POLITICS & PLACE

With

Virginia Newmyer has lectured frequently for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and in Great Britain on a wide variety of topics in British history and literature. She also teaches OLLI courses at American University, as well as at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and Jupiter.

Dr. Susan Willens, emerita professor of English at George Washington University, also teaches at the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and other literature classes.

For more than 10 years, Virginia and Susan have been holding classes at Politics & Prose that examine the threads that join British fiction and history.

This class will explore Great Britain’s upheaval of values following the first World War through its literature, including works by E.M. Forster, George Orwell, and Dorothy Sayers. Session 1: Five Tuesdays: January 10, February 14, March 21, April 18, May 16, 1 to 3 p.m.; Session 2: Five Wednesdays: January 11, February 15, March 22, April 19, May 17, 1 to 3 p.m.; Session 3: Five Thursdays: January 12, February 16, March 23, April 20, May 18, 1 to 3 p.m. Sold out!

To be placed on a wait list for this class, please email Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com.

With

Elisabeth Griffith, PhD, loves to teach women’s history because it is annoying, inclusive, and energizing. And it is outrageous that it took so long to advance our rights. She enjoys spending time in the company of the courageous women who took such risks to earn us access to education, employment, voting rights, and reproductive freedom. Her biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, In Her Own Right, praised by both the New York Times (“one of the best books of the year”) and the Wall Street Journal (“one of the five best books on women’s history”). It also inspired Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, “Not For Ourselves Alone.” After 22 years as head of The Madeira School, Betsy is working on a book about American women from 1920-2020 and the Equal Rights Amendment.

Women have been a force of change since the nation’s founding; this class will explore how the roles of women in American politics have impacted the country’s Constitution and culture. Four Wednesdays: January 25, February 8, 22, March 8, 12:45 to 2:45 p.m.

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With

Heba F. El-Shazli is an Egyptian-American and an avid lover and reader of literature from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She is an assistant professor of political science at George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government and International Affairs (SPGIA) and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Master’s Degree Program at the Center for Democracy and Civil Society. Heba teaches courses on governments and politics of the Middle East and North Africa, Islam and politics, and the role of civil society and social movements in democratization. She has a Ph.D. in Government and International Affairs from Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs and a Masters degree from Georgetown University. She was the Director of MENA programs at the Solidarity Center (2004-2011) and the Deputy MENA Regional Director at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) from 2001 until 2004. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Join us on a literary journey to Turkey! In the next class in our series on the Middle East, we’ll explore the decline of the Ottoman Empire and rise of the Republic of Turkey through the eyes of five 20th-century Turkish authors. Five Fridays: February 3, 17, March 3, 24, April 7, 1 to 3 p.m. Sold out!

To be placed on a wait list for this class, please email Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com.

With

Lisa Page is Director of Creative Writing at The George Washington University and a freelance writer based in Washington, DC. She is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, Who Do You Think I Am: 15 Essays on Passing.  Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, VQR, the Washington Post Book WorldPlayboyThe CrisisWashingtonianPhoebe, and other publications. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the anthologies Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write About RaceGravity Dancers, and Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing Up in America. She is Vice President of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Join us at PEN/Faulkner’s March 6th conversation with Margo Jefferson, Angela Flournoy, and Marcus Guillory after studying their work with writer, professor, and PEN/Faulkner board member Lisa Page. Three Mondays: February 13, 20, 27, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

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SHORT STORIES & POETRY

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Gigi Bradford is chair of the Folger Shakespeare Library Poetry Board and former Literature Director of the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been teaching the poetry circle at Politics & Prose for 11 years.

Through the work of Larkin and Motion, this class will delve into the British poetic landscape from post-WWII to the present. Six Tuesdays: January 17, 24, 31, February 14, 21, 28, 3 – 4:30 p.m. Sold out! 

To be placed on a wait list for this class, please email Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com.

With

Christopher Griffin is from south Galway in Yeats country. He studied at Trinity College and University College in Dublin. He has taught courses in Irish literature at George Washington University for eight years and at Politics and Prose for 25 years. He was a study leader on ten Smithsonian Journeys. He has taught this Heaney class at Politics and Prose many times before.

Explore some of the Nobel laureate’s best and most famous poems from a volume of his work spanning 30 years. Five Fridays: January 20, 27, February 3, 17, 24, 6 to 8 p.m.

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With

Melanie (Penny) Du Bois did her undergraduate and graduate work at Harvard, has lived in Europe, and taught literature at universities there and here. She has directed a reading group in Washington since 1989, and taught at Politics & Prose throughout 2016, leading a series of three courses on Henry James' stories and novels.

Study the poetry and prose of Pulitzer- and National Book Award-winner Elizabeth Bishop in this four-session class. Four Wednesdays: March 1, 15, 29, April 5, 1 to 3 p.m.

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WRITING WORKSHOPS

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Alexandra Anastasia Viets is a screenwriter and journalist who received her MFA from Columbia University. Her first feature-length screenplay, Cotton Mary, won a New York Foundation for the Arts award and was produced by Merchant Ivory. She has most recently completed Prince of Polo, a feature length screenplay set in India during the 19th century, and Ask Me No Questions, a feature about a Bangladeshi family fleeing New York City post-9/11. In 2011, she was awarded a Fellowship by the National Endowment for Humanities in South Asian literature, history, and art. Since 2012 she has lectured and taught on film and writing in India and the Middle East in collaboration with the Sundance Lab for Arab Filmmakers. She is currently working on a memoir entitled After the War about her mother’s role in the Warsaw Uprising, chapters of which have been published in literary magazines including Thin Air and Nowhere. She teaches dramatic writing and film at American University’s School of Communications.

Character formation, dramatic structure, visual writing, and scene-building will be explored as students will be encouraged to both revise existing screenplays and begin additional scripts in this eight-week workshop. Eight Wednesdays: January 18, 25, February 1, 8, 15*, 22, March 1, 8, 6 to 8 p.m.

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With

Aaron Hamburger was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his short story collection The View from Stalin’s Head (Random House). His next book, a novel titled Faith for Beginners (Random House), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Subtropics, Details, Michigan Quarterly Review, Boulevard, and The Village Voice. He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, as well as residencies from Yaddo and Djerassi. He has also taught writing at Columbia University, NYU, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and George Washington University.

Tackle characterization head-on in this exercise-focused course designed to make your characters jump off the page! Three Mondays: March 6, 13, 20, 6 to 8 p.m.

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With

John DeDakis is a former Senior Copy Editor on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" and the author of four novels, Fast Track, Bluff, Troubled Water, and Bullet in the Chamber – all part of John’s Lark Chadwick mystery-suspense series. Bullet in the Chamber deals, in part, with the death of John’s 22-year-old son Stephen in 2011. During John’s nearly 45-year award-winning career in journalism (25 years at CNN), he has been a White House correspondent and interviewed such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. He has taught journalism at The University of Maryland – College Park and novel writing at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.  In addition to leading writing workshops around the country and abroad, he edits book-length manuscripts. For more information, visit www.johndedakis.com.

In this session, fiction and nonfiction writers alike will learn tips and strategies for the all-important interview. Tuesday, March 7, 10:30 a.m. to noon

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With

John DeDakis is a former Senior Copy Editor on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" and the author of four novels, Fast Track, Bluff, Troubled Water, and Bullet in the Chamber – all part of John’s Lark Chadwick mystery-suspense series. Bullet in the Chamber deals, in part, with the death of John’s 22-year-old son Stephen in 2011. During John’s nearly 45-year award-winning career in journalism (25 years at CNN), he has been a White House correspondent and interviewed such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. He has taught journalism at The University of Maryland – College Park and novel writing at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.  In addition to leading writing workshops around the country and abroad, he edits book-length manuscripts. For more information, visit www.johndedakis.com.

A one-day, step-by-step workshop meant to deconstruct and demystify the novel-writing process for struggling and/or aspiring writers. Saturday, March 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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With

Chloe Yelena Miller has been teaching writing privately and at the college level since 2005, when she received her MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry chapbook, Unrest, was published by Finishing Line Press, and her writing has been published in such journals as Alimentum, The Cortland Review, and Narrative. Read sample publications and writing advice here: http://chloeyelenamiller.blogspot.com

This five-session course will help you write your memories into scenes by responding to writing prompts and workshopping essays and excerpts. Five Tuesdays: March 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11, 10:00 a.m. to noon Sold out!

To be placed on a wait list for this class, please email Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com.

With

Aaron Hamburger was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his short story collection The View from Stalin’s Head (Random House). His next book, a novel titled Faith for Beginners (Random House), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Subtropics, Details, Michigan Quarterly Review, Boulevard, and The Village Voice. He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, as well as residencies from Yaddo and Djerassi. He has also taught writing at Columbia University, NYU, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and George Washington University.

Learn how to make dialogue work in your writing in this two-session class filled with close readings of real-life dialogue and dialogue in fiction. Two Mondays: April 17, 24, 6 to 8 p.m.

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LOSE YOURSELF IN FICTION

With

Christopher Griffin studied literature at Trinity College and University College in Dublin and in US colleges. He taught humanities at Strayer for 28 years, Irish literature at George Washington University for eight years, and various classes at Politics and Prose for 25 years. He was a study leader on eight Smithsonian Journeys.

Ulysses, considered by many to be the seminal novel of the 20th Century, tends to linger on bucket lists for years; this class will help readers tackle this daunting book by breaking down the structure and examining the most memorable moments. Five Fridays: January 20, 27, February 3, 17, 24, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.

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With

Rhonda Shary was an adjunct professor of English in New York for over ten years, teaching courses at Marymount College of Fordham University, New York Institute of Technology, and SUNY New Paltz in contemporary issues and literature, women’s writing, film and graphic narratives, and Native American literature. A published writer and poet, her work has appeared in several anthologies and journals, including P&P’s District Lines III, Water Writes: An Anthology in Honor of the Hudson River Quadricentennial, A Slant of Light: Women Writers of the Hudson River Valley, and The Shawangunk Review. After moving to D.C. in 2014, she joined the staff at Politics & Prose as a bookseller and coordinator of the Book A Month program, and is now a freelance writer, editor, and teacher.

In this third course centering on authors who have received or are considered to be contenders for the Nobel Prize in Literature, the group will read works in a range of genres that attest to each artist's lasting literary greatness and cultural importance. Six Thursdays: January 26, February 9, March 2, 16, 30, April 13, 1 to 3 p.m.

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With

Elaine Showalter is Professor Emerita of English and Avalon Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University. She has written ten books, from A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing (1977) which discussed the early work of Drabble and Byatt, to The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Specializing in 19th- and 20th-century American and British literature, she has a longstanding interest in contemporary fiction, popular culture, and the arts, and has written about everything from fiction to fashion for newspapers, magazines, and journals in the US and the UK.

Margaret Drabble and Antonia Susan Byatt share a rich history as sisters in the midst of a family feud, while their written works espouse very different literary styles. Join Elaine Showalter as she explores the personal and professional history of this pair of British novelists. Four Tuesdays: February 7, 21, 28, March 7, 12:45 to 2:45 p.m. Sold out!

To be placed on a wait list for this class, please email Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com.

With

Nicole Miller’s prize-winning essays have appeared recently in New Letters and Arts & Letters magazines. Her fiction has been published twice in The May Anthology of Short Stories, edited by Jill Paton Walsh and Sebastian Faulks. She received an M.Phil in Victorian Literature from Lincoln College, Oxford; a PhD in English at University College, London; and an MFA at Emerson College, Boston, where she held the Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. At The Oxford English Dictionary, she has served as a scholarly reader for British Dialects since 2002. She edits faculty manuscripts in Harvard’s English Department and teaches nineteenth and twentieth century British literature at Politics & Prose in Washington D.C.

She also leads fiction workshops at Grub Street in Boston, and is an emerging writer in residence at Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, U.K.

Additional information about this instructor can be found at her website, www.inthesmallhours.com.

Read Charlotte Brontë's first and last novels and explore the autobiographical and literary elements that help define her lasting influence. Four Mondays: February 20, March 6, 20, 27, 1 to 3 p.m.

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With

Alicia Oltuski is the author of Precious Objects, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her work has appeared on NPR's Berlin Stories, in W magazineand other publications. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, where she received a David Berg Foundation Fellowship, and a BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jump into George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, one of the most highly anticipated books of 2017, immediately following its release. Six Wednesdays: February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

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With

Rhonda Shary was an adjunct professor of English in New York for over ten years, teaching courses at Marymount College of Fordham University, New York Institute of Technology, and SUNY New Paltz in contemporary issues and literature, women’s writing, film and graphic narratives, and Native American literature. A published writer and poet, her work has appeared in several anthologies and journals, including P&P’s District Lines III, Water Writes: An Anthology in Honor of the Hudson River Quadricentennial, A Slant of Light: Women Writers of the Hudson River Valley, and The Shawangunk Review. After moving to D.C. in 2014, she joined the staff at Politics & Prose as a bookseller and coordinator of the Book A Month program, and is now a freelance writer, editor, and teacher.

This class will explore the shared themes and timely subjects of three timeless classics from Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Atwood: the conflicted lives of people at the mercy of tyrannical forces; the “performance” of gender and behavior in conflict with the true self; and the consequences of finding—or not finding—the courage to defy oppressive forces in times of crisis. Six Thursdays: February 23, March 9, 23, April 6, 20, May 4, 1 to 3 p.m.

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With

Helen Hooper, a fiction writer, was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She has published stories in American Short Fiction, The Common, The Hopkins Review, Bellevue Literary Review and elsewhere. She was MacDowell Colony fellow, a Kenyon Review Peter Taylor fellow and holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a BA from Johns Hopkins. She has taught literature and creative writing at Stanford and other universities and at the middle and high school levels. She is now writing a novel.

Begin 2017 with a journey through Louise Erdrich’s intricately developed body of work by reading and discussing four of her novels, from her first, Love Medicine, to her latest, LaRose. Four Fridays: February 24, March 10, 17, 31, 1 to 3 p.m.

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THE WRITING LIFE

With

Rose Solari is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, The Last Girl, Orpheus in the Park, and Difficult Weather; the one-act play, Looking for Guenevere; and a novel, A Secret Woman. She has lectured and taught writing workshops at many institutions, including the University of Maryland, College Park; St. John’s College, Annapolis; the Jung Society of Washington; The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University; and The Centre for Creative Writing at Oxford University’s Kellogg College. Her work as a journalist includes numerous freelance assignments, as well as positions as staff writer and editor for SportsFan Magazine and Common Boundary Magazine.

Her awards include the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, an Academy of American Poets’ University Prize, The Columbia Book Award, an EMMA award for excellence in journalism, and multiple grants.

This workshop will get you writing! It’s designed to get your creative juices flowing, encourage you to explore form and language in your poetry, and help you take chances with your work. Monday through Friday, February 20 to 24, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sold out!

To be placed on a wait list for this class, please email Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com.

With

Christina Baker Kline is the author of the new novel A Piece of the World, about the relationship between the artist Andrew Wyeth and the subject of his best-known painting, Christina’s World. She has written five other novels and written or edited five works of nonfiction. Her most last novel Orphan Train  spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, including five weeks at # 1, and has been published in 40 countries. More than 100 communities and colleges have chosen it as a “One Book, One Read” selection. Her other novels include The Way Life Should BeSweet WaterBird in Hand, and Desire Lines.

This workshop with #1 NYT bestselling novelist Christina Baker Kline will lead you into your own past and/or family history, exploring the power of writing about your experiences or bringing family stories to life. Monday, February 27, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

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