WRITING WORKSHOPS

Explore your creative side at this afternoon of guided writing exercises designed to get your subconscious flowing. The workshop is geared for fiction writers and memoirists, beginners and veterans. Wednesday, June 10, 1 – 3:30 p.m.

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The medium of graphic novels is a great way to combine words and pictures to tell a story, and can bring a personal memoir to life. In this class, you will learn some graphic novel basics, as well as how to put your own stories down in a way which will capture your readers’ imaginations. Four Fridays: July 17, 24, 31, August 7, 6 – 8 p.m.

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Memoirist Richard Hoffman will discuss the various strategies of first-person nonfiction, using examples to demonstrate how certain uses can sustain a credible and compelling narrator as well as a textured, engaging text. Monday, August 17, 1 – 3 p.m.

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POLITICS & PLACE

This popular class, which attempts to explore Middle East politics through the lens of literature, is back for its third installment with a new selection of books that will help illuminate life in countries from across the Arabian Gulf, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman, through reading works in translation. (Note: You do not need to have taken the first two installments in order to sign up for this course!) Five Thursdays: May 28, June 11, 25, July 9, 23, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Delve into the fascinating cultural and historical contexts surrounding E.M. Forster’s classic travel novel, which investigates the author’s struggle between his loyalty for his home country, his empathy for a man wrongly accused, and his emerging view of Anglo-Indian relations. Two Tuesdays: June 9, 16, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Examine alternatives to violent forms of resolution with a former Washington Post columnist and author while taking a close look at the writings of Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Gene Sharp, Joan Baez and other peacemakers. Six Wednesdays: June 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 1 – 3 p.m.

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This class, which meets once a month, will read six historical novels featuring strong female characters in settings that encompass Puritan New England, Native American culture, slavery, abolition, industrialization, and immigration. Discussions will include aspects of both the storytelling as well as the accuracy and interpretation of the periods described. Six Mondays: June 22, July 20, August 10, September 21, October 19, November 16, 1 – 3 p.m.

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An exploration of three literary jewels by British authors who traveled to Asia and Southeast Asia between the 1920's and ‘50's. Discussions will consider their attempts to capture the political and social truths of colonization. Three Tuesdays: June 30, July 7, 14, 1 – 3 p.m.

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LOSE YOURSELF IN FICTION

One of the many pleasures of curling up with a good mystery novel is the familiarity of the form, but how did these traditions and expectations come to be? We will read some of the first and greatest examples of now-familiar conventions in mystery or detective novels, such as a red herring or MacGuffin, and track the evolution of the role of the detective itself. Five Mondays: May 4, 18, June 1, 15, 29, 1 – 3 p.m.

Elena Ferrante’s novels have taken American readers by storm. In this class, we will explore the appeal of the first two novels in this four-volume series, paying particular attention to the deeply human characters. At Politics & Prose on Connecticut Ave: Thursday, June 4, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Melville’s masterpiece, Moby-Dick, is known for its length and immersive tedium, but his short fiction manages to bring forth many of the same themes in a more concise manner—is shorter Melville the better Melville? Five Thursdays: June 11, 25, July 9, 23, August 6, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Travel has a way of altering perspectives and affecting change in both individuals and relationships. This class will explore this theme of change through works by Kate Chopin, Willa Cather, and Ernest Hemingway that span Europe and the American South. Five Thursdays: June 18, July 2, 16, 30, August 13, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Ideal for those seeking to understand more about the format and discuss the craft of fiction, this class will assess how different writers approach this elastic and eclectic form of fiction. Three Tuesdays: June 30, July 7, 14, 3 - 5 p.m.

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The second novel-length work featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. James Watson brings new depth to the lead characters and addresses socio-political concerns of the era; join this class in a discussion of how this work stands among its peers and advances Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s landmark series. Monday, July 13, 1 – 3 p.m.

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SUMMER FUN FOR KIDS & TEENS

By starting with the basics and building up to characters and settings, kids will leave this workshop ready to create their own mini-comic books. http://www.xtracrunchy.com/2014/PPBBPlogo.pngBusboys and Poets in Brookland: Wednesday, June 24, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Busboys and Poets in Takoma: Wednesday, June 17, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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By starting with the basics and building up to characters and settings, kids will leave this workshop ready to create their own mini-comic books. http://www.xtracrunchy.com/2014/PPBBPlogo.pngBusboys and Poets in Brookland: Monday, June 22, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Busboys and Poets in Takoma: Monday, June 15, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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Old school gaming is back, for kids ages ten and up! Our games are heavy on the story-telling, but kids find ways to enjoy the “verbal video game” aspect of play as well.  At Politics & Prose on Connecticut Ave: July 13 – 17, 10 a.m. to noon; At Busboys and Poets in Brookland: July 20 – 22, 10 a.m. to noon; At Busboys and Poets Takoma: July 6 – 8, 10 a.m. to noon

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Like a book club for comic fans, activities will include reading and drawing comics, discussing each other’s work, and making up our own characters.  At Politics & Prose on Connecticut Ave: August 3 – 7, 10 a.m. to noon; At Busboys and Poets in Takoma: August 10 – 12, 10 a.m. to noon

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Learn how to scaffold and build believable worlds for fantasy stories, including writing exercises, map making, character building and graphing story-structure in this week-long workshop geared for teens. August 10-14, 10 a.m. – noon

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