LOSE YOURSELF IN FICTION

With

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

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.

In this course, the teachers — an historian and a professor of literature — will present illustrated lectures and book discussions on the five titles selected as a Victorian sampler, with ample contributions from the members of the classes. Session 1: Five Tuesdays: January 9, February 13, March 13, April 10, May 1, 1 to 3 p.m.; Session 2: Five Wednesdays: January 10, February 14, March 14, April 11, May 2, 1 to 3 p.m.; Session 3: Five Thursdays: January 11, February 15, March 15, April 12, May 3, 1 to 3 p.m.

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.

Explore this Dickens classic as well as the context surrounding it by working through the novel while simultaneously reading contemporary pieces on the lifestyle and culture of that time. Six Fridays: January 12, 19, 26, February 9, 23, March 9, 16*, 1 to 3 p.m.

With

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

This class will use the occasion of Kazuo Ishiguro being awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature to examine his career, from his debut, set in post-war Nagasaki, to his most recent collection of music-themed short stories. Four Mondays: January 29, February 12, 26, March 12, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Christopher Griffin studied literature at Trinity College and University College in Dublin and in U.S. colleges. He taught humanities at Strayer for 28 years, Irish literature at George Washington University for eight years, and classes on various topics (including Joyce’s fiction) at Politics and Prose for 25 years. He has served as a study leader on 12 Smithsonian Journeys.

Ulysses, considered by many to be the seminal novel of the 20th century, tends to linger on bucket lists for years; this class will help readers tackle this daunting book by breaking down the structure and examining the most memorable moments. Five Fridays: February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Christopher Griffin studied literature at Trinity College and University College in Dublin and in U.S. colleges. He taught humanities at Strayer for 28 years, Irish literature at George Washington University for eight years, and classes on various topics (including Joyce’s fiction) at Politics and Prose for 25 years. He was a study leader on 12 Smithsonian Journeys.

Oscar Wilde led a fascinating life of literature and celebrity in the 19th century; join us for this exploration of Wilde’s varied bibliography as well as the many ups and downs of his personal life. Five Fridays: February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2, 6 to 8 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Elaine Showalter is Professor Emerita of English and Avalon Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University. She has written 10 books, from A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing (1977) to The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Specializing in 19th and 20th century American and British literature, she has a longstanding interest in contemporary fiction, popular culture, and the arts, and has written about everything from fiction to fashion for newspapers, magazines, and journals in the U.S. and the U.K.

Revisit two of Roth's most acclaimed novels and revisit his approaches to many themes still pervasive in American culture today, such as political correctness and sexual harassment. Four Thursdays: March 8, 15, 22, 29, 2 to 4 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Rhonda Shary was an adjunct professor of English in New York for over ten years, teaching writing and literature courses at SUNY New Paltz, Marymount College of Fordham University, and New York Institute of Technology. A published writer and poet, her work appears in P&P’s District Lines, Volumes III and VWater Writes: An Anthology in Honor of the Hudson River QuadricentennialA Slant of Light: Women Writers of the Hudson River Valley, and The Shawangunk Review. After moving to D.C. in 2014, she joined the staff at Politics and Prose Bookstore, where she is now an editor for OPUS Publishing and an instructor in the literature and writing classes.

Join us for this discuss of Ng’s latest exploration of race, motherhood, and the hold of the past on the future. Monday, March 5, 7 to 9 p.m.

With

Rhonda Shary was an adjunct professor of English in New York for over ten years, teaching writing and literature courses at SUNY New Paltz, Marymount College of Fordham University, and New York Institute of Technology. A published writer and poet, her work appears in P&P’s District Lines, Volumes III and V, Water Writes: An Anthology in Honor of the Hudson River Quadricentennial, A Slant of Light: Women Writers of the Hudson River Valley, and The Shawangunk Review. After moving to D.C. in 2014, she joined the staff at Politics and Prose Bookstore, where she is now an editor for OPUS Publishing and an instructor in the literature and writing classes.

Read and savor the stunning artistry and generously humane visions of two of the five finalists for the 2017 Man Booker Prize: Hamid’s Exit West and Smith’s Autumn. Four Wednesdays: March 7, 21, 28, April 4, 1 to 3 p.m.

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 & Prose in Washington D.C.

Explore this rambling journey of artistic, sexual, and domestic awakenings, which Theodore Dreiser once described as “an achievement of almost photographic realism.” Three Tuesdays: March 20, 27, April 3, 1 to 3 p.m.

THE WRITING LIFE

With

Rhonda Shary was an adjunct professor of English in New York for over ten years, teaching writing and literature courses at SUNY New Paltz, Marymount College of Fordham University, and New York Institute of Technology. A published writer and poet, her work appears in P&P’s District Lines, Volumes III and V, Water Writes: An Anthology in Honor of the Hudson River Quadricentennial, A Slant of Light: Women Writers of the Hudson River Valley, and The Shawangunk Review. After moving to D.C. in 2014, she joined the staff at Politics and Prose Bookstore, where she is now an editor for OPUS Publishing and an instructor in the literature and writing classes.

Combine close-reading analysis of "writers' writers" with short, in-class writing exercises for this new class attempting to lend a sharp, writerly eye to all readers. Six Thursdays: January 18, 25, February 1, 8, 22, March 1, 1 to 3 p.m.

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: February 6, 13, 20, 27, 6 to 8 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

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

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

Use in-class exercises and samples from well known works to discover the many ways settings can treated. Two Mondays: February 19, 26, 10:00 a.m. to noon

With

Bridget Wagner Matzie has represented projects such as the #1 New York Times bestseller Shattered by Jon Allen and Amie Parnes, the national bestseller The Case for Impeachment by Allan Lichtman, the New York Times bestseller The Party Is Over by Mike Lofgren, the acclaimed novel The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma by Ratika Kapur, the LA Times bestseller Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy by Eric Wilson, and the New York Times bestselling novel Daemon by Daniel Suarez, among others. Matzie represents nonfiction and commercial fiction as an agent at Aevitas Creative Management and was recently listed as one of DC’s top book agents by Washingtonian.

Get in the room with a pair of agents and come ready to pick their brains; after some discussion of the industry, there will be ample time to ask questions. Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m. to noon

With

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

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

With

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. In addition to scholarly articles exploring contract’s reach into unexpected arenas, she co-edited Rethinking Commodification with Joan Williams (NYU Press, 2005). Her latest book, Love’s Promises: How Formal & Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families (Beacon Press 2015), braids a memoir about three gay parents raising a child together with legal stories about other families. 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 

Writing about oneself inevitably impacts others. How do we ethically and legally portray stories and other people in our memoirs? Friday, March 9, 1 to 3 p.m.

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.

Discussion in this class aims to define plot, as well as its distinctions from story and action, before using a newfound understanding of the term to investigate the work of published authors and fellow students. Two Tuesdays: March 27, April 3, 6 to 8 p.m.

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. 

Join this discussion of prose and novels that describe the people’s spirit, hopes, and dreams as they clash with the political, economic, and social realities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Five Fridays: February 2, 16, March 2, 23, April 6, 1 to 3 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Elisabeth Griffith, PhD, loves to teach women’s history because it is full of gutsy women who fought to secure the equal rights we now take for granted or simply fought to survive. Her biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, In Her Own Right (Oxford), won accolades from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and inspired Ken Burns’ documentary, “Not For Ourselves Alone.”Betsy served as Headmistress of The Madeira School from 1988-2010. She is working on a history of American women from 1913 and 2017, between the women’s marches on Washington, D.C.

Who were the best-known women in the United States 100 or 200 years ago? Do we know or have they been lost to history? This class will explore biographies of American women and discuss the challenges of writing about them. Three Thursdays: February 22, March 8, 22, 1 to 3 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Elisabeth Griffith, PhD, loves to teach women’s history because it is full of gutsy women who fought to secure the equal rights we now take for granted or simply fought to survive. Her biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, In Her Own Right (Oxford), won accolades from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and inspired Ken Burns’ documentary, “Not For Ourselves Alone.”Betsy served as Headmistress of The Madeira School from 1988-2010. She is working on a history of American women from 1913 and 2017, between the women’s marches on Washington, D.C.

Commemorate women’s history month by reflecting on what happened after the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in August 1920. Did feminists roar into the 1920s? Did flappers vote or were they seduced by a “return to normalcy” under Warren Harding? Saturday, March 17, 1 to 3 p.m.

With

Supriya Goswami has taught courses in children’s literature, Anglophone world literature, and nineteenth-century British literature and Empire at California State University, Sacramento (2002-2007), and, more recently, at 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 the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly and Wasafiri.

This course will examine the pivotal role Britain’s vast empire played in shaping the British novel from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Three Tuesdays: April 10, 17, 24, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WRITING WORKSHOPS

With

Lori Steel is a writing instructor, freelance editor, and school library specialist. She earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and previously worked as an assistant with a children’s literary agency. Lori reads and writes all kinds of fiction from her home in Kensington.

Designed for writers at all levels, this five-week workshop will examine structure, character, voice, and plot as we delve into this special form of children’s literature. Four Wednesdays: February 21, 28, March 7, 14, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Jennifer Close is the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses, The Smart One and The Hopefuls. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years and now lives in Washington DC and teaches at George Washington University.

Katherine Heiny is the author of Single, Carefree, Mellow and Standard Deviation. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative, Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children.

What makes it work? What makes a “funny” piece flop? Join this class to conduct close readings of published pieces and workshop each other's humorous essays with the ultimate goal of publication in mind. Four Thursdays: February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 6 to 8 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Joyce Winslow served as spokesperson and media liaison for the Federal Agencies for Medicare and Medicaid, working with some 800 reporters nationally. She also worked as Commentary Editor for the non-partisan, non-profit Rand Corporation writing OP EDS on myriad subjects for several years. She has a 98% success rate writing, pitching, and placing OP EDs in national top tier media under her byline, and the bylines of junior and senior experts on a full range of topics that impact Americans, including in The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, USA TODAY, State 
newspapers and political magazines. 

This one-time class gives you the tools to make a difference by exploring the process of researching, writing, and pitching persuasive op-eds to editors. Saturday, March 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Sandra Beasley is the author of Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life (Crown), which People magazine called a “witty, sobering account of living with life-threatening food allergies.” Her prose has appeared in such venues as the New York Times, The Washington Post, Creative Nonfiction, Psychology Today, and The Oxford American. She is the author of three poetry collections, including I Was the Jukebox (W.W. Norton), winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Other honors for her work include a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; distinguished writer residencies at Cornell College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and the University of Mississippi; three DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowships; and the Maureen Egen Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. She is on the faculty of the University of Tampa’s low-residency MFA program, and periodically teaches at The American University.

For more information, visit www.SandraBeasley.com.

In this class on the personal essay, students will workshop their writing and discuss the innovations in construction and voice that have made memoir a hotspot in contemporary publishing. Four Thursdays: March 15, 22, 29, April 5, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

With

Danielle Badra received her BA in creative writing from Kalamazoo College (2008) and her MFA in Poetry at George Mason University (2017). Her teaching experience includes leading poetry workshops at Split This Rock, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the DC OutWrite Festival, and teaching introductory poetry to Undergraduate students at George Mason University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Outlook Springs, 45th Parallel, The California Journal of Poetics, Bourgeon Online Journal, Bad Pony, The Greensboro Review, Rabbit Catastrophe Press, and Duende. Dialogue with the Dead (Finishing Line Press, 2015) is her first chapbook, a collection of contrapuntal poems in dialogue with her deceased sister. Her manuscript, Child of the Universe, was a finalist for the 2017 Berkshire Prize for Poetry from Tupelo Press.

Interact with different poetic forms and explore contemporary aesthetics through a combination of in-class exercises and workshopping. Five Saturdays: March 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14, 11 to 1 p.m.

With

Howard Norman has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. He has received the Lannan Award in literature. For 30 years, he has taught nonfiction and fiction workshops at the University of Maryland, the New York State Writers Institute, and at conferences in Amsterdam and other European cities. His most recent memoir is I Hate To Leave This Beautiful Place. He is completing a memoir about his grandfather, Who Said You Were Supposed To Be Happy.

National Book Award-finalist Howard Norman will guide writers in an exploration of memoirs largely about families or acquaintances close to the respective authors, as well as discussing a few students’ works in progress. Four Tuesdays: April 3, 10, 17, 24, 7 to 9 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

With

Jennifer Close is the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses, The Smart One, and The Hopefuls. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years, and now, she lives in Washington, D.C. and teaches at George Washington University.

Each student in this class will submit a piece of writing for both personalized critique's from the instructor, as well as peer review during the class meetings. This class is for writers who have previously attended workshops and have a piece in progress that is ready to be critiqued. Four Wednesdays: April 4, 11, 18, 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

POETRY

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 13 years.

Get to know this Polish poet who has been a part of the global poetry scene for decades, starting with the Polish New Wave literary movement of the early 1970s all the way through to his moving poem published in The New Yorker shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Three Tuesdays: March 6, 13, 20, 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. Sold out!

To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com, and be sure to specify which sold-out class you're interested in!

OTHER

With

Leah Kenyon works at Politics and Prose, and has initiated many of her coworkers into the cult of the beautiful egg.

Join P&P’s Leah Kenyon in discovering and mastering the UkraInian wax resist technique of egg decorating – just in time for egg-decorating season! Workshop recommended for ages 10 and up.  Thursday, March 22, 7 to 9 p.m.