Love Poetry

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.

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. 


  • When: Three full-day courses – Sundays 21 April, 5 May, 19 May, 10am – 4pm
  • Where: The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
  • With: Lucy Van

About the Tutor

A photo of Lucy Van.

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.

Scroll to Top