Most Arboretum Adult Classes & Programs Postponed or Canceled through August 31

Please check the COVID-19 Arb Classes Updates Webpage for the latest updates.

Programs that remain on this page are still open for registration!

Books, Literature & Writing
Classes & Workshops


Books in the Garden: Nature with Agency

Second Wednesday of each month, Noon-1:30 p.m.
March 11, April 8, May 13, June 10, July 8 & August 12

Toni McNaron, Ph.D., award-winning professor emerita of English, University of Minnesota

Join other lovers of literature for thoughtful discourse facilitated by Toni McNaron. The six works to be explored offer several "takes" on just how agential Nature can be in human consciousness. Some depict the natural world as something humans can "tame" while others suggest our best course of action is to observe Nature closely and take lessons from that world. Still others reveal forces of Nature that neither care about us nor hold back from being powerful and potentially destructive forces we cannot fend off or ignore. Please read the assigned book prior to each class session.
  • March 11 Sula by Toni Morrison
  • April 8 The Overstory by Richard Powers
  • May 13 Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • June 10 Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
  • July 8 The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  • August 12 An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo
Each week you will receive a drink coupon for coffee, tea, cocoa or fountain drink.

Limit 25, Oswald Visitor Center - Teaching Classroom


These sessions have temporarily moved online for registered participants. Contact Wendy with any questions at depao008@umn.edu

$100 member/$130 non-member, includes Arboretum admission


 

Books in the Garden: Not Your Usual Nature Writer

(3) Wednesdays noon-1:30 p.m., September 9, October 14, November 11
Toni McNaron, Ph.D., award-winning professor emerita of English, University of Minnesota

Join other literature enthusiasts for thoughtful discourse over a cup of tea or coffee
This season's theme, Not Your Usual Nature Writer, is a short course, 3-session series.
We will read two books written by unlikely authors to be thought of as "nature" writers. Ants On the Melon is by Virginia Hamilton Adair, a woman who wrote poems all her life but only published her first collection when she was 83 years old. The other is by Mark Doty, a gay memoirist, who wrote an elegant book of essays about the food, flowers, and animals in still life paintings. This promises to be a lot of fun, so join us!
  • September 9: Ants on the Melon by Virginia Hamilton Adair. Read from the beginning through page 78
  • October 14: Still Life With Oysters and Lemon by Mark Doty
  • November 1: Ants on the Melon, read page 79 to the end
Each week you will receive a drink coupon for coffee, tea, cocoa or fountain drink.
Limit 24, Oswald Visitor Center - Teaching Classroom

register
$49 member/$95 non-member, includes Arboretum admission (books not included)

Books in the Garden: Nature "Red in Tooth and Claw"

(6) Wednesdays, noon-1:30 p.m.: March 10, April 14, May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11
Toni McNaron, Ph.D., award-winning professor emerita of English, University of Minnesota

Join other lovers of literature for thoughtful discourse facilitated by Toni McNaron. While many of our writers have presented the natural world in lyrical language, others have argued that nature is indifferent to human wishes or feelings. And other writers have depicted just how violent and unrelenting nature can be, no matter what we humans do to try and endure in the face of natural forces completely outside our control. The books, poem and short story we will discuss in this session tend to fit more into this last category than others, raising serious questions about our "place" in the larger scheme of things.
  • March 10: Snowbound by John Greenleaf Whittier
  • April 14: The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich
  • May 12: The Open Boat by Steven Crane
  • June 9: Mama Day by Gloria Naylor
  • July 14: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner 
  • August 11: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward 
Each week you will receive a drink coupon for coffee, tea, cocoa or fountain drink.
Limit 24, Oswald Visitor Center - Teaching Classroom

register
$100 member/$145 non-member, includes Arboretum admission (books not included)

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Questions?
Arboretum Education Office
Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.*
arbedu@umn.edu
612-301-1210*
*We are temporarily working from home during Covid-19, we may return phone messages from a home phone 

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