Many Arboretum Adult Classes & Programs Postponed or Canceled

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

This Fall series is moving online!

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 11: 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
This series is moving online, and will be meeting each session via Zoom! Registered participants are being contacted with information and details. New registrants will receive information via email. Questions? Contact Arboretum Host for this series, Wendy Depaolis, at
$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, 2021
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: 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 
Each week you will receive a drink coupon for coffee, tea, cocoa or fountain drink.
Limit 24, Oswald Visitor Center - Teaching Classroom

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

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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 

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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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