Classes

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - Granada/Alhambra

Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 1:00pm


Granada/Alhambra

Two Thursdays ( September 22nd & 29th  1:00 – 3:00 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

"If you have not seen Granada you have not seen anything." 

So says the Spanish adage. We shall visit the city of the pomegranate which is defined by the events of 1492 when the last Moorish King Boabdil surrendered to Ferdinand and Isabella, thus ending the Nasrids domination of the city. We visit the Cathedral designed by Diego de Siloe in a pseudo Italian Renaissance style, and the adjoining Royal Chapel where lie the remains of the Catholic Monarchs and a splendid Sacristy housing masterpieces by artists Hans Memling, Dierk Bouts and Roger van der Weyden. Across the street is the Banuelo, Spain's best preserved Arab bath. More Moorish reminders in the Palacio de la Madraza, originally an Arab University with a well-preserved madrasa. We visit the Albaicin, the most beautiful old city quarter in Andalucia, the Carthusian Monastery with its dazzling Baroque Sacristy, and the Monastery of San Jeronimo founded by the Catholic Monarchs on the site of a Moorish Mosque. It was embellished by Diego de Siloe and is an architectural feast! On to the Alhambra! We will visit this sensual place of space, light, water, and decoration. Highlights are the Hall of the Ambassadors, the Patio of the Lions, the Sala de Dos Hermanos, El Portal, the out- of-step Palace of Charles V and the Sala de los Reyes, where we find three multicolored ceiling paintings with figurative images (portraits, etc.). We end with a walk to the Generalife, the country palace of the Nasrids. Generalife means the garden of lofty paradise. If possible we stay at the Parador Alhambra! 

 

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tama Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - Seville: The Star of Andalucia

Friday, September 9, 2022 - 1:00pm


Seville: The Star of Andalucia

Two Fridays ( September 9th & 16th  1:00 – 3:00 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

Seville is the cultural and artistic capital of Southern Spain. Visitors head straight to her Cathedral, the largest in the world, and her Moorish bell tower: La Giralda.

We will explore the oddly shaped interior and its art work and move on to King Pedro I's Real Alcazar, built by Moorish craftsmen in 1364 and embellished by Charles V. The rooms, gardens and patios are astonishingly beautiful. The Museo de Bellas Artes, second only to the Prado in importance, houses works by the Seville School in a former monastery. Artists Murillo and Juan de Valdes- Leal can also be experienced in the Hospital de la Caridad with morbid messages to the faithful and in the Hospital de los Venerables. Look up! Highlights are visits to the Torre del Oro, The Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza and its museum, several places in the Barrio Santa Cruz (the former Jewish quarter), The Casa de Pilatos and the Parque Maria Luisa with its lovely gardens, and the Plaza de Espana for the 1929 Ibero-America Exposition. We will visit Triana, a picturesque neighborhood across the Guadalquivir River and the best place to experience Flamenco. We’ll conclude with some notes about the important festivals of Semana Santa and the Feria de Abril.

 

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tama Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Mystery Writers Conference Class: Hallie Ephron - Managing Viewpoint in a Mystery Novel

Friday, August 5, 2022 - 9:00am


Managing Viewpoint in a Mystery Novel
Friday, August 5th | 9:00 - 11:30am

In-Person Class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

Mystery and thriller writers are in the business of misdirection, surprising the reader with plot twists, revealing secrets, and creating tension with unanswered questions, all the while playing fair. In this workshop we'll talk about how POV relates to story (the sequence of events that actually took place in your fictional world) and plot (the order in which it's revealed to the reader). Careful management of viewpoint is key to making it all work. 

Topics will include figuring out whose story it is. Deciding which character(s) will get to narrate. First person or third? Single or multiple narrators? Handling narrator-to-narrator shifts. Shifting from near to far. What about omniscience? The problem with “head hopping” and how to avoid it. How to manipulate viewpoint to reveal (or hide) backstory. How to write an "unreliable narrator" and still “play fair." How to deepen viewpoint. 

Participants are encouraged (not required) to bring a chapter from their work in progress for in-class exercises. 

New York Times bestselling author Hallie Ephron, Edgar Award finalist and five-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, writes books she hopes readers can’t put down. Her newest suspense novel, Careful What You Wish For (August, 2019), with its echoes of Marie Kondo life-changing decluttering tips, explores the relationships built by professional organizers and their clients — showing just how easily the lines between professional and personal can be blurred. In it, Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. Sometimes she find herself wondering if he sparks joy.

51 Tama Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Online Class: Don George - Write Your Best Travel Story

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 4:00pm

Seven Tuesdays: April 12 - May 24, 2022

Hosted via Zoom • 4:00-7:00pm PT • $575

Class limited to nine attendees

REGISTER HERE  

 

 

This class is patterned on a graduate school creative writing workshop, with emphasis on the craft of writing a publishable travel story. In this workshop, participants will conceive, pitch, and write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. This may be based on a recent close-to-home travel experience or on a memory of a past trip. In the workshop, we'll begin by closely reading, discussing, and critiquing examples of excellent travel writing. Then each participant will present their story idea for discussion and revision, and then write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. Each piece will be closely read and discussed in class. Subsequent classes will allow for revision, discussion, and further refinement of each piece. During the course of the workshop, in addition to individual critiques, we'll talk about the fine points of structure, pacing, and making your point. This highly successful class has led to numerous published stories in widely known venues such as the annual Best Travel Writing and Lonely Planet anthologies.

Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George and of Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing and the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, Better Than Fiction, and An Innocent Abroad. George is Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler, where he writes feature articles and the monthly Trip Lit column. He is also Editor of BBC Travel's literary travel column, Chance Encounters.

Class limited to nine attendees

What students are saying about Don George:

“Don George's travel writing workshop was a rigorous, profound, magical experience, the product of a uniquely nurturing environment. Taking his courses has encouraged me to write without fear of failure, and with greater confidence and creativity than ever before. Any writer—whether officially a travel writer, or any other writer considering issues of place—should jump at the chance to work with him."
—Diane Vadino

"I have always wanted to take a writing workshop from Don George, but was never able to because I did not live in the Bay Area. When he offered his workshop virtually this year, I jumped at the chance and could not be happier with the experience. It motivated me to work on a piece and the feedback I received from the other attendees enabled me to take an "okay" piece I had written and turn it into a piece I'm really proud of by the end of the workshop. I ended up going in a different direction than intended, but it ended up being the right direction I could not see by myself. I would have not been able to get my writing to where it needed to be without Don and the workshop participants. I would sign up for another virtual workshop with Don George in a heartbeat.”
—Lisa Boice

 

Connie Josefs - The Shape of Time in Memoir | Session II: Finding Structure

Sunday, May 22, 2022 - 1:30pm


THE SHAPE OF TIME IN MEMOIR
Online•Live

Two Sessions: Sundays, May 15th & 22nd

$125 single session

Session II: Finding Structure
Sunday, May 22, 2022

1:30pm - 4:00pm PT • $125

 

 

“Time is a created thing.” —Lao Tzu

Time is one of the most dynamic aspects of memoir. We view events from two vantage points: then and now. How do writers accommodate this shifting narrative stance? How do we use hindsight to gain access to narratives of the past? What patterns emerge in the process of looking back? In this seminar we will explore how time and memory shape the way we tell our  stories. Class format includes advance readings, discussion and writing exercises.

 

Session I: How Time Shapes Scene
Sunday, May 15, 1:30 - 4:00 pm, Pacific Time

An in-depth look at how memoirists organize time, voice and point of view to structure scenes and create coherence.


Session II: Finding Structure
Sunday, May 22, 1:30 - 4:00 pm, Pacific Time

A deep dive into the role of time in determining a memoir’s overall structure. We will investigate both traditional and hybrid forms.

*Classes will be recorded and video replay will be available for a limited time.

Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher and memoir coach. She leads workshops in memoir and fiction writing and has taught at UNM Albuquerque, Santa Monica College, Southwest Writers and The Taos Writers Conference. She holds an MFA in fiction from Antioch LA and has worked as a writer and story analyst for film and television. More at conniejosefs.com

What Students Are Saying about Connie Josefs

"The class went above and beyond my expectations! Connie is gifted in approach, connection,
and content. – Erin P.

"Connie was clear and specific, answered questions thoughtfully and had us do writing
exercises in each segment. She is an excellent teacher. I feel so much better equipped to work
on my memoir now." – Ruth M.

"The class totally met my expectations – so rich in content and experience." – Joan L.

"Connie’s class surpassed my expectations. The instructor is deeply knowledgeable and wove
many helpful concepts and exercises together to great effect." – Athena K.

 

Connie Josefs - The Shape of Time in Memoir | Session I: How Time Shapes Scene

Sunday, May 15, 2022 - 1:30pm


THE SHAPE OF TIME IN MEMOIR
Online•Live

Two Sessions: Sundays, May 15th & 22nd

$125 single session; $200 both sessions

Session I: How Time Shapes Scene
Sunday, May 15, 2022

1:30pm - 4:00pm PT • $125

 

 

“Time is a created thing.” —Lao Tzu

Time is one of the most dynamic aspects of memoir. We view events from two vantage points: then and now. How do writers accommodate this shifting narrative stance? How do we use hindsight to gain access to narratives of the past? What patterns emerge in the process of looking back? In this seminar we will explore how time and memory shape the way we tell our stories. Class format includes advance readings, discussion and writing exercises.

 

Session I: How Time Shapes Scene
Sunday, May 15, 1:30 - 4:00 pm, Pacific Time

An in-depth look at how memoirists organize time, voice and point of view to structure scenes and create coherence.


Session II: Finding Structure
Sunday, May 22, 1:30 - 4:00 pm, Pacific Time

A deep dive into the role of time in determining a memoir’s overall structure. We will investigate both traditional and hybrid forms.

*Classes will be recorded and video replay will be available for a limited time.

Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher and memoir coach. She leads workshops in memoir and fiction writing and has taught at UNM Albuquerque, Santa Monica College, Southwest Writers and The Taos Writers Conference. She holds an MFA in fiction from Antioch LA and has worked as a writer and story analyst for film and television. More at conniejosefs.com

What Students Are Saying about Connie Josefs

"The class went above and beyond my expectations! Connie is gifted in approach, connection,
and content. – Erin P.

"Connie was clear and specific, answered questions thoughtfully and had us do writing
exercises in each segment. She is an excellent teacher. I feel so much better equipped to work
on my memoir now." – Ruth M.

"The class totally met my expectations – so rich in content and experience." – Joan L.

"Connie’s class surpassed my expectations. The instructor is deeply knowledgeable and wove
many helpful concepts and exercises together to great effect." – Athena K.

 

Online Class: Wendy Walsh - Advanced Italian (via Zoom)

Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 9:00am


Six Thursdays: March 24th - April 28th, 2022

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 9:00-10:30am PT • $205

 

This course continues with its text 100 DUBBI di GRAMMATICA ITALIANA, by Stefania Ruggeri and Fabrizio Ruggeri from ALMA Edizioni. The "dubbi" we will be covering in the spring session include: the use of "prima che" vs "prima di" and "penso che" vs “penso di." And the BIG discussion: the use of the INDICATIVO vs the CONGIUNTIVO. We will also continue our reading of Italian history in the very readable book Che Storia by Gabriele Pallotti e Giorgio Cavadi from Bonacci Editore. Both books are available at Libreria Pino in SF (415) 242-5590.

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.

 

Online Class: Wendy Walsh - Low Intermediate Italian (via Zoom)

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 - 9:00am


Six Tuesdays: March 29th - May 3rd, 2022

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 9:00-10:30am PT • $205

 

This course will be working from the small but intense text I PRONOMI ITALIANI by Ciro Massimo Naddeo from ALMA Edizioni. This spring session we will be working on reflexive pronouns, the two important little words CI and NE and I PRONOMI COMBINATI. The book may be ordered at Libreria Pino in SF (415) 242-5590, and the Libreria will mail it directly to you.

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.

 

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - The Feminine Eye: Women Art Collectors

Friday, July 22, 2022 - 1:00pm


The Feminine Eye: Women Art Collectors

Two Fridays ( July 22nd & 29th  1:00 – 3:00 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

The collections of Isabella d'Este and Catherine the Great are legendary, but we know little about four women whose passion for art and discernment have left us with outstanding art museums.

We begin with Princess Izabela Czartoryski, whose collection of old masters including Rembrandt and Rafael once graced the family palace and included Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine brought from Italy to Poland. This priceless collection is now housed in the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow. Helene Kroller Muller (nee Muller), a German who married a Dutchman, collected the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries well before they were generally recognized. The Kroller-Muller Museum in Oterlo is the high spot of any visit to the Netherlands. It is located in De Hoge Veluwe National Park. The sculpture garden is worth a trip! Note that this is the second largest collection of Vincent's work in the world. Isabella Stewart Gardner of Boston avidly collected art to grace her home, and then purchased pieces of architecture from Venice to build a museum to house her treasures. Much has been written about “The Gardner Heist,” the unsolved theft of 13 important works from the museum, but not enough has been revealed about the woman, her friends and the important independent decisions she made about purchases. Francine Clark (nee Clary) was a beautiful and talented French woman who married Sterling Clark, and with her taste and his money an outstanding collection was put together. “The Clark," as the Clark Collection is called, is in Williamstown, Mass. and houses, among other priceless pieces, the finest collection of Impressionist paintings in the country. We will look closely at the most iconic works in these four museums.

 

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tama Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Corte Madera Class: Kerrin Meis - Modernism Revisited

Friday, July 8, 2022 - 1:00pm


Modernism Revisited

Two Fridays ( July 8th & 15th,  1:00 – 3:00 pm PT)

 

Corte Madera in-person class

 
This class will be held in a large room with a door open to outside for good ventilation.
Book Passage will continue to follow all state and local health guidelines.

 

The History of Modern Art has relied heavily on the contributions by French artists: the Impressionists, followed by Cezanne, Gauguin and Matisse.

But this is an incomplete picture! The move away from pictorial realism to the recognition of art for art's sake really began in Vienna where, around 1900, the Austro- Hungarian Empire was fading away in what one author has dubbed "a nervous splendor.”  A burst of innovation in medicine, psychiatry, literature and music took place, including a very important revolution in the areas of painting, sculpture and architecture. We study the controversial early works of Gustave Klimt and the Vienna Secession, including several important women artists in the group. The architecture of Adolf Loos, reviled at the time, and Otto Wagner as well as Koloman Moser whose influential work is often neglected in studies. Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele and especially Richard Gerstl offer insights into the psychology of both artist and subject.

We move on to the German Expressionists who, even more than Matisse and the Fauves, upset traditional use of color and form.  Special attention to August Macke, Franz Marc and the Blaue Reiter group in Munich and the painters of Die Brucke in Dresden:  Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Karl-Schmidt Rottluff, whose emotional and sexual themes made the Fauves look tame. We will pay close attention to Emil Nolde's "degenerate" religious works and Paula Modersohn-Becker in Worpsvede.

Of course we study Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian transplant to Munich whose compositions move steadily from a primitive style toward abstraction and the art  of Gabriele Muenter, his gifted companion. 

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tama Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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