Dr. Simon West
Dr Simon West is a poet and Italianist. He is the author of three volumes of poetry and an edition on the Italian poet Guido Cavalcanti. His most recent book The Ladder, published by Puncher & Wattmann, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards in 2016. He completed his PhD on poetry and translation at the University of Melbourne where it was awarded the Chancellor’s prize. He has taught Dante’s Divine Comedy for over ten years at the University of Melbourne to many enthusiastic students.
2021 Course Details
Dante's great epic has it all: a tremendous variety of characters and scenes, human, subhuman and superhuman; psychology, history, theology, pathos, beauty, gruesomeness, humour and sheer weirdness, all woven together with staggering attention to detail. I can't think of a better way to encounter or re-encounter it - whether you know Italian or like me, don't know it - than in these groups run by Simon West with the perfect combination of the scholarly, the informal, and a poet's ear for nuance. Having done Inferno and Purgatorio with Simon, I can't wait to get stuck into the Paradiso.
Reading and studying many canticles from Inferno has helped me to discovery so much history and other classical literature that I was not aware of and hadn’t read. Inferno has opened my eyes and given me an appreciation for Dante’s masterpiece and how much more I have to learn just from his first volume. I loved it!!!