Classes

UPCOMING CLASSES

> SA&L event with Deb Perelman
> SA&L event with Matthew Desmond

Click a class name to learn more — and to register!

If you have any questions about classes, please email us: shawlib@rockisland.com

Click here to see PAST CLASSES.

food writer Deb Perelman in conversation with J. Kenji López-Alt

Thursday, January 25th, 7:30 pm
A free, online event for lifetime members of the Shaw Island Library & Historical Society

Deb Perelman is a food writer and the home cook, photographer, and publisher behind the wildly popular Smitten Kitchen food blog. Winner of Saveur’s Best Cooking Blog of 2011 award, Smitten Kitchen has amassed a huge following due to Perelman’s ability to translate ambitious, sophisticated flavors into easy-to-follow recipes. The long-awaited New York Times bestseller The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (2012) compiles favorite and innovative recipes, Perelman’s own beautiful photography, and is peppered with her distinctive “no-fuss” cooking philosophy.

Working out of her apartment’s 42-square-foot kitchen, Perelman draws on a unique sense of humor and personal anecdotes to connect with her audience. Her approachable style and infectious enthusiasm make her a great fit for special events, luncheons or dinners, women’s organizations, or anywhere food lovers congregate. Most recently, Perelman published Smitten Kitchen Every Day, which brings passionate home cooks new recipes designed to elevate their meals with her signature flavorful and approachable flair.

J. Kenji López-Alt will join Deb Perelman on stage. He is the director of this year’s Community Curated Series, is an American chef and food writer. His first book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, became a critical and commercial success, charting on the New York Times Bestseller list and winning the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for the best General Cooking cookbook. In 2023, he won his second James Beard Foundation Award for the Single Subject category for The Wok: Recipes and Techniques, his definitive guide to the science and technique of cooking in a wok.

This will be a live viewing on a large screen at the library, along with wine and small snacks, but — because we are aware that COVID is also on people’s minds — we are offering a limited number of at-home watch options; these are offered first-come, first-served. When you register, you can state your preference.
This event is free, but open only to lifetime members of the SIL&HS.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT HAS CLOSED.

sociologist Matthew Desmond

Thursday, March 28th, 7:30 pm
A free, online event for lifetime members of the Shaw Island Library & Historical Society

In his landmark book, Poverty, By America, acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Elegantly written and fiercely argued, this compassionate book gives us new ways of thinking about a morally urgent problem—and also helps us imagine solutions.

In his follow up to Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Desmond investigates why the United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why does this land of plenty allow one in every eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages?

Matthew Desmond is the author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City and the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology and the founder and principal investigator of the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. In 2018, The Eviction Lab published the first-ever national dataset of evictions in America, collecting millions of data points going back to 2000, and it has gone on to serve as a resource hub for the millions of American renters who faced increased housing insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is also the author of the award-winning book On The Fireline, the coauthor of two books on race, and the editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. He has written essays on educational inequality, dangerous work, political ideology, race and social theory, and the inner-city housing market. His work has been supported by the Gates, Horowitz, Ford, JBP, MacArthur, and National Science, Russell Sage, and W.T. Grant Foundations, as well as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. He is a Contributing Writer for The New York Times Magazine, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker and The Chicago Tribune.

This will be a live viewing on a large screen at the library, along with wine and small snacks, but — because we are aware that COVID is also on people’s minds — we are offering a limited number of at-home watch options; these are offered first-come, first-served. When you register, you can state your preference.
This event is free, but open only to lifetime members of the SIL&HS.

To register for this event, click here.

Registration will close at 5pm on Friday, March 22.

PAST CLASSES

poet Jane Hirshfield

Monday, October 2nd, 2023 at 7:30 pm
A free, online event for members of the Shaw Island Library & Historical Society

Iconic poet Jane Hirshfield addresses the urgent immediacies of our time in her long-awaited book The Asking, which assays the full ranges of our shared and borrowed lives: our bonds of eros and our responsibilities to the planet; the singing dictions and searchlight dimensions of perception; the willing plunge into an existence both perishing and beloved, recognized in these poems as dazzling, “even now, even here.”

Hirshfield was a member of Princeton University’s first graduating class to include women. She has lived for many years on the West Coast, in the Pacific Northwest and in Northern California. Her poems are distinct for their efforts to stay present in the present, in their attention to the exact details of the objects she observes and to the nuances of a feeling or gesture; to the selection of just the right word, or just the right placement of a line break to shape the movement of the language. Jane Hirshfield’s books of poetry include Ledger (2021), The Beauty (2017), Come, Thief (2011); After (2006); Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Lives of the Heart (1997); The October Palace (1994); Of Gravity & Angels (1988); and Alaya (1982). She is also the author of a collection of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (1997) and has also edited and translated a number of anthologies.

This will be a live viewing on a large screen at the library, along with wine and cheese, but — because we are aware that COVID is also on people’s minds — we are offering a limited number of at-home watch options; these are offered first-come, first-served. When you register, you can state your preference.
This event is free, but open only to lifetime members of the SIL&HS.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT HAS CLOSED.

novelist Barbara Kingsolver

Monday, October 16th, 2023 at 7:30 pm
A free, online event for members of the Shaw Island Library & Historical Society

Winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Barbara Kingsolver is lauded as one of the most celebrated novelists of our time. With her latest novel, Demon Copperhead, Kingsolver takes on David Copperfield as her inspiration for a story following one boy through the mountains of Southern Appalachia. Reckoning with institutional poverty, opioid addiction, and class divides visible and unseen, Kingsolver’s voice resonates with the truth of loving a place others will hardly believe exists. Kingsolver will appear in conversation with Ruth Dickey, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.

This will be a live viewing on a large screen at the library, along with wine and cheese, but — because we are aware that COVID is also on people’s minds — we are offering a limited number of at-home watch options; these are offered first-come, first-served. When you register, you can state your preference.
This event is free, but open only to lifetime members of the SIL&HS.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS CLOSED.

Sentiment & Sentimentality in Poetry, with Ellen Bass

A free interactive Zoom class
Thursday, November 9th, 6:30–8 pm 
To attend in the comforts of your own home
This class is for people who love words and enjoy poetry (poets are welcome, too!)

Sentimentality is the only sentiment that rubs you the wrong way.  –– W. Somerset Maugham

All poets want their poems to be emotionally meaningful, but how do they express strong feelings without falling into irritating sentimentality? We’ll talk about the courage required to face our tenderness with the knowledge that nothing is permanent. We’ll discuss poems that demonstrate the complex marriage of thought and feeling and investigate how that is achieved. I’ll discuss strategies that poets use to heighten the intimacy of their poems and to transform their private concerns into powerful poems. — Ellen Bass

About Ellen Bass 

Ellen’s poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares. Her most recent collection, Indigo, published in 2020 by Copper Canyon Press, was named a new and notable book by the New York Times, who said, “Bass’s work — about marriage and parenting, illness and recovery, small daily pleasures — cultivates an exuberance that’s born of, and balanced by, close watchfulness.”

Ellen’s honors and awards include a Pushcart Prize, a Pablo Neruda Prize, a Larry Levis Reading Prize, and a New Letters Literary Prize, and, most recently, a Guggenheim fellowship that she’s thrilled about. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

This is a free class, but you still need to register for it. Please click here to register.

with Pearl Schuman
November 18th, 2 – 4 pm, Community Building
$25 per person

Let’s make Fire Cider together! Homemade Fire Cider is great for improving digestion, building immunity, and keeping you and your loved ones well through the winter! 

Fire Cider is a tonic with deep roots in folk medicine and was brought to popularity by the American herbalist and author Rosemary Gladstar. Fire cider has been consumed traditionally to ward off sore throats, colds, flu, and chest congestion, and to promote circulation, which warms us up in the cold months to come.

We use Apple Cider Vinegar (with Mother) as the base, then add warming, immune- and circulatory-enhancing, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral foods and herbs. With time, the medicinal properties are extracted into the vinegar! 

We will learn the benefits of each ingredient offered, applications, and how to make your own Fire Cider at home.

Everything you need — ingredients for the cider and a jar to carry it home — is included.

Pearl has an M. S. in Nutrition and is a Certified Herbal Mixologist.

Please click here to register for this class. (Money for the class will be collected at the class.)

Reading Poetry for Delight & Conversation

Over relaxed evenings, around the library’s back table, we’ll read poetry together. We’ll share thinking and responses, finding our ways to comfort with different poets’ wordplay and dreaming. As needed, we’ll address topics like meter and rhythm, syntax, word sounds and choices, metaphor, the history of poetry, and so on. We’ll read poetry from a range of places and times (some in translation), focusing on shorter poems. The goal, overall, is for us to delight in the rich and wild possibilities of what we humans do with words and how this can shift how we move through our days.

The poets we read will be determined by your interests, but we will start with a range that could include Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Arthur Rimbaud, Seamus Heaney, Elizabeth Bishop, Jane Hirshfield,
Jack Gilbert, Mary Oliver, Li-Young Lee, Samuel Green, Claudia Rankine, Erin Belieu, Tyree Daye, or Ellen Bass (who will visit Shaw in 2024).

The facilitator: For gaining on forty years, award-winning teacher Anne Wysocki has worked with other adults — in settings such as job training programs in South Central Los Angeles to the English Department at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee — to encourage joy and power with language.

This free class (limited to 8) will meet every other Wednesday, for a total of eight meetings, starting January 10th, 2024. We’ll go from 7–8:30pm around the library‘s big table.
Questions? Email Anne at annefranceswysocki@gmail.com
The class is now full.
Sharpen your pencil, wake up the magic,& get ready to write!

2024 Writing Retreat 

at the Shaw Library

Whether poetry, fiction, non-fiction or memoir inspires you, this will be your time to shake off the doldrums of the pandemic and finally say YES to writing with friends again.

Saturday, February 10th,  6–8:30 pm & Sunday, February 11th,  9 am– 4:30 pm
Shaw Library meeting room
Instructor: Lorrie Harrison
Cost: $150

Overview: Surrounded by books, forest and the warmth of Shaw Library, we’ll begin our retreat on Saturday evening. Using comfortable, non-threatening exercises to get the juices flowing, we’ll write a few new pieces, read aloud, then set our course for the next day together. 

The library and its beautiful grounds are ours all day Sunday. Morning time we’ll limber up and stretch our writing muscles with prompts and free writes. Time for instruction next, then we’ll write and share a short piece before lunch. Afternoon we’ll settle in to write a longer piece, read aloud and get feedback from the group. 

About the Instructor: Lorrie Harrison’s warm, engaging teaching style helps people naturally develop confidence and skill. A published author, professional editor and writing coach, she has been teaching writing in the Pacific Northwest and France since 2003. Her book Kindred Spirits: Stories, Passions & Portraits from the Heart of Community, written in conjunction with photographer Greg Ewert, won Writers Digest’s Inspirational Book of the Year award in 2001. 

For more information about the retreat, call Lorrie at (360) 622.8360
Registration for this workshop will open approximately one month beforehand. We will send out an announcement.
This retreat is limited to 12 people.
Bring a brown bag lunch on Sunday; snacks and tea provided.