Books, Literature & Writing
Classes & Workshops

This series has moved online!

Books in the Garden: Nature "Red in Tooth and Claw" (Online)

(6) Wednesdays, noon-1:30 p.m.: March 10, April 14, May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, 2021
Toni McNaron, Ph.D., award-winning professor emerita of English, University of Minnesota

Join other lovers of literature for thoughtful discourse facilitated online via Zoom 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: Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis
  • 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 

Zoom Arboretum class host
Arboretum Art Curator & Program Manager Wendy DePaolis, will be facilitating this class live. For webinar questions or assistance during class, contact Wendy at or 952-334-4019.

How it works
Registered participants will be emailed a link to join the class via Zoom, an online interactive platform hosted by Arboretum, which allows interaction, feedback and questions. Class will be recorded and available to review for 60 days following each meeting.

Limit 24, Live interactive discussion on Zoom

$100 member/$145 non-member (books not included)

pen and notebook for writing outdoors in autumn

PoeTree: Poetry Workshop on the Intersection of Art & Nature (In-Person at the Arb)

Saturday, August 21, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Marie Olofsdotter, Award-winning Swedish artist and poet who has shared her love of nature and creativity as a teaching artist for over 25 years

Level No experience required
Supplies All supplies included (notebook & pencil to take home)

Explore the ways in which nature (trees in particular) can inspire and inform our work. Build community by sharing ideas and words as you review poetry from around the world.
  • Learn about the bones of poetry: metaphor, anaphora, and sensory detail
  • Discover a playful approach to writing
  • Be guided from your heart as you create poetry inspired by your nature observations
  • Leave with a couple of your own new poems and a deepened relationship to trees and nature.
Bring from home
  • Backpack or bag for anything you bring with you. We will be mobile on foot, with no storage for personal items
  • For sitting outdoors: a blanket or folding stool (limited supply of Arboretum stools may be available to borrow)
  • Dress for the weather (including sunscreen and bug spray as needed) and wear comfortable shoes
  • Bring water bottle, snack/beverages and/or lunch as needed. Food and drinking water are not available at the class location.

How it works You will receive a bar-code ticket for entry to the Arboretum in your email purchase confirmation. Your ticket is valid for entry on the day of your class up to 30 minutes prior to your class start. Present your ticket to the gate attendant as you enter the Arboretum. You may stay at the Arboretum after class as long as you want during our operating hours. Review these Covid-19 safety protocols for attending in-person classes at the Arboretum.

Limit 25, Bee Center Picnic Shelter

$29 member/$44 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and all supplies

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Arboretum Education Office
Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.*
*We are temporarily working from home during Covid-19, we may return phone messages from a home phone 

Cancellations & Exchanges

Cancellation policy

Some in-person programs: postponed or canceled
Find details at COVID-19 Arb Classes Updates

The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the orange "waitlist" button next to the class and complete the form. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional sessions may be added.

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