Classes

Virtual Class: Art History with Kerrin Meis - The Window in Western Art (via Zoom)

Saturday, January 16, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Two Saturdays: January 16 and 23, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 1:00-3:00pm PT • $80


In this class we will look at the function of the window in Western Art, from Medieval stained glass windows to status symbols in Renaissance portraiture to Vermeer's interiors with the ever-present window. Is it only a "source of light?" We will pay special attention to the 19th Century Romantic painters' Rooms with a View, especially in Germany and Scandinavia, in Matisse's interiors from Paris to Nice, and in artist's studios. We encounter Caspar David Friedrich, Otto Menzel, Edward Hopper, Rene Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, and others who employed the window as a metaphor on the human condition.

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.

 

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

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Six Thursdays: January 28th - March 4th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 9:00-11:00am PT • $195

 

We will be working on the many common errors and questions about Italian grammar. Please contact Wendy Walsh at danteista@gmail.com to receive syllabus and handouts.

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

 

Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Intermediate Italian (via Zoom)

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 8:45am

Six Tuesdays: January 26th - March 2nd, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 8:45-10:45am PT • $195

 

We will be working on verb tenses, concentrating on the passato prossimo and the imperfetto. Please contact Wendy Walsh at danteista@gmail.com to receive syllabus and handouts.

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

 

Virtual Class: Don George - Write Your Best Travel Story (via Zoom)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm


Six Tuesdays: January 19th - February 23rd, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 4:00-7:00pm PT • $495

Class limited to nine attendees

Please note: This class is currently at capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email kathryn@bookpassage.com


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.
 

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

 

Virtual Class: Mock Caldecott (via Zoom)

Sunday, January 24, 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Sunday, January 24 • 2:00-4:00pm PT • $20 • Led by Melissa Manlove
Class size limited to 24 • This event is for adults • Zoom meeting ID and password will be provided upon registration

What is a Mock Caldecott?

The Caldecott Medal is the most important award given to illustrated children’s books, presented each year by the American Library Association. This afternoon of discussion (held in small groups in Zoom breakout rooms) will cover the criteria by which the Caldecott committee judges books for this prestigious award, and offers a fun, hands-on experience as we discuss and vote on some of the year’s best illustrated books.

SPACE IS LIMITED TO 24 PEOPLE • PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT IS FOR ADULTS

Attendees must complete the reading ahead of time. The reading list is:

  1. The Bear and the Moon (Cátia Chien)
  2. The Blue House (Phoebe Wahl)
  3. Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks (Cozbi A. Cabrera)
  4. The Farmer and the Monkey (Marla Frazee)
  5. In the City (Chris Raschka)
  6. In the Half Room (Carson Ellis)
  7. Julián at the Wedding (Jessica Love)
  8. The Little Mermaid (Jerry Pinkney)
  9. My Best Friend (Jillian Tamaki)
  10. Prairie Days (Micha Archer)
  11. ¡VAMOS! Let’s Go Eat (Raúl the Third)
  12. You Matter (Christian Robinson)
  13. ALSO READ: The Caldecott Terms and Criteria

All books will be available for purchase at Book Passage.  

Melissa Manlove is a Senior Editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She has been with Chronicle for 16 years. Her acquisitions encompass picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, graphic novels, and novels in verse. When acquiring, she looks for fresh takes on familiar topics as well as the new and unusual. An effective approach and strong, graceful writing are important to her. She has 20 years of children’s bookselling experience.

Virtual Class: Don George - Fine-Tune Your Travel Tale: Advanced Writing Workshop (via Zoom)

Friday, December 11, 2020 - 12:00pm

Friday, Saturday & Sunday: December 11-13 • 12:00-3:00pm PT • $395 • Hosted via Zoom • Class limited to 9 attendees.

This workshop is designed for writers who have an already finished travel story of up to 3,000 words that they would like to workshop and refine. Participants will be asked to send their story to Don George and all the workshop participants before the first class. In each workshop, we will closely discuss and critique three pieces. In addition to individual critiques, we will also discuss the art of great travel writing — how to lead into a piece, how to structure a story arc, how to bring a place and scene to life, and how to create a compelling close.

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: The Art of the Interview with Pico Iyer and Michael Shapiro (Virtual Event)

Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm

 

Sat., November 14th • 1:30pm PT/4:30pm ET • $60

The Art of the Interview

with Pico Iyer & Michael Shapiro

Drawing on its instructors’ decades of experience conducting interviews onstage, for periodicals, and at home, this class is at heart about refining and deepening the art of conversation. How do we choose questions, structure them, and at times remain silent so as to draw the most out of celebrities, strangers, and even family members?

Iyer has interviewed onstage such figures as the Dalai Lama, Elizabeth Gilbert, Werner Herzog, and Annie Leibovitz. Shapiro has interviewed, for magazines and newspapers, Jane Goodall, Smokey Robinson, and Francis Ford Coppola. Both have also studied—and interviewed—such master interviewers as Studs Terkel, Krista Tippett, and Terry Gross.

How do we put a new acquaintance at ease? How can we prepare extensively in advance and then allow a chat to go exhilaratingly off-script? How might one do richest justice to a job interview, on either side of the table? And how to bring forth an aging mother’s most heart-shaking memories? This class will approach, from many angles, practical ways of making all our interactions more illuminating and fresh.

Pico Iyer is the host of the “Speaking with Pico” series in Santa Barbara, regularly conducts interviews for the City Arts and Lectures series in San Francisco and, for over 25 years, has conducted intimate onstage conversations with everyone from Philip Glass to Zadie Smith and from Martin Scorsese to Ireland’s President Mary Robinson. Since 1982 he has been a full-time writer, publishing 15 books that have been translated into 23 languages, on subjects ranging from the Dalai Lama to globalism, from the Cuban Revolution to Islamic mysticism. They include such long-running sellers as Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul, The Open Road, and The Art of Stillness. He has also written the introductions to more than 70 other books, as well as liner and program notes, a screenplay for Miramax and a libretto. At the same time he has been writing up to 100 articles a year for Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, the Financial Times, and more than 250 other periodicals worldwide. His four talks for TED have received more than 10 million views so far. Since 1992 he has spent much of his time at a Benedictine hermitage in Big Sur, California, and most of the rest in suburban Japan.

Michael Shapiro is a journalist and author of two interview collections: A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration, which includes Bill Bryson, Isabel Allende, Paul Theroux, and Jan Morris; and the recently published The Creative Spark (Amy Tan, David Sedaris, Barbara Kingsolver, Graham Nash and many others). He moderates panel discussions at events such as Key West Literary Seminar and Book Passage’s Travel Writers & Photographers Conference.

Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Continuing the Journey with Dante's Purgatorio (via Zoom)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm



Eight Tuesdays: January 5 - February 23, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 3:30-5:30pm PT • $240

The course is taught in English with frequent references to Dante’s brilliant and evocative Italian.


 

Continue the journey with Dante on Zoom! Join Wendy Walsh for the reading and study of Purgatorio, the second cantica of Dante’s Commedia.

Dante and Virgil begin their climb of the immense Mountain of Purgatory in the middle of the unpopulated waters of the Southern Hemisphere. Before reaching Purgatory proper, they travel through Ante Purgatory and then up through the seven terraces, each one reflecting one of the seven deadly sins. Their goal is the Earthly Paradise at the top of the mountain and along the way they will meet the many saved souls who are happily purifying themselves for their ascent to Paradise.  Purgatory is “where the soul of man is cleansed,/ made worthy to ascend to Heaven. (dove l’umano spirito si purga/e di salire al ciel diventa degno” Canto I, 5-6.)

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

 

Virtual Class: Kerrin Meis - Exploring Eastern Turkey: Art, Culture, and Politics (via Zoom)

Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 1:00pm

Two Saturdays: December 5 & 12 • 1:00-2:30pm PT • $80 • Hosted via Zoom

Travelers to Turkey (actual and virtual) miss the real Turkey. In this class, participants will (virtually) tour through: Ankara, home of the award-winning Archaeological Museum; the Hittite sites of Yazilkaya and Bozakoy with their history-revealing sculpture; Trabzon, home of the Hagia Sophia Church with its priceless Byzantine frescoes and the precariously perched Monastery of Sumela; Erzurum's distinctive Mosque and Madrasa; the ghostly remains of the church of Ani and monasteries hugging the Armenian border; the mind-blowing palace of Ishak Pasha with its conglomeration of architectural styles; Akdamar on Lake Van, home of the 10th-century Cathedral of the Holy Cross with astonishing and amusing relief sculpture; Mardin, the golden city on Syria's border—an architecture student's paradise; captivating Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of Kurdistan, with its Roman walls, intriguing bazaar, and fascinating Ulu Mosque; Nemrut Dag, home of the monolithic sculptures and tomb of the megalomaniac ruler Antiochus I; Gobekli Tepe, the most important archaeological site extant with finds from 11000 BC; Gazientep with the world's largest and most spectacular collection of Roman mosaics from the sunken city of Zeugma. The "problems" with the Kurds and the Armenian genocide will be addressed.

Hayirli yolculuklar!

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.

Virtual Class: Kerrin Meis - Mastering the Met (via Zoom)

Saturday, November 7, 2020 - 1:00pm

Two Saturdays: November 7 & 14 • 1:00-2:30pm PT • $80 • Hosted via Zoom

The Metropolitan Museum has re-opened! If you aren't comfortable making the trip to NYC, you may want to join Kerrin Meis in Zoom lectures on November 7 and 14. Home to over two million masterworks spanning many cultures and time periods, the Met can be somewhat daunting. We will study carefully chosen works of painting, sculpture and jewelry from important world centers representing major movements in art. From a 3,000-year-old Hittite gold pendant to an Artist's Studio painted in 2019, we will scrutinize each work, asking the important When? Where? By Whom? For Whom? and Why?

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.

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