POLITICS & PLACE

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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: August 26, September 9, 23, October 14, 28, 1 – 3 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to a wait list for the class, please email Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com.

With

Susan Green has always been fascinated by law and literature. The daughter of a law professor and a labor arbitrator, she grew up debating Supreme Court cases at the dinner table. She graduated from Harvard College with a degree in the history and literature of America. After receiving a J.D. from Yale Law School, Susan spent her legal career advocating for working women and men, including three years as Chief Labor Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy and several years at the U.S. Department of Labor. Translating legalese into English is one of her favorite activities.

This class will use fiction as a window into the lives of women, and discuss how literature over four centuries reflects, idealizes, and sometimes rejects the legal reality. Four Mondays: September 26, October 17, 31, November 14, 1 to 3 p.m.

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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 often daunting book by breaking down the structure and examining the most memorable moments. Five Fridays: October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.

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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 uses Sebastian Barry’s A Long Long Way as a lens to explore an integral, moving moment in 20th-century history: World War I. Session 1: Tuesday, October 18, 1 – 3 p.m.; Session 2: Wednesday, October 19, 1 – 3 p.m.; Session 3: Thursday, October 20, 1 to 3 p.m.

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Joseph P. Fisher holds a Ph.D. in English from The George Washington University. His broad area of specialization is twentieth and twenty-first century American literary studies. Joe is currently employed as an Assistant Director in GW’s Office of Disability Support Services, and he also teaches composition in George Washington’s College of Professional Studies. Joe is an avid long distance runner, and he has lived in Washington, DC for over 17 years.

This class will explore three works of American travel writing, considering portrayals of intellectual, creative spaces as contrasted with “real,” authentic lifestyles occurring outside of classrooms and art studios. Five Thursdays: October 20, November 3, 17, December 1, 15, 7 to 9 p.m.

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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.

Perhaps the first portrait of a “terrorist” in modern literature, this class will read and discuss Henry James’s novel The Princess Casamassima, which resonates with renewed significance in times of political turbulence. Three Mondays: November 21, December 5, 12, 1 to 3 p.m.

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MEMOIR

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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-meeting course will help you write your memories into scenes by responding to writing prompts and workshopping essays and excerpts. Session 1: Five Tuesdays: September 6, 13, 20, 27, October 4, 10 a.m. to noon; Session 2: Five Tuesdays: October 11, 18, November 1, 8, 15, 10 a.m. to noon

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   

Cynthia Kane is an author, development editor, and the lead literary agent with Capital Talent Agency in D.C. She has over ten years’ experience in the industry and has seen over 100 titles to market. Along with being a literary agent, Cynthia edits for publishing houses, UN Women, and coaches individual authors. She has written for the Washington Post, BBC Travel, Woman’s Day, and more. Her latest book, How To Communicate Like a Buddhist, will be published April 2016. To learn more about Cynthia go to www.openbookediting.com or her website www.cynthiakane.com.

Whether you are submitting personal essays or have a full manuscript ready, this class, co-led by a published author and literary agent, will teach you how to put together a successful proposal and give yourself the best chance for success. Tuesday, October 4, 2 to 4 p.m.

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Martha Ertman is the Carole & Hanan Sibel Research Professor at the University of Maryland Carey Law School. She teaches courses related to contracts, commercial law, and families, and writes about the reach of contract to unexpected places like family relationships and human bodies. She co-edited Rethinking Commodification with Joan Williams (NYU Press, 2005) and her recent articles explore feminist perspectives on contract law and contractual aspects of polygamy. Her book Love’s Promises: How Formal & Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families was published by Beacon Press in May 2015. A 12-minute video of Professor Ertman reading an excerpt of the memoir from the book is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEnFoPgsBrU

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

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

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THE WRITING LIFE

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Joyce Winslow, former Travel Editor of Redbook and Mademoiselle magazines and frequent contributor to Yankee, Town and Country, McCall’s, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and more. Winslow’s fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Story collection and college textbooks. This year she was a finalist in The Larry Neal Contest of the DC Commission for the Arts, and the previous year, she was awarded the Commission’s Artist Fellowship grant for a first novel. Her poems have appeared on metro area buses and metro cars via the Arlington Moving Words competition, and she won the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award.

The goal of this class is to complete a polished query letter and an article ready to be submitted for publication with national magazines and newspapers. Four Thursdays: September 8, 15, 22, 29, 7 – 9 p.m.

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Justine Kenin is a producer for All Things Considered. She's worked at NPR since 1999, when she was hired as an intern while finishing her MFA in nonfiction writing at Columbia University. She published a children's book, We Grew It, Let's Eat It, in 2010. And she works to carve out some time for writing, every day.

Join NPR producer Justine Kenin, as well as a series of guest writers and editors, for a series of constructive conversations about carving out the time to write in our busy day-to-day lives. Four Fridays: September 9, 30, October 21, November 11, 6:30 to 8:30 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.

This class will help writers improve their editing skills by focusing on reviewing the content of pieces as a whole, as well as the fine-tuning of words, sentences, and paragraphs to improve flow and clarity. Four Tuesdays: September 13, 20, 27, October 4, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

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With

Phyllis Theroux began her career in Washington, D.C. writing essays for the Washington Post and the New York Times. That segued into a memoir, which led to a career as an author, columnist, and teacher. As the founder of Nightwriters, she is currently working on a biography of her late mother, who was the inspiration for many of her essays. She lives with her husband, Ragan Phillips, in Ashland, Virginia, where she runs the Politics & Prose/Ashland Writer's Cottage that hosts other writers needing time and creative space for their work.

Explore the rules and rewards of keeping a worthwhile journal with author Phyllis Theroux, who will share how the habit of recording one’s observations leads to a more thoughtful life. Session 1: Saturday, October 8, 10 a.m. to noon; Session 2: Saturday, October 8, 2 to 4 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.

Jump-start your creative process and burst through writer’s block in this two-session workshop. Two Mondays: October 17, 24, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

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With

Bethanne Patrick is a writer, journalist, critic, and author, best known online as "The Book Maven" and the creator of the popular #FridayReads social-media meme, which was nominated for a Mashable Award. Her book reviews appear regularly in the Washington Post and on NPR Books, and have also been published in O the Oprah Magazine, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and on AOL, where she was the Books Editor for three years. Patrick is the author of An Uncommon History of Common Things (with John Thompson) and An Uncommon History of Common Courtesy, as well as serving as editor for the recent anthology The Books That Changed My Life: 100 Reflections from Authors, Artists, Musicians, and Other Remarkable People. Her essays have appeared in VQR Online, Club Mid, and more, while her book lists and author interviews appear weekly at The Literary Hub, where she is a contributing editor. She is a member of The Authors Guild and a board member of The National Book Critics Circle. Patrick is a graduate of Smith College and holds a master’s degree in English from The University of Virginia. She lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and their two daughters. 

Are you an author looking to expand your online presence and dive deeper into today's publishing marketplace? Join Bethanne Patrick for this six-session class designed to help authors build their profile. Six Wednesdays: October 26, November 2, 9, 16, 30, December 7, 6:30 to 8:30 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 three novels, Fast TrackBluff, and Troubled Water – all part of John’s Lark Chadwick mystery-suspense series. Bullet in the Chamber, the fourth novel in the Lark Chadwick series, will be released in October. This story 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.

Novels are full of moving parts—the trick is to keep track of them. In this session you’ll learn organizational strategies to help you stay on top of even the most complex plot. Monday, October 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 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.

In this two-session class we'll go over self-editing strategies and talk about what editors and readers look for in prose. Two Mondays: November 7, 14, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

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LOSE YOURSELF IN FICTION

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Lori Steel is a freelance editor and school librarian. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and has worked for two children’s literary agencies. Lori reads and writes all kinds of fiction from her home in Kensington.

Picture books are designed to enchant, engage and extend the world. Join a discussion of contemporary and classic works in a class designed for readers, writers, and teachers of children’s literature. Four Tuesdays: September 13, 20, 27, October 4, 4:15 to 6:45 p.m. Sold out!

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Elaine Showalter is Professor Emeritus of English and Avalon Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University. She has written ten books, most recently the The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Her literary history A Jury of Her Peers; American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (Knopf, 2009) was awarded the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Criticism. 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 in the US and the UK in newspapers, magazines, and journals. She lives in Washington and London.

With a major new biography of Shirley Jackson ready for release, it is the perfect time to explore both her gothic, psychological horror writing as well as her humorous stories about her children. Four Tuesdays: September 27, October 4, 18, 25, 12:45 to 2:45 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.

This course will provide an introduction to graphic novels, memoirs, and histories for readers interested in exploring an eclectic, evolving, and powerful literary form. Five Wednesdays: November 2, 9, 16, 30, December 7, 2:15 to 4:15 p.m.

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With

Helen Hooper, a recent Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, has published stories in The Common, The Hopkins Review, New South, Bellevue Literary Review and elsewhere. She was a fellow at MacDowell Colony and 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 elsewhere. She is now at work on a novel.

Before Joy Williams is honored with the PEN/Malamud Award at the Folger Shakespeare Library on December 2, dive into her work and learn what makes her a modern master of the short story form. Three Wednesdays: November 9, 16, 30, 1 to 3 p.m. *Cost of class includes a ticket to the PEN/Malamud ceremony on December 2

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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.

Join the discussion of this best-selling novel that took the literary world by storm last year. This two-hour class will analyze the virtues, flaws, and unquestionable power of this gripping story about four male friends grappling with their lives, past and present. Tuesday, November 15, 6:30 to 8:30 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 last taught at Politics & Prose in 2010, covering Chekhov’s stories and plays.

This series of classes focusing on Henry James concludes with a close-reading of The Ambassadors, in which James creates a parallel for comparing and contrasting his own relationship with New England and Europe. Four Wednesdays: November 16, 30, December 7, 14, 2 to 4 p.m.

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SHORT STORIES & POETRY

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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 last taught at Politics & Prose in 2010, covering Chekhov’s stories and plays.

This is the second class in a series of classes on Henry James, taught by Melanie (Penny) DuBois. This class will focus on a selection of James’ best-known tales of diverse length, genre, and attitude, many of them reflecting on writing and the life of a writer. Four Wednesdays: September 28, October 5, 19, 26, 2 to 4 p.m.

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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 & Prose for 25 years. He has also served as a study leader on eight Smithsonian Journeys.

This course will review classic poems by Milton, Blake, Yeats, Eliot, Plath, and many more to see how — or if — they endure. Five Fridays: October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 6 – 8 p.m.

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With

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.

Readers will explore the work of Adrienne Rich and Reginald Dwayne Betts in an attempt to understand how poetry can help inform and shape contemporary dialogue. Six Tuesdays: October 18, 25, November 1, 15, 29, December 6, 3 – 4:30 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to a wait list for the class, please email Justin at jstephani@politics-prose.com.

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.

Explore the fundamentals of screenwriting and story development through writing exercises, character sketches, and scene work. Each student will complete a short screenplay by the end of this five-week class. Five Tuesdays: October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 6 to 7:30 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 magazine, and 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.

Students will create their own works of micro fiction, starting with in-class prompts and ending with constructive criticism for those who choose to share their work. Five Wednesdays: November 2, 9, 16, 30, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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With

Linda Kulman is the author of Teaching Common Sense: The Grand Strategy Program at Yale University, about a groundbreaking leadership course that trains the next generation to cope with a rapidly changing and increasingly complex world. She has collaborated on seven nonfiction books, including two New York Times bestsellers. Kulman was a senior writer at U.S. News & World Report and has contributed to the Washington Post, National Geographic, the Huffington Post, AOL’s PoliticsDaily, and NPR.org.

Find an authentic narrative voice for your nonfiction writing in this all-level course taught by a bestselling ghostwriter and author. Two Mondays: November 7, 14, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

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With

Rose Solari is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, The Last GirlOrpheus 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 is designed to help experienced poets revise and complete a “stuck” poem. Two Fridays: November 11, 18, 1 to 4 p.m.

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