FICTION

With Leigha McReynolds 

In his most recent novel, The Ministry for the Future (2020), Kim Stanley Robinson deploys a unique narrative structure to dramatize the near-future impact that we know climate change will have. Join this seminar-style, discussion-based class to explore what one critic dubbed a “science fiction nonfiction novel.” We’ll consider how art can function as an effective vehicle to both represent and propel political and social change. Two Mondays: May 16 and 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET Online Class

With Christopher Griffin

Ulysses was published 100 years ago on Joyce’s 40th birthday on February 2, 1922, by Shakespeare and Co. bookstore, Paris’s equivalent of Politics and Prose. This course is an introduction to the second half of Joyce’s Ulysses, which many consider the seminal novel of the 20th Century.  If you never got around to finishing this great novel, this course may make it easier for you. Participants do not need to have taken any previous Ulysses classes. Five Fridays of April 22, 29, and May 6, 13, (skip 20) 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET Online Class

With Aaron Hamburger

Literary legend Philip Roth may be best known for iconic bestselling novels like Portnoy's Complaint or The Plot Against America, yet some of his greatest prose achievements can be found in three less widely known books from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. In this three-session course, we'll read three slightly under-the-radar Roth masterpieces as we examine what makes Roth such an essential writer's writer: The Professor of Desire,  The Ghost Writer, and the audacious The Counterlife, perhaps his greatest novel. Three Bi-Weekly Wednesdays: May 4, 18, June 1, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET Online

With Janet Hulstrand

In this class we will learn about “the dark years” of France under Nazi Occupation by reading and discussing three novels, and one journalistic account of the liberation of Paris. Join Janet Hulstrand, a writer who lives in Essoyes, a village in Champagne, for a discussion-based class of four literary works that will provide insight into just how hard those years were for the people who lived through them—and how important it was that the war be won in the end. Six Fridays: May 6, 13, 20, 27, and June 3, 10, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET Online

With Verlyn Flieger

Left unfinished at his death in 1973, J.R.R. Tolkien's "mythology for England" the "Silmarillion" was the ongoing saga of a vast, imperfect world and how it got that way.  In 1977 Tolkien's son and literary heir Christopher published a one-volume digest called The Silmarillion that sketched the arc of Tolkien's vision. We'll read The Silmarillion to track the evolution of the "Silmarillion." Four Sundays: May 15, 22, (skip 29) and June 5, 12, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. ET Online

With Kimberly Clarke

Based on real events, the novel follows its main character Aminata Diallo, from her abduction from her West African village to her enslavement and escape across British lines in New York, Nova Scotia, Freetown, and London. Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and basis for an award-winning miniseries, Someone Knows My Name is a decades-long, trans-Atlantic odyssey that rediscovers this forgotten history and enduring quest for freedom. Two Thursdays: June 16 and 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Penny Du Bois

Sold Out In this class, we will read (or reread) War and Peace (the instructor will be using the Penguin edition, which is recommended for the group as well), discussing which elements of the novel impress us most -- the character study, the story line, or the author’s reflections on history? Is Tolstoy making a political point that matters to us now? The same consideration of novelistic elements will carry over to the study of Vasily Grossman’s novel about the Russian experience of World War II, Life and Fate, in a later series of classes. Please try to finish the novel before the first class meeting, as the discussion will jump around under the assumption that everyone is familiar with the whole book. Six Tuesdays: June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 5, 12 from 1 to 3 pm

With Leigha McReynolds

In this seminar-style, discussion-based class, we’ll look at two of the great fallen women of realist literature: The Mill on the Floss (1860) by George Eliot and Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891) by Thomas Hardy. (The latter is subtitled “A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented.”) The heroines of both novels struggle magnificently but unsuccessfully against the limiting mores of their societies.  Six Wednesdays: June 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13, 20 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET Online Class

With Leigha McReynolds

Winning the 2021 Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award for best novel, Network Effect was unanimously recognized as the best science fiction novel of 2020. Join this seminar-style, discussion-based class to consider why we love this novel so much and explore the deeper questions it raises about life. One Monday: July 18th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET Online Class

Michele L. Simms-Burton

Join former Howard University and University of Michigan professor Michele L. Simms-Burton for lively and spirited discussions of an epic first novel by poet Honoree Fanonne Jeffers, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois. Four Saturdays: August 6, 13, 20, and 27 from noon to 2 p.m. ET Online Class. 

With Michele Simms-Burton

Join former Howard University and University of Michigan professor Michele L. Simms-Burton for lively and spirited discussions of the early writings of James Baldwin: Another Country, Going to Meet the Man, Nobody Knows My Name, and No Name in the Street  Five Saturdays: September 10, 17, 24, October 1 and 8 from 12 to 2 p.m. ET Online

POLITICS & PLACE

Heba El-Shazli & Karen Leggett

Arab American authors are not always focused on their identity crisis as Americans. There are so many perspectives and angles to their quest as authors with the American and Arab/Middle Eastern heritage. The authors in this reading and discussion collection are on journeys of discovery - the fascination of travel to explore and better understand home, not relocate; Shakespearean theatre to cope with chronic pain; rediscovering the Syrian and Iraqi homeland; and discovering the future in Qatar. Four Mondays and one Tuesday Bi-Weekly: April 4 and 18; May 2 and 16; and Tuesday, May 31 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET Online

WRITING

With Lindsay Merbaum

Would you like to push the boundaries of fiction in your writing by exploring magical realism? Join witchy queer feminist horror author Lindsay Merbaum for in-depth discussion and in-class writing exercises that will probe the boundaries between the real, unreal, and surreal. The class will examine two exciting works of modern fiction whose uniquely queer perspective expand on the concepts of magical realism and fabulism. Four Thursdays: June 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

With Lisa Zeidner

Join Lisa Zeidner, author of five novels and professor in the Rutgers-Camden MFA Program in Creative Writing, for a craft class on point of view in fiction. Three Saturdays: June 4, 11, 18, from 10 a.m. to noon. ET Online Class. 

Aaron Hamburger

In this three-session course, we'll consider a variety of strategies to create a vivid sense of setting that goes beyond info-dump or set decoration and brings the world to life, adding a vibrant, essential element to your storytelling in both fiction and non-fiction. Three Mondays: June 13, 20 and 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET Online

With Sandra Beasley

Looking to enrich your understanding of contemporary poetry, and reflect it in your own writing? Each week, this class offers a writing prompt that puts our drafts in conversation. The guiding muse will be selections from The FSG Poetry Anthology, edited by Jonathan Galassi and Robyn Creswell. Five Thursdays: June 9, 16, 23, 30, and July 7 from 10 a.m. to noon ET Online

With Amber Clark

Everyone has a story to tell, but how do you craft it engagingly? Join Amber Clark for a reprise of her sold out class. In this small group workshop, you will explore the art of the personal narrative essay. Five Tuesdays: June 7, 14, 21 (instructional and generative) July 19, 26 (feedback/workshopping), from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

With Sarah P. and Michaele W.

Join novelist and professor Sarah Pleydell and author Michaele Weissman for a three-part deep dive into the context, craft, and continuing impact of Virginia Woolf’s prescient post-World War I novel, Mrs. Dalloway. Published 1925, Woolf’s masterwork speaks to the concerns of our time as few novels do. Three Sundays: July 31, August 7, 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. ET Online

With Randon Billings Noble

A lyric essay. Sounds intriguing – but what exactly is it? Come explore the more experimental side of the essay by reading – and sketching – flash, segmented, braided, and hermit crab essays. (Hermit crab essays? Yes!) Find out more with Randon Billings Noble, essayist and editor of the new anthology of lyric essays A Harp in the Stars. Four Wednesdays: August 3, 10, 17, 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET Online

POETRY

With Sandra Beasley

This two-hour seminar will examine key poems from each collection to build our knowledge of these influential voices. Beasley, a noted local writer and teacher who has shared the stage with both poets, will guide readers through Limón and Vuong’s craft choices in relation to their earlier work. One Sunday: June 26 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET Online

With Annie Finch

This class will explore the lives and poetry of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath: friends, contemporaries, women of the 1960s, poets who chose to end their lives by suicide. What were the common and unique challenges that these two poets faced?  How were they products of their time? How did class, gender, and family history intersect in their lives? How did each of them craft a poetry that transformed their suffering?  We will read Plath’s poetry alongside the acclaimed new biography Red Comet, and Sexton’s alongside the classic biography based on her therapy tapes. Four Mondays: June 6, 13, 20, 27, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET Online

With Indran Amirthanayagam

Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet, writer in English, French and Portuguese, is perhaps the most curious personality in all of literature. He invented hundreds of alter-egos, personalities with distinct biographies and passions. He called some of them heteronyms. We will dive into poems by the “four poets” seeking to identify clues about the personality, passions, goals, spiritual needs and quest of their creator who is known today as an essential stop on the reading tour for all interested in the wonders of world literature. Four Thursdays: June 30, July 7, 14, 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

LIFESKILLS

With Jerry Webster

The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu (Tutu now recently deceased), have undergone a combined fifty years of exile as they witnessed each of their own nation's violence and suffering.  Join these two men as they discuss our common spiritual humanity and provide directions for a spiritual path which they say not only they, but we, too, can access.  In our second book, two lifetime meditation practitioners, Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson, both New York Times - bestselling authors, both social scientists, review old research and unveil new research showing what meditation can do for the brain, the body, and the mind. Four Wednesdays: June 22, 29, and July 6, 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY

With Richard Bell 

In this four-part lecture and discussion course, University of Maryland historian Richard Bell will take us back to basics. We’ll push past the headlines and talk candidly about what the 1619 Project says and doesn’t say, and what Critical Race Theory means for the teaching of American history. Four Fridays: June 3, 10, 17, 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Online ET

With Reuben Jackson

Join poet and musician Reuben Jackson to groove and explore a timeless recorded document released 50 years ago. The Reverend Jesse Jackson once referred to Marvin Gaye's seminal 1971 suite What's Going On as a " Sermon From The Studio." We'll listen to a few movements from this recording, and discuss its groundbreaking impact on what was known as The Motown Sound, and its continued relevance--songs and themes that continue to resonate today. PLEASE NOTE: NEW DATE One Sunday, July 24th from 3 to 5 p.m. ET Online