MEMOIR

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Mathina Calliope is a writer, teacher, editor, and writing coach living in Arlington, VA. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post’s Magazine and Outlook sections, on NPR’s Morning Edition, and on Prevention.com. She is currently writing draft 3 of Deprivation Vacation, a memoir about quitting her job at 43 to hike the Appalachian Trail. Learn more: www.mathinacalliope.com

*SOLD OUT* This four-session course will help you write your memories into scenes by responding to writing prompts, by workshopping essays and excerpts, and by studying Mary Karr's Art of Memoir. Four Saturdays: November 3, 10, and 17 and December 1; 10 a.m. to noon. *SOLD OUT*

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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. Her writing has been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Poet’s Market, Inside Higher Ed, The Cortland Review, and Narrative, and others. Read sample publications and writing advice here: http://chloeyelenamiller.com

*SOLD OUT* Learn to write your life story in a compelling fashion in this memoir writing workshop. We will start with literary tools from fiction, such as scene and plot, and work together to understand how to recreate moments of your life in writing.  Five Mondays: October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 19, 10 a.m. to noon. *SOLD OUT*

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 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 Government 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)

*SOLD OUT* This is another series of classes in continuing the series on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to explore the fascinating literature by authors from differing communities writing about the anxiety and alienation of migration – forced or voluntary – both come with a high price of leaving one’s home, family and community…the worry or threat of losing one’s identity and culture is at stake. Six Fridays: October 12, 26; November 2, 16, 30; and December 14,  1 to 3 p.m.*SOLD OUT*

LOSE YOURSELF IN FICTION

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Rhonda Shary was an adjunct professor of English in New York for over ten years, teaching writing, literature, and film at SUNY New Paltz, Marymount College of Fordham University, and New York Institute of Technology. Her poetry, fiction, and essays appear in P&P’s District Lines III and V; 100-Word Story; 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, among others. After moving to DC in 2014, she joined the staff at Politics and Prose Bookstore, where she is now an editor for OPUS Publishing and an instructor in the literature and writing classes.

This installment of Literary Detective Fiction explores works by three contemporary masters of fiction. No need to have taken the previous two courses—all mystery and literary fiction lovers are welcome to join in. Six Wednesdays: October 31, November 7, 14, 28, December 5, 12, 7 to 9 p.m.

With

Rhonda Shary was an adjunct professor of English in New York for over ten years, teaching writing, literature, and film at SUNY New Paltz, Marymount College of Fordham University, and New York Institute of Technology. Her poetry, fiction, and essays appear in P&P’s District Lines III and V; 100-Word Story; 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, among others. After moving to DC in 2014, she joined the staff at Politics and Prose Bookstore, where she is now an editor for OPUS Publishing and an instructor in the literature and writing classes.

Join us for a celebratory night of discussion of the much-anticipated new novel from a leading American writer, Barbara Kingsolver, to be published October 16, 2018. One Tuesday: November 27, 7 to 9 p.m.

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 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.  

Drawing on the rich experience of his own life, best-selling author Paulo Coelho takes us back in time to relive the dreams of a generation that longed for peace and dared to challenge the established social order. In Hippie, he tells the story of Paulo, a young, skinny Brazilian man with a goatee and long, flowing hair, who wants to become a writer and sets off on a journey in search of a deeper meaning for his life. One Tuesday, December 4, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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Aaron Hamburger is the author of the short story collection The View From Stalin’s Head (winner of the Rome Prize in Literature), the novel Faith for Beginners (a Lambda Literary Award nominee), and the forthcoming novel Nirvana is Here. 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.
 
 
 

We will do a deep read of this hauntingly passionate novel, as well as discuss some of the changes in the film version and what they reveal about the author's style.  NOTE: NEW DATE: One Monday, January 7, 6 to 8 p.m.

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Howard Norman received the Lannan Award in fiction. He is the author of eight novels and three memoirs.  His new novel, The Ghost Clause, will be published in July of 2019.  Many of his books are set in the eastern Canadian Maritimes, especially Nova Scotia, although The Ghost Clause is set in his farmhouse in Vermont.  He has taught for thirty years in the MFA program at the University of Maryland, and is on the summer faculty of the Napa Valley Writers Conference, and working on a memoir,  Whale Intervenes On Wedding Night.

In this class, students will discuss Haruki Murakami’s newest novel, Killing Commendatore. Killing Commendatore has been called “a sprawling Gatsby for the Google age,” by The Guardian and “a meticulous yet gripping novel whose escalating surreal tone complements the author’s tight focus on the domestic and the mundane,” in Publisher’s Weekly. One Tuesday, January, 22 from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

OTHER

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 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.  

This course will use readings to trace the occasional and brief writings on subjects like law, friendship, culture, race, government, death and civil society by writers, such as Anne Fadiman, writing outside their expertise in order to narrate the material world from their own perspective in unique forms of expression. Three Tuesdays and a Monday: November 6, 13 and 20, and Monday November 26th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.*Please note new dates
 

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 since 2006.

*SOLD OUT* Join us this fall as we read and consider two American poets who capture the social and political unrest of the age. As our country grapples with ethics, morality and shifting norms, Tracy K. Smith (Wade in the Water) and Terrance Hayes (American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin) employ poetic forms in fresh and occasionally startling ways to help us reimagine our political and moral landscape. Six Tuesdays: 3 —4:30 pm on November 6, 13, 27 and December 4, 11, 18. *SOLD OUT*

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Sandra Beasley is the author of three poetry collections, including Count the Waves (W.W. Norton), as well as the memoir Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life (Crown). Honors for her work include an NEA Literature Fellowship; distinguished writer residencies at Wichita State University, Cornell College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and the University of Mississippi; and three D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowships. She is on the faculty of the University of Tampa’s low-residency MFA program, and periodically teaches at The American University.  She is also the editor of Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance (University of Georgia Press), just out this fall.

 
 
NEW DATE AND LOCATION: Now at Connecticut Ave: Join award-winning poet Sandra Beasley for a close reading and discussion from brand-new collections by two of America’s best contemporary women poets. Tender and brave, Ada Limón’s The Carrying (Milkweed Books) engages questions surrounding fertility, and the transitions between youthful rapture and adult responsibility. Limón is the author of five books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry. One Saturday, December 8, 1 to 3 p.m.

WRITING WORKSHOPS

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Students of Joyce Winslow’s popular classes call them “the most comprehensive, helpful, enlightening hours of instruction I’ve ever had.” A former Associate Professor of English Literature and Journalism, and winner of the Raymond Carver Award, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award, an NEA grant, and Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts, Winslow has published in The Best American Short Stories. Her fiction has been translated and broadcast over Voice of America and included in college texts on writing.  

 

No matter if you’re a beginner or a more seasoned writer, specific techniques taught in this course will take your storytelling up several notches fast.  In-class exercises aligned with specific techniques taught, and constructive feedback on your work, combine to elevate your ability to write and edit your own manuscript. All you need is an open mind and the desire to write well.  4 two hour sessions on an evening night. Winslow synthesizes the techniques that professional writers use to help you shortcut the process of discovery and application to benefit your writing. Four Thursdays: November 15, 29, December 6, 13, 7 to 9 p.m.

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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 the 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. Bullet in the Chamber is the winner of the Reviewers Choice, Foreword INDIES, and Feathered Quill book awards for 2017. 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 key scene is an essential building block in any work of fiction. In this session, you'll learn tips and strategies for making the scene you see in your head come alive on the page so that your reader is compelled to keep turning the pages.  Writing exercises will give class members a hands-on feel for how to add texture, dynamism, and drama to a story. The session also provides practical, hands-on guidance about the rewriting process. An added benefit: giving and receiving critical feedback. One Saturday: November 17, 2 to 4:30 p.m.

 

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Molly McCloskey is the author of four works of fiction and a memoir. Her most recent novel, Straying, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. She has taught writing at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Boston University, Trinity College Dublin, and elsewhere. After living for two decades in Ireland, she now resides in Washington, DC.

*SOLD OUT* A first encounter with something – whether it’s an exotic locale or the terrain of serious illness – causes us sit up and take notice in a way we don’t often do when living our habitual lives. Such places and experiences can make powerful raw material for both fiction and nonfiction. In this small, intimate class, students will be given assigned readings and will workshop pieces of their own in either genre that have grown out of singular encounters with unfamiliar places and life experiences. We will define “strange places” broadly. Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight would be as welcome in this class as James Baldwin’s “Equal in Paris.” Please note date change: Four Mondays: Nov. 19, Dec. 3, 10, 17 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.(skipping Nov. 26 and adding Dec. 17). *SOLD OUT*