Lifestyle & Enrichment Classes

Online Class: Art History with Kerrin Meis - Matisse and Picasso: Masters of Modernism

Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Two Saturdays: May 8th and 15th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 1:00-3:00pm PT • $85

Often seen as opposing influences in a new direction for art in the Western World, these two artists, both rebels, used highly disparate but equally important means to forge a new way of seeing and representing their worlds.  Matisse, a serene Frenchman, happily married, and Picasso, a flamboyant Spaniard and womanizer, need to be studied side by side and with attention to their childhoods, their early works, their early collectors, their dealers, their critics, and their legacy. We will study their contemporaries as well and note how their experiments with Fauvism (Matisse) and Cubism (Picasso) spawned developments in France, Italy, Germany, Russia, and the USA. Of special interest are their late works involving not painting but in the case of Picasso, creating pottery vessels and in the case of Matisse, cutting up pieces of colored paper! We will meet collectors like the Steins of San Francisco, Shchukin in Russia, dealers Ambrose Vollard and Daniel Kahnweiler, and some obstreperous Americans.

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.


Anne Lamott - Writing 101: COVID College Edition (Online Class)

Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Saturday, May 15th • Online

Live • 1:00-4:00pm PT• $75

Get your ticket now for admission to this live three-hour session!


This workshop is a chance to spend three hours together where I can tell you everything I know about writing, and some of what I’ve learned about life during COVID College.

I’ll discuss how to get started, making a commitment to sticking with it, writing a terrible draft, editing, creative freedom and discipline, tricks and hacks to help you get some work done every day, and the hidden blessings of our year in quarantine. As always, we will leave lots of time for your questions, on everything from getting published, to getting your hope and faith in life back.

Anne Lamott is the New York Times bestselling author of Dusk, Night, Dawn; Almost Everything: Notes on Hope; Hallelujah Anyway; Help, Thanks, Wow; Small Victories; Stitches; Some Assembly Required; Grace (Eventually); Plan B; Traveling Mercies; Bird by Bird; and Operating Instructions; as well as seven novels. A past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an inductee to the California Hall of Fame, she lives in Northern California.


Anne Lamott photo by Sam Lamott


Online Class: Art History with Kerrin Meis - Mexico City: The Vibrant Capital of Our Neighbor to the South

Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Saturday, May 22nd, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 1:00-3:00pm PT • $45

Join art historian Kerrin Meis on a virtual tour of one of her favorite spots in the world: the vibrant capital of our neighbor to the South with its fascinating architecture, lovely parks, and more art museums than any other city in North America. While the casual tourist may concentrate on the delectable food and exciting nightlife, we will enjoy immersing ourselves in the cultures that have left their mark here — from Aztecs, Maya, Olmecs, to the Spanish colonialists, to the somewhat misguided French, to its Revolutionaries and independence.

We begin in the Centro Historico (a UNESCO site): The Zocalo, a huge gathering place; the Templo Mayor, remainder of the religious center of the Aztec people; the National Cathedral built over three centuries—the oldest and largest in the Americas; the exquisite National Palace with its Diego Rivera mural of the History of Mexico on the staircase; and the nearby Ministry of Education Building with Rivera's best known murals.

Other highlights include the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe; Chapultepec Castle, housing the National History Museum in the former home of the Emperor Maximilian and his wife Carlota, located in the 1600 acre Chapultepec Park; churches and buildings in out of the way neighborhoods; the Paseo de la Reforma; the House of Tiles, now a restaurant with murals by Orozco; and the unbelievable number of top rate museums — from the famous Museum of Anthropology and the superb Palace of Fine Arts, to the enormous modernist Soumaya Museum, the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Studio Museum, the Dolores Olmedo Museum, the Franz Mayer Museum, and the soon-to-be opened Casa Leonora Carrington. Vamos!

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.


Online Class: Art History with Kerrin Meis - Discover Mexico

Saturday, June 5, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Saturday, June 5th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 1:00-3:00pm PT • $45

Beyond its gorgeous beach resorts, there is much to discover in Mexico. We visit cities renowned for splendid architecture of several ages, mural cycles by famous artists, regional museums dedicated to the country's  history and culture, Spanish missions, and Mayan ruins. Highlights include: Guadalajara, including the work of Jose Clemente Orozco; Guanahuato, the country's most picturesque colonial city; Morelia, burgeoning with European style buildings; Puebla, home to indigenous people and the most spectacular Day of the Dead celebrations; Merida, the White City; Cuernavaca, where Mexico's first Saint is buried; Taxco, the silver city; Oaxaca, especially interesting for its nearby ruins and textiles; and Loreto in Baja California Sur. Learn about regional festivals, time-resistant legends, dining experiences, and out of the way places to get lost!

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.


Online Class: Art History with Kerrin Meis - Convivencia: Toledo — City of Three Cultures

Saturday, June 12, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Saturday, June 12th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 1:00-3:00pm PT • $45

Spectacularly sited, Toledo is blessed with important vestiges of her role as the spiritual capital of Spain: Two exquisite and historically important Synagogues, a Sephardic Museum, the intriguing Mosque de la Luz, an Arab fortress, the Gothic Cathedral's virtual gallery of paintings and its famous Transparente, San Roman church housing a Visigothic museum (Francisco de San Roman was, interestingly, the first Protestant to be burned at the stake in Spain.) El Greco is everywhere: in several churches, his house/museum, the Tavera hospital, and the Museum of Santa Cruz. Visit the spectacular Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes and study Mozarabic book illustrations created in nearby monasteries. In this time of disquieting xenophobia, it is enlightening to reflect on the possibilities of tolerance, and we will learn about the cooperation among the scholars of Toledo's School of Translators.

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.


Billy Collins - The Driver's Seat of Poetry: A Live Poetry Session (Online Class)

Saturday, June 19, 2021 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Saturday, June 19th • Online

Live • 1:00-4:00pm PT• $75

Get your ticket now for admission to this live poetry session!


Please join me for this live, three-hour poetry session. I’ll pull from decades as a literature and poetry professor and tackle many of the enduring questions around how to create and write poetry.

What’s going on in the poet’s mind when he or she is actually composing a poem?  Is it Life and Death? Beauty? Truth? The Environment?  I think the answer for me and many other poets is that there is no room in our heads for such big, capitalized subjects when a poem is underway.  We are mostly thinking about how to keep the poem alive by advancing it line by line, and eventually, how to find an interesting place to stop.

Whether you are a practicing poet yourself, an interested reader of poetry, or both, having access to the inner workings of a poem by seeing the poem from the writer’s point of view will sharpen your abilities as a poet and add to your appreciation as a reader.

Poems arrive in their readers’ hands fully done, cooked, and set in no longer moveable type.  But every poem—even a Shakespeare sonnet—was once a work in progress, a living thing that the poet was still working on, perhaps not having a clue what should come next.

So: what I am offering here is an opportunity to enter poems in a fuller, more imaginative way by beholding their inner workings and by imagining the compositional process the poet might have gone through as the poem evolved from an inky mess on a page to a varnished thing.

We will look at a mix of poems—old and new, familiar and odd.  I will offer some of my own as examples; after all, I was right there when they were written.  We will look at a still unfinished poem of mine, one where the paint is still wet.

This will be an interactive experience, not a lecture on poetry.  Your comments and questions, delivered in real time, will give our gathering its vitality

I hope you will sign-up for this poetry safari.  Pith helmets and insect repellent not required.

Billy Collins is the author of twelve collections of poetry including The Rain in Portugal, Aimless Love, Horoscopes for the Dead, The Trouble with Poetry, Nine Horses, Sailing Alone Around the Room, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning. He is also the editor of Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds. His new book is Whale Day: And Other Poems. A former Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York, Billy served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003 and as New York State Poet from 2004 to 2006. In 2016 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Florida with his wife Suzannah.