WRITING WORKSHOPS

Learn how to approach your work—whether it’s the first page or a completed manuscript—with an editor’s eye. We’ll learn and apply practical techniques to engage audiences and find the core of our work. Four Mondays: March 2, 9, 16, 23, 1 – 3 p.m. Sold out!

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

Learn to improve the three sentences that significantly impact your piece of fiction: the opening sentence, the last sentence, and any pitch line you’ll use to tell the world (or agent or publisher) about your work. Wednesday, March 25, 1 – 3 p.m.

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The opening pages of any written work, fiction or nonfiction, are critical: is the reader hooked or have they moved on? This writing workshop focuses on the key beginning of your manuscript and allows for feedback and discussion with an instructor as well as classmates as you get started in the writing process. Six Mondays: March 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, and May 4, 1 – 3 p.m.

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POLITICS & PLACE

This two-hour “crash course” will help participants gain a better understanding of French life, culture, and habits, and offer an approach to help visitors fully enjoy their time in la belle France. Friday, March 6, 1 – 3 p.m.

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For any and all interested in history, the story remains incomplete without the trailblazers who changed the world for women and thereby changed the world for all. Led by Elisabeth Griffith, whose biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton was cited as “one of five best books on women’s history” by the Wall Street Journal, prepare for a journey through the past, reading both fiction and nonfiction, that’s sure to enlighten and perhaps even inspire. Monday, March 30, 1 – 3 p.m.

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With relations between Cuba and the United States reaching levels not seen in more than half a century, what better time to look back and examine those fraught fifty years? Readers will discuss fiction and nonfiction texts shedding light on Cuban-American relations and Cuban culture and history.  http://www.xtracrunchy.com/2014/PPBBPlogo.pngAt Politics & Prose: Four Thursdays: April 2, 9, 23, 30, from 1 – 3 p.m.; At Busboys and Poets in Takoma: Four Mondays: March 30, April 6, 13, 27, from 6 – 8:30 p.m.

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Gain a better understanding of current affairs and the politics of the Middle East and North Africa through reading and discussing major novels from five countries of the region – Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Morocco. http://www.xtracrunchy.com/2014/PPBBPlogo.pngAt Busboys and Poets in Brookland: Five Fridays: April 3, 17; May 1, 8 and 22, 1 – 3 p.m.

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The 1960s were full of great music, questionable fashion, as well as war and peace, justice and corruption, and rebellion and retribution. In this class we’ll look at three novels from the era that showcase what the sixties were all about. Session 1: April 29, 7 – 9 p.m., Session 2: April 30, 1 – 3 p.m.

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LOSE YOURSELF IN FICTION

James’ now-classic Portrait of a Lady tackles the impressions of a young American female entering lavish European culture. In this course, readers will sift through the intricacies of Isabel Archer and her personal transformation while among her inevitable friends, enemies, and suitors. Four Fridays: March 20, 27, April 10, 17 (no class on April 3), 2015, at 6 – 8 p.m.

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Often hailed as a master of the short story, this class will consider Hemingway's role as an innovative, highly praised practitioner of the form. Five Thursdays: March 26, April 9, 23, May 7, 21, 1 – 3 p.m.

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This class will examine Faulkner's trilogy of the darkly comic and troubled Snopes family, addressing issues of family, economic mobility, and southern society, among others. Five Fridays: March 27, April 10, 24, May 8, 22, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Coming-of-age novels have a special place in literature. Catcher in the Rye is considered by many to be the true classic of the genre, but there are many lesser known but equally excellent examples. We will discuss three of these would-be classics in this session. Session 1: Monday, March 30, 7 – 9 p.m., Session 2: Thursday, April 2, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Daniel Deronda has invited controversy since it was first published as George Eliot’s last novel in 1876. Over the course of three weeks, the class will read the novel and discuss the work’s dramatic, mystical, and racial dimensions, and draw our own conclusions about its complex pair of main characters. Four Wednesdays: April 15, 22, 29, May 6, 3 – 5 p.m.

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Prepare to enjoy and engage with three literary jewels of the new millennium that defy an easy label: White Teeth, The White Tiger, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. All widely acknowledged and acclaimed, these novels authentically depict today’s melting-pot world and the many in it with fantasies of upward mobility while masterfully capturing a range of vivid, modern voices on the page. http://www.xtracrunchy.com/2014/PPBBPlogo.pngAt Busboys and Poets in Brookland: Three Thursdays: May 7, 14, 28, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

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POETRY

2015 marks the celebration of William Butler Yeats’s 150th birthday! In these four sessions you’re invited to experience not just some of Yeats’ famous poems but also get to know his plays and prose. Four Fridays: March 20, 27, April 10, 17 (no class April 3), 3 – 5 p.m.

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This spring, readers will engage the works of Theodore Roethke and William Stafford, two beloved mid-Twentieth-Century American poets. To be placed on a wait list for the class, please contact Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com. Six Tuesdays: March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21, 28, 3:00 — 4:30 p.m. Sold out!

Explore some of Heaney’s best poems, both on the page and in his own voice, listening to recordings of the author reading his own work, with discussion of the poems to follow. Four Tuesdays: March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 3 – 5 p.m.

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This intensive course will study the poems of Jack Gilbert and Linda Gregg, two American poets who influenced each other deeply, whose voices and techniques resonate against each other but whose apertures into emotion remain distinct. Two Wednesdays: March 25, April 1, 3 – 5 p.m.

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MYSTERIES, CAPERS, AND THRILLERS

Enter the perennially fascinating world of Sherlock Holmes, whether for the first time or as just the latest visit with a favorite. The class will examine the very first introduction of Holmes and Dr. James Watson to the literary universe in the novel, A Study in Scarlet.  http://www.xtracrunchy.com/2014/PPBBPlogo.pngAt Politics & Prose: Monday, April 6, 1 – 3 p.m. At Busboys and Poets in Takoma: Wednesday, April 1, 6 – 8:30 p.m.

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Dive into an (under)world where big business doesn’t mean Apple and drama doesn’t begin to cover the action. This class will read three novels that tread the dark paths of organized crime: Mario Puzo’s classic The Godfather, Black Gangster by Donald Goines, and The Friends Of Eddy Coyle by George V. Higgins.  http://www.xtracrunchy.com/2014/PPBBPlogo.pngAt Politics & Prose: Monday, April 13, 1 – 3 p.m.; At Busboys and Poets in Brookland: Tuesday, April 7, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

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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.

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MEMOIR: READING AND WRITING

This class will help you whether you’ve just started writing your memoir or are trying to finish the first draft, and will include feedback from both peers and the instructor. Four Tuesdays: April 14, 28, May 5, 12, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

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Writing about oneself inevitably impacts others. How do we morally, ethically and legally portray other people in our memoirs? Tuesday, April 21, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Join an in-depth discussion of Cheryl Strayed’s phenomenally popular memoir, Wild, with a particular emphasis on how the author constructed such a memorable persona on the page. Thursday, April 23, 3 – 5 p.m.

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Great food writing informs, entertains and inspires. In this weekend workshop, we’ll discuss what made great food writers endure, varying approaches needed for different genres, generating ideas, assembling non-fiction book proposals, culinary travel writing and the complexities of recipe writing. http://www.writer.org/view.image?Id=619At The Writer's Center: Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22.

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A course for beginner and intermediate knitters designed to introduce a new skill to everyone’s repertoire: cabling! You will learn how to read a cable chart and pattern, work the cables in your knitting, and start a piece that can be used for a decorative pillow or wall hanging. http://www.xtracrunchy.com/2014/PPBBPlogo.pngAt Busboys and Poets in Takoma: Saturday, May 16, 1 – 3:30 p.m.

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Marissa Moss, acclaimed author and illustrator of the Amelia's Notebook series, invites kids from 4th to 8th grade to have fun writing, guiding them through exercises to build and hone their language skills while never leaving a good (sometimes goofy) time out of the lesson plan. http://www.xtracrunchy.com/2014/PPBBPlogo.pngAt Busboys and Poets in Takoma: Sunday, May 17, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

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WINTER CLASSES

Explore three classic novels that invite the gothic tradition into the quintessential charm and elegance of the country manor and enjoy the suspense and resulting spooky stories in Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, and The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. Four Thursdays: February 19, 26, March 5, 12, 1 – 3 p.m.

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An opportunity to explore this classic novel as you’ve always meant to, whether to encounter it for the first time or to re-read with scholarly guidance. Five Thursdays: January 15, 29, February 12, 26, March 12, 1 – 3 p.m.

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We’ll read five books by authors from the Middle East that address significant contemporary topics, and political events which will help us to gain a better understanding of the region. Five Fridays: January 23, February 6, 27, March 13, 27, 1 – 3 p.m.

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A chance to revisit a great American classic and deepen your understanding of it through a pairing with a contemporary rewriting. Five Fridays: January 16, 30, February 13, 27, March 13, 1 – 3 p.m.

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This class will feature four books that will offer participants fascinating and unique insights into French life, history, and culture—as well as the pleasures inherent in reading excellent prose. Four Mondays: February 23, March 2, 9, 16, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Explore Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson’s lyrical body of work in this class for fans as well as those who have the pleasure of reading her for the first time. This class has reached its capacity; email Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com to be place on the wait list. Four Tuesdays: February 10, March 10, April 7, May 5, 1 – 3 p.m. Sold out!

 

Jane Austen’s novels shine with immaculate style, humor, and—as one critic said—“what goes on perpetually in the mind and heart.” This class will provide a close read of five novels of love and learning. Session 1: January 13, February 3, March 17, April 14, May 12, 1 – 3 p.m.; Session 2: January 14, February 4, March 18, April 15, May 13, 1 – 3 p.m.; Session 3: January 15, February 5, March 19, April 16, May 14, 1 – 3 p.m. Sold out!

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