Founding purposes and goals

The Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing has been created in order to bring together all of Penn's writing programs, entities, and projects - to form a new collaborative whole that will seem coherent and exciting to students, faculty, staff, alumni and other Penn-affiliated writers. For this purpose we have built a writing neighborhood on campus - along 38th Street, in two Victorian homes at 3805 Locust and 3808 Walnut. Here we will make knowledge about the act and process of writing more accessible than ever to the university community. When Penn people need support or help as writers, they will know where to go.

Through the Critical Writing Program, and its nationally recognized project of offering writing seminars all across the curriculum, we enact the belief that when you write well you keenly discern your thinking.

Writing is a means of finding out what you think and of making it clear to others.

Through the Kelly Writers House, and its hundreds of writer-led symposia, readings, spoken-word performances, literacy projects, and workshops, we aver that the university community as a whole is enriched by the intellectual vitality of creative people who gather in a free space in which emerging writers are supported.

Writers thrive in communities.

Through the PennSound digital archive, electronic book groups, online memoir workshops, and other new media projects, we express the conviction that Penn's writing community must extend well beyond the bounds of the campus if it is to connect our students to a wide world of actual writing practices, careers, and cultures.

Writing is meant to be shared across traditional boundaries.

Through the Creative Writing Program we act on the belief that the greatest gift one can give the young writer is a safe space in which rigorous apprenticeships with eminent writers can inspire new expressive confidence and make possible a next generation of powerful and beautiful poems, plays, novels, film scripts, and essays.

Writing's great future starts here.

Thus we intend