POETRY

With

Gigi Bradford is the former Literature Director of the National Endowment for the Arts and the present Chair of the Folger Shakespeare Library Poetry Board. She has been teaching at P&P since 2006.

Edward Dickey is retired from a thirty-year career at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he was Director of the State & Regional Program. While earning an M.A. in Literature from American University, he was a junior fellow with the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library. 

 

Our knowledge of Shakespeare’s life is sparse, and the plays don’t add much to it.  But in his sonnets we feel that we meet the man himself. Join us as we celebrate Shakespeare’s 457th birthday by reading some of the poems in which he reveals his thoughts and feelings about love, lies, beauty, betrayal, time, impermanence and mortality. One Wednesday, April 21 at 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST

With

Sandra Beasley is the author of four poetry collections, including Made to Explode, her most recent book, and I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Honors for her work include a 2015 NEA Literature Fellowship, the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, the John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, and five D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowships. She is also the author of the memoir Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life. She lives in Washington, D.C. 

Join Sandra Beasley as she spends an afternoon exploring the works of Rita Dove. A renowned author, editor, and teacher, Rita Dove's influence looms large in contemporary publishing. This two-hour seminar will consider highlights from seven collections (spanning thirty years) to articulate the balance of soundplay, history, and cinematic narrative that defines her work, and to identify the key craft choices that makes her voice instantly recognizable to this day. One Sunday: May 2 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST Class Online. 

With

Christopher Griffin is from Yeats country in south Galway near Yeats’ Thoor Ballylee. Christopher studied literature at Trinity College and University College in Dublin. He has lectured at the Yeats Summer School in Sligo and in Yeats’ Thoor Ballylee and Coole Park. He taught humanities for 28 years at Strayer University, Irish literature at George Washington University for eight years, and classes on various topics (including Joyce’s fiction) at Politics and Prose for over 25 years. He was a study leader on 18 Smithsonian Journeys and and has lectured at Smithsonian Associates.

Looks at Irish poets since W. B. Yeats. Seamus Heaney was born the year Yeats died and also went on to win the Nobel Prize. This class will look at Heaney and many other good poets before and after Heaney. No reading in advance required. Five Fridays: May 7, 14, 21, 28, and June 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. EST Online Class. 

With

Sandra Beasley is the author of four poetry collections, including Made to Explode, her most recent book, and I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Honors for her work include a 2015 NEA Literature Fellowship, the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, the John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, and five D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowships. She is also the author of the memoir Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life. She lives in Washington, D.C. 

Join Sandra Beasley as she explores the work Jericho Brown which contends with what it means to be an openly gay Black man in the American south. This two-hour seminar will lay out the core principles of Brown's aesthetic, including his design of the contemporary “duplex” form, drawing on interviews and lectures. One Sunday: June 13th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST Online Class. 

With

Aaron Hamburger is the author of the short story collection The View From Stalin’s Head (winner of the Rome Prize in Literature), the novels Faith for Beginners (a Lambda Literary Award nominee), and Nirvana is Here (winner of a Bronze Medal in the 2019 Forewords Indie Awards). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Subtropics, Details, O, the Oprah Magazine, 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.

Come to this interactive class to get a grounding in some of the basics of the genre and what to look for in poems and how to enjoy them. We'll explore the decisions that writers of poetry make and experience the challenges and joys of turning language into music. Two Mondays: June 7 and 14, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. EST Online Class.

NONFICTION

With

Frank Ambrosio is Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. After studies in Italian language and literature in Florence, Italy, he completed his doctoral degree at Fordham University with a specialization in contemporary European Philosophy.

He is the founding Director, with Edward Maloney, of the Georgetown University “My Dante Project” a web based platform for personal and collaborative study of Dante’s Commedia. In 2014, he acted as lead instructor for the launch of an ongoing web-based course (MOOC) on Dante offered by EDX (http://dante.georgetown.edu) which currently has been utilized by over 20,000 students.

His most recent book is Dante and Derrida: Face to Face, (State University of New York Press) (Link)

He has received five separate awards from Georgetown University for excellence in teaching. He is the former Director of the Doctor of Liberal Studies Program, and in 2015, he received the Award for Faculty Achievement from the American Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs.

In October 2009, The Teaching Company released his course, "Philosophy, Religion and the Meaning of Life," (https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/philosophy-intellectual-history/philosophy-religion-and-the-meaning-of-life.html) a series of 36 half-hour video lectures which he created for the "Great Courses" series. At Georgetown, he teaches courses on Existentialism, Postmodernism, Hermeneutics, and Dante.

In addition to his work at Georgetown, he co-directs The Renaissance Company with Deborah R. Warin, leading adult study programs focusing on Italian Renaissance culture and its contemporary heritage.

It took a pandemic and a book on the 1918 Influenza to bump Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens out of the top spot on the NYT paperback Bestseller list. It had been on the list for 96 weeks and is now number 2. Join Frank Ambrosio, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown, for a discussion of Harari's Sapiens, and the sequel to it, Homo Deus. In this class, we'll explore Harari's revolutionary approach to the meaning of "History" itself. Five Thursdays: March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Online Class. 

With

David B. Johnson is a professor of philosophy at Marymount University, and former writing professor at American and GW Universities.  He earned his PhD in Cultural Studies at George Mason University in 2011, and writes primarily about ethics and political theory.  He has two sons and 4 grandchildren, has been enjoying life with his girlfriend, E. Foster Pacine, and lives in Clifton VA.

Phillip Lopate puts forward 100 such intimate and edifying works—including the writing of Thomas Paine, Zadie Smith, and Rolando Hinojosa—all of which show the human condition and tell about its significance. In this class, we will approach 12 essays through 3 thematic lenses, namely, struggle, selfhood, and art. Four Wednesdays: April 21, 28, May 5, 12th (guest appearance by author in this session), from 6 to 8 p.m. 

With

Bob Levey spent 36 years on the staff of The Washington Post. For 23 of those years, he wrote “Bob Levey’s Washington,” a daily column about local life. He continues to serve as a contract writer for the newspaper. Seven times, he was named one of the most popular columnists in Washington by Washingtonian Magazine. Levey has also had extensive careers as a talk show host and commentator on radio, television and the Internet. He has taught journalism at six major research universities. He is the author or co-author of four books.

Join prize-winning former Washington Post columnist Bob Levey for a spirited, insider’s look at the problems of today’s major media. Students will read several articles about where the media find themselves today and will analyze the ways in which the issues of today are largely rooted in the issues of yesterday. Four Wednesdays: May 19, May 26, June 2 and June 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. EST 

FICTION

With

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher who lives in Essoyes, a village in southern Champagne, on the border of Burgundy. She writes frequently for Bonjour Paris, France Today, and France Revisited, as well as for her blog, Writing from the Heart, Reading for the Road. She has taught Paris: A Literary Adventure for the City University of New York since 1997, and literature and culture classes at Politics and Prose since 2011. Janet’s unique perspective, developed over more than 40 years of living, working, traveling, and teaching in France, as well as her expertise as a writer/editor, will enrich our discussions. She is the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You, and is currently working on her memoir, A Long Way from Iowa.

This peek into more than 200 years of American writing reveals Paris as source of inspiration, education, aggravation, and endless fascination, while providing glimpses into the lives of a rich variety of American writers, both famous and relatively unknown. Four Fridays: April 2, April 9, 16, 23, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST Online Class

With

Supriya Goswami teaches courses in literature (with special focus on Africa and South Asia), culture, and politics at Georgetown University. She has previously taught at California State University, Sacramento and George Washington University. She is the author of Colonial India in Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2012), which is the first book-length study to explore the intersections of British, Anglo-Indian, and Bengali children’s literature and defining historical moments in colonial India. She is currently working on her second book, Colonial Wars in Children’s Literature. She has also published in such scholarly journals as the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, South Asian Review, and Wasafiri. 

Agatha Christie, the unparalleled grande dame of crime fiction, not only wrote prolifically but also with an astute understanding of people and places. This course explores two of her elegant and addictively readable detective stories, Death on the Nile and Murder in Mesopotamia, written in the 1930s, with none other than the legendary Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, at the helm of affairs. Two Thursdays: April 22, 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Online Class.

With

Helen Hooper, a fiction writer, was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She has published stories in American Short FictionThe CommonThe Hopkins ReviewBellevue 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.

One hundred years ago, Edith Wharton became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, awarded for her novel The Age of Innocence. Let’s read it together, along with her other New York novels: The House of Mirth and The Custom of the Country. The class will meet every other Tuesday evening, allowing two weeks to read an average of 150 pages. As we go along we’ll dip into critical responses of both her contemporaries and also modern essayists, from Henry James to Janet Malcolm to Ta-Nehisi Coates. Seven Tuesdays: February 9, 23, March 9, 23, April 6, 20, May 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Online Class.

With

Michele L. Simms-Burton, PhD  is a former tenured university professor and founding board member of the Toni Morrison Society. Her writings have appeared in The Crisis Magazine, DownBeat, D.C. Metro Theater Arts, Auburn Avenue, and San Francisco Chronicle. She has lectured globally on African American culture.

Join former Howard University and University of Michigan professor Michele L. Simms-Burton for lively and spirited discussions of novels from Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series: Devil in a Blue Dress, Black Betty, Little Green, and Charcoal Joe. Four Saturdays: April 24 and May 1, 8, 15 from noon to 2 p.m. EST Online Class. 

With

Leigha McReynolds has a PhD in English Literature. Her dissertation was on science and the supernatural in 19th Century British Literature, but her current research focus is contemporary science fiction. Leigha is a professor in the writing program at The George Washington University where she uses science fiction to engage students across disciplines. In addition to teaching, she runs a writing coaching business to help aspiring writers of all kinds achieve their personal and professional goals.

Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American writer who has introduced Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism into mainstream speculative fiction. Join this seminar-style, discussion based class where we’ll consider how Okorafor continues to innovate in her new novella, Remote Control, the story of a young woman who becomes Death’s adopted daughter. One Monday: May 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST 

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. Her recent Politics and Prose classes have been on the work of Coetzee, Penelope Fitzgerald, Tolstoy, Grossman, and Proust. 

 

In this class we will discuss the uncertainties of the text and the multiple interpretations we may find in it.  While it is not ideal to begin this richly sedimented novel near its end, for those who have read it on your own, or those who want the encouragement of other eager readers, the class should help you to find out why so many readers finish the novel only to begin again from the beginning. Six Mondays: April 19, 26, and May 3, 10, 17, 24, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST Online Class. 

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 Mays, 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 and Prose in Washington D.C.

*This class is SOLD OUT, if you would like to be placed on a wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com*

Please join us for a seven-week meander through Charles Dickens's cimmerian mid-century London, as we discuss the novel Our Mutual Friend. In this class, we will scrutinize the dark themes which Dickens explored after separating from his wife, sequestering with actress Ellen Tiernan and confronting death at Staplehurst, including the psychology of the criminal mind, the violence of obsession, and the failures of sanitation reform. Seven Tuesdays: April 20, 27, May, 4, 11, 18, 25, June 1, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

With

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher who lives in Essoyes, a village in southern Champagne, on the border of Burgundy. She writes frequently for Bonjour Paris, France Today, and France Revisited, as well as for her blog, Writing from the Heart, Reading for the Road. She has taught "Paris: A Literary Adventure" for the City University of New York since 1997, and literature and culture classes at Politics and Prose since 2011. Janet’s unique perspective, developed over more than 40 years of living, working, traveling, and teaching in France, as well as her expertise as a writer/editor, will enrich our discussions. She is the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You, and is currently working on her memoir, A Long Way from Iowa.

Join Janet Hulstrand for an exploration of Ernest Hemingway's time in Paris in the 1920s. We'll be reading Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, and finish with Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. Our discussions will focus not only on the biographical details of the Hemingways’ marriage, and their adventures in Paris and Spain, but on the literary qualities that have made Hemingway widely regarded as one of the most influential English language writers of the twentieth century. Four Fridays: May 7, (Skipping May 14), 21, 28, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Online Class. 

With

Brittany Kerfoot is the Director of Events at Politics and Prose and a staff writer for Eventbrite.com. She holds a Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from George Mason University. Her writing has been published in The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, Driftwood Press, and Madcap Review, among others. She is currently at work on her first novel.

Join instructor and P&P’s Director of Events, Brittany Kerfoot, for a class that explores Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri’s work, including two short stories and her latest novel, WhereaboutsTwo Wednesdays: June 16 and June 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST

With

Leigha McReynolds received her PhD in English Literature from The George Washington University. Her dissertation was on science and the supernatural in the 19th Century British novel. Currently, Leigha is a professor in the writing program at The George Washington University where she uses science fiction to engage students across disciplines. In addition to teaching, she runs a writing coaching business to help aspiring writers of all kinds achieve their personal and professional goals.

The Romantic Era of British Literature is best remembered for its poets, but the defining aesthetic and philosophical ideals of the movement were also represented in popular novels. Join this discussion-based, seminar-style class to delve further into the prose sensations of the early 19th century. We’ll read three novels to explore the Romantic era and the shift into the Victorian era. Six Thursday: May 13, 20, 27, June 3, 10, 17 from Noon to 2 p.m. EST

With

Kimberly Clarke is a writer, independent scholar and educator based in Alexandria, Virginia where she pursues her research interests in 19th century Transatlantic studies, Classical studies, and Caribbean Literature. She is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the education sector. Dr. Clarke has over a decade of experience engaging in outreach programs and initiatives that pursue cross-cultural partnerships with diverse populations.

Kidnappings, reluctant brides, unrequited love, and rebellion. In this four-week, discussion-based class, we will explore how Letters from a Peruvian Princess (1747), The Woman of Colour (1808), Ourika (1823 ), and Georges (1843) depict the suffering, triumph, and survival of characters of color in British and French fiction. Four Wednesdays: June 30, July 7, 14, 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST 

With

Maria Frawley is a Professor of English at George Washington University, where she teaches courses in nineteenth-century literature and regularly offers seminars on Jane Austen. She has authored books and articles on nineteenth-century women writers, including Jane Austen, Anne Brontë, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Harriet Martineau. Co-editor of the forthcoming Companion to Jane Austen with Routledge Press, she is also at work on a book titled Keywords of Jane Austen’s Fiction.

*This class is SOLD OUT, if you would like to be placed on a wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com*

What made this novel an instant best-seller? Why did Virginia Woolf famously declare it to be “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people?” What can this novel of passions and sorrows, of ambitions and mistakes, teach us “grown-up people” today? Eliot’s first readers encountered the novel in serial installments in Blackwood’s Magazine, and we will space our reading over eight weeks, which will enable us to focus on the eight “book” divisions that comprise Middlemarch. Eight Thursdays: June 10, 17, 24 and July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST

With

Verlyn Flieger is Professor Emerita in the Department of English at the University of Maryland, where for 36 years she taught courses in Tolkien, Medieval Literature, and Comparative Mythology. She is the author of five critical books on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, Splintered Light, A Question of Time, Interrupted Music, Green Suns and Faërie: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien, and There Would Always Be A Fairy Tale: More Essays on Tolkien. She edited the Extended edition of Tolkien's Smith of Wootton Major. With Carl Hostetter she edited Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on The History of Middle-earth, and with Douglas A. Anderson she edited the Expanded Edition of Tolkien On Fairy-Stories. With Michael Drout and David Bratman she is a co-editor of the yearly journal Tolkien Studies. She has also published two fantasy novels, Pig Tale and The Inn at Corbies’ Caww, an Arthurian novella, Avilion, and the short stories "Green Hill Country" and "Igraine at Tintagel."

Kalevala, is the myth that made Finland and inspired Tolkien’s “mythology for England.” In this class, explore the mythology of Finland through its collected folk-songs. Led by scholar Verlyn Flieger, this class will include close reading and discussion of the epic poem Kalevala, compiled by Elias Lönnrot and translated by Eino Friberg. Four Sundays: July 11, 18, 25, August 1 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 

With

Carrie Callaghan’s debut novel, A Light of Her Own, about 17th century painter Judith Leyster, was published by Amberjack in 2018. Her new novel, Salt the Snow (Amberjack, 2019), is about trail-blazing but little-known early 20th century journalist Milly Bennett and her years in 1930s Moscow and Spain. Carrie’s short stories have been published in multiple literary journals around the country, and she is a senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Nobel prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro is a master at using society's outsiders and outcasts to examine the core of our common humanity. Whether he is writing speculative fiction about our future or perceptive historical fiction about our past, Ishiguro finds a quiet way into the largest existential questions. In this class, we'll consider both his latest novel, Klara and the Sun, and his earlier masterpiece, Never Let Me Go, and explore what they have to say individually and together about literature, society, and love. Two Sundays: August 1 & 8, from 1 to 3 p.m. EST

WRITING

With

Mary Hall Surface, teaching artist, playwright, and theatre director, presents workshops nationwide as a Kennedy Center teaching artist, as a Smithsonian Associates guest artist, as the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon, and as a faculty member of Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom, 2014- 19. Her plays have been produced at theatres, museums, and festivals throughout the US, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and Canada, including 17 productions at the Kennedy Center. She has written and directed five plays for the National Gallery of Art. www.maryhallsurface.com

Step inside rich works of art and discover new tools for writing memoir in this interactive course led by Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon and more. Two 90-minute sessions: Two Saturdays: April 17 and 24, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m EST 

With

Sarah Pleydell is the author of two books: The Dramatic Difference, which won the American Association for Theatre Educators' book of the year award, and the critically acclaimed novel Cologne which was selected for the Oxford Literary Festival where she was a speaker. A graduate of Oxford and London Universities, she holds an MFA from the University of Maryland where she was a senior lecturer in University Honors for thirty years. She is currently completing a second novel, set on the Texas, Mexico border. (www.sarahplrydell.com) 

Michaele Weissman is a freelance writer and the author three books, including God in a Cup, a narrative exploring the specialty coffee business for which she followed three young coffee buyers around the world. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and scores of other print and online publications. She has recently completed a food history/family narrative called The Rye Bread Marriage. (www.michaeleweissmanwrites.com)

Novelist Sarah Pleydell MFA and author Michaele Weissman have created a new set of in-class writing exercises to help students discover the imagery embedded in everyday experience and use these images to generate narrative. Class time is divided between writing and discussion. This three-part workshop is open to all with an interest in language and story. Three Sundays: April 11, 18, 25, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. EST 

With

Aaron Hamburger is the author of the short story collection The View From Stalin’s Head (winner of the Rome Prize in Literature), the novels Faith for Beginners (a Lambda Literary Award nominee), and Nirvana is Here (winner of a Bronze Medal in the 2019 Forewords Indie Awards). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Subtropics, Details, O, the Oprah Magazine, 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 learn some tricks of plotting from published writers, classic authors like Thomas Hardy, E. M. Forster, or L. Frank Baum, and contemporaries like Gonzalo Barr, Alison Bechdel, and Lorrie Moore. We’ll nail down exactly what we mean by this oft-used yet little-understood term, considering the differences between “plot,” “story,” and “action.” Two Mondays: May 10 and 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Online Class. 

With

Joyce Winslow former commentary editor of the nonpartisan RAND Corporation has in the last three years written and placed 90 OP EDs for private clients and under her own byline, most recently in March in the Austin American Statesman, and in a Letter to the Editor in The Washington Post. 

This two session lecture and in-class workshops offer instant feedback for success. You’ll learn the proper structure of an OP ED, how to persuasively make your point and take down opposing arguments (politely). Two Saturdays: May 15 and 22, from noon to 2 p.m. EST Online Class.

With

Natalie Goldberg is the author of fifteen books, including Writing Down the Bones (Shambhala, 1986), which has sold over one million copies, has been translated into fourteen languages, and started a revolution in the way we practice writing in this country. She recently co-edited a collection of talks by revered zen teacher Katherine Thanas, The Truth of This Life (Shambhala, 2018). In her latest memoir Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home (Shambhala, 2018), she shares her experience with cancer grounded in her practice of zen and writing. Her other books include The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life (Shambhala, 2016), the novel Banana Rose (Bantam, 1995), and the beloved Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America, a memoir about her zen teacher Katagiri Roshi.

New Extended Writing Workshop: A haiku writing workshop with bestselling writing expert and author Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down The Bones) based on her new book: Three Simple Lines: A Writer's Pilgrimage Into the Heart and Homeland of HaikuOne Sunday: May 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST

With

Caroline Bock writes short stories, novels, and more. She is the author of Carry Her Home, winner of the 2018 Fiction Award from the Washington Writers' Publishing House, and the young adult novels: Lie and Before My Eyes from St. Martin's Press. In 2021, she is the fiction editor of This is What America Looks Like, poetry and fiction from DC, Maryland and Virginia from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. She is currently at work on a novel set in 2050, which was honored with a Montgomery County Artists & Scholar award as a work-in-progress. She is a graduate of Syracuse University where she had the honor of studying fiction writing with Raymond Carver, and as of 2011, holds an MFA in Fiction from The City College of New York. She lives in Maryland and lectures in the English department at Marymount Press. 

What does America look like to you? With readings inspired by the new anthology from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House, This Is What America Looks Like: Poetry & Fiction from DC, Maryland and Virginia, write your own work of flash fiction or short fiction to capture this unprecedented moment in America with fiction editor, Caroline Bock. Three Saturdays: June 5, 12, 19 from 10 a.m. to noon 

With

Lisa Zeidner is the author of five novels, most recently Love Bomb, and two books of poems, one of which won the Brittingham Prize in poetry. She is also a screenwriter and the author of the craft book Who Says? Mastering Point of View in Fiction. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, and other publications. She teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers–Camden and lives in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Join Lisa Zeidner, author of five novels and professor in the Rutgers-Camden MFA Program in Creative Writing, for a two session where she will offer a crash course on literary description in fiction.  How can you make your sentences about any subject from a face to a landscape original and evocative?  We’ll look at examples from published fiction and from your own work, and talk about the very different ways that fiction and film “create a picture.” Please note dates have changed. Class has been rescheduled to meet on Two Saturdays: July 24 and 31 from 10 a.m. to Noon 

LIFESKILLS

With

Jerry Webster, Ph. D., (Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland) has taught numerous courses in literature for the U. of MD. and in multiculturalism for Montgomery County Public Schools (MD). He has taught English full-time in public school systems for forty years. He served as the Shastri, or head teacher, for the Shambhala Buddhist Center in Washington, D.C. for 10 years until he retired in 2020. He teaches regularly for Politics & Prose, as well as  the Johns Hopkins Odyssey Program, the D.C. Shambhala Buddhist Center, and the Frederick Community College ILR Program. 

Two renowned Buddhist teachers, Joan Halifax and Angel Kyodo Williams, have explored the boundaries, the edges, of our everyday world, right in the midst of life’s conflict, complexity and confusion. Join us for an exploration of Halifax’s Standing at the Edge and Williams’s Being Black, which serve as valuable sourcebooks for anyone willing to transform challenging states into experiences of growth. Four Mondays: April 5, 12, 19, 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Online Class.

With

Jerry Webster, Ph. D., (Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland) has taught numerous courses in literature for the U. of MD. and in multiculturalism for Montgomery County Public Schools (MD). He has taught English full-time in public school systems for forty years. He served as the Shastri, or head teacher, for the Shambhala Buddhist Center in Washington, D.C. for 10 years until he retired in 2020. He teaches regularly for Politics & Prose, as well as  the Johns Hopkins Odyssey Program, the D.C. Shambhala Buddhist Center, and the Frederick Community College ILR Program. 

Join in a glide, often a dive, into a plethora of Zen Buddhist practices and teachings - sitting meditation, art, writing, koan study, and walking - a virtual playground set designed for beginners and more seasoned veterans alike.  Works by lifelong Zen practitioners and teachers will serve as ordinary, sometimes extraordinary, conveyors on a path for anyone who wants to transform challenging states into experiences of growth. Four Mondays: June 21, 28, and July 5, 12, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST Online Class.

POLITICS & PLACE

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 Schar School of Policy and Government 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, international relations, and the role of civil society and social movements in democratization. She has a Ph.D. in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) with a specialization in Governance and International Affairs from Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs and a Master’s 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 (www.cfr.org)

Karen Leggett Abouraya is a journalist and children’s author, winning the 2013 Arab American Book Award and other honors for Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books. She is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Egypt, and with her Egyptian-born husband, chairs the Baltimore Luxor Alexandria Sister City Committee and the Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) Maryland, Virginia, DC. Together they also produce the podcast American Egyptian Women of Influence.  Karen facilitates online conversations between Egyptian and American children and co-hosted a conference on informal education at the BA in 2015.  She reviewed children’s books for the New York Times, is a past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C. and has served as a judge for children’s writing contests in Egypt and Montgomery County. She earned her B.A. in international relations from Brown University.

Arab Americans started to immigrate to the USA primarily in the 19th and early 20th century fleeing economic and religious persecution under the Ottoman Empire. They came mainly from Greater Syria which included Lebanon, Palestine and Syria at the time. These Arab Americans found their new country to be challenging yet still full of hope and potential. Join us for a literary poetic journey with Arab American authors who give us a perspective on America from their lived viewpoints. Five Fridays: March 26, April 9, 23, May 7, 21, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Online Class.

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 Schar School of Policy and Government 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, international relations, and the role of civil society and social movements in democratization. She has a Ph.D. in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) with a specialization in Governance and International Affairs from Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs and a Master’s 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 (www.cfr.org).

The Ottoman Empire; an intriguing empire that stretched over thousands of miles and nearly 600 years; leaving an impact on the MENA region still felt today. This series of classes will cover its long history, politics, traditions and culture and then eventual collapse at the end of WWI and then the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Five Fridays: June 4, 18, July 9, 16, August 6 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST Online Class. 

HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY

With

Scott Patrick is a recent PhD graduate from American University with a concentration in comparative politics. His research interests include critical theory, global political economy, and the intersection of power and politics with culture and the social construction of ideas, norms, and values.

In this course we will be examining the legacy of the French and British empires, the resurgence of imperialism and neo-colonialism in the post-Cold War era, and the impact of these international phenomena on Western domestic politics.  The course will be centered around “Empires of the Mind: The Colonial Past and the Politics of the Present” by Robert Gildea. Two Thursdays: April 29 and May 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST

With

Reuben Jackson is an Archivist with the University of the District Of Columbia’s Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. From 1989 until 2009, he was Archivist and Curator with the Smithsonian Institution’s Duke Ellington Collection. Reuben is also the author of a volume of poetry entitled Scattered Clouds (2019, Alan Squire Publishing).

Join Reuben Jackson as he celebrates four recordings (Talking Book, Innervisions, Fullingness' First Finale, and Songs In The Key Of Life) released by multi-instrumentalist /vocalist/composer Stevie Wonder during the years 1972 until 1976. These recordings document a mind boggling, commercially successful and creative flowering in Mr. Wonder's still arresting body of material. One Sunday: May 16th 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST 

With

Evelyn Torton Beck holds Ph.D.s in both Comparative Literature and Clinical Psychology. She is Women’s Studies Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland and an Alum Research Fellow with the Creative Longevity and Wisdom Initiative at the Fielding Graduate University. She has pioneered numerous interdisciplinary courses on topics as diverse as Women in the Arts, Mothers and Daughters, Jewish Women in International Perspective, Women and the Holocaust, Death and Dying in Modern Literature, Lesbian Studies, Gender, Power and the Spectrum of Difference, and Feminist Perspectives on Psychology, among others.

Over the past five decades, American feminist artist, Judy Chicago, has continually expanded our understanding of the role gender plays in the creation of art and the writing of art history. Her bold, innovative, and often controversial installations are evidence of the breadth and depth of her work. In this course, we will study Chicago’s art in the context of her new autobiography The Flowering. Two Saturdays: August 7 and 14 from 1 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST