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January 2009

Thursday, 1/1

Friday, 1/2

Saturday, 1/3

Sunday, 1/4

Monday, 1/5

Tuesday, 1/6

Wednesday, 1/7

Thursday, 1/8

Friday, 1/9

Saturday, 1/10

Sunday, 1/11

Monday, 1/12

Tuesday, 1/13

Wednesday, 1/14

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Thursday, 1/15

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe: "A Murder of Ravens," featuring multiple readings of "The Raven" (by Edgar Allan Poe) to mark Poe's 200th birthday


listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: view a video recording of this program via KWH-TV

Hosted by Thomas Devaney, the program will include readings of "The Raven" by Daniel Hoffman, Shonni Enelow (reading Baudelaire's translation of the poem) and Edward Pettit; a group adaption of the poem by Michael Tom Vassallo, Kaegan Sparks, and Thomson Guster; and an excerpted screening of the infamous rendition by The Simpsons.

Thomas Devaney's essay "The Absolute Literary Case" is a pamphlet published by the Philadelphia Free Library for their current exhibition on Poe, "Quote the Raven."

Shonni Enelow is a playwright and doctoral student in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania.

Daniel Hoffman's is author of the book Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe, which remains a classic study on Poe and was nominated for the National Book Award in 1971. He is also the author of The Whole Nine Yards: Longer Poems.

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Friday, 1/16

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Saturday, 1/17

Sunday, 1/18

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)


Monday, 1/19

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Tuesday, 1/20

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe: Theorizing presents Amy Hollywood: "Don't Touch Me." Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and the Department of Romance Languages.

"Don't Touch Me" juxtaposes texts and images from across historical periods and across genres — Susan Howe, Georges Bataille, Jonathan Edwards, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Cornelia Parker, Bernard of Clairvaux — in a reflection on writing the history of gender, race, and Christian devotion.

Amy Hollywood has been teaching at the Harvard Divinity School since 2005 after teaching at Rhodes College, Dartmouth College, and the University of Chicago. She is a historian of Christian thought specializing in mysticism, with strong interests in feminist theory, queer theory, psychoanalysis, and continental philosophy. Her first book, The Soul as Virgin Wife: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart (University of Notre Dame Press, 1995) received the International Congress of Medieval Studies' Otto Grundler Prize for the best book in medieval studies. Her second book, Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference, and the Demands of History (University of Chicago Press, 2002), deals with Georges Bataille, Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques Lacan, and Luce Irigaray and their fascination with excessive bodily and affective forms of Christian mysticism. Professor Hollywood is currently co-editing, with Patricia Beckman, the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism and completing a book of essays to be called "Acute Melancholia." She is also the editor of the Gender, Theory, and Religions Series for Columbia University Press.


Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Wednesday, 1/21

8:00 PM in the Arts Cafe: Speakeasy: Poetry, Prose, and Anything Goes!


Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Thursday, 1/22

7:30 PM in the Arts Cafe: a workshop presentation of "The Travel Plays," short works by ArtsEdge Resident Greg Romero. Co-sponsored by Philadelphia Dramatists Center (PDC).


Greg Romero wrote "The Travel Plays" according to a set of self-determined rules. Each of the 31 plays is a gift for one of the 31 people who donated money to fund the playwright's travel from Philadelphia to Dallas in the spring of 2008. Romero determined setting and page length for each play by calculating the city where each gift would land him as well as the number of states he'd pass through (one page per state). Each play includes a gift exchange and one item from the previous locale. Moving through time, place and American history, "The Travel Plays" meet Walt Whitman, Martha Washington, Elvis Presley and a giant elephant. They make a wacky textured tapestry of histories out of theatrical gift-exchanges.

Greg Romero is a playwright/theater artist, originally from Louisiana. Currently based in Philadelphia, his works include The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard, The Milky Way Cabaret, The Mishumaa, and Dandelion Momma, and have been produced off-off Broadway by City Attic Theatre and Working Man's Clothes Productions, and across the country by Salvage Vanguard Theater, Rude Mechanicals Theatre Collective, Theater In My Basement, Specific Gravity Ensemble, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Romero's work explores memory, imagination, pain, dreams, rites of passage, the overlapping of time, and the flawed and fascinating guts and souls of human beings. Inspired and haunted by space, Romero has created work performed in elevators, porches, warehouses, loft apartments, punk stages, museums, basement crawl spaces, and public bathrooms. Romero has also collaborated several times with electronic music composer Mike Vernusky on live performance projects including The Book of Remembrance and Forgetting, The Eulogy Project, and currently, Radio Ghosts in a form they are calling "electro-theater." Romero has been commissioned by The Cardboard Box Collaborative, Austin Script Works, and Audacity Theatre Lab, and is a member of Philadelphia Dramatists Center, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, and The Dramatists Guild of America. He has been a finalist for the Heideman Award, a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award and his works have been published by Heinemann Press and Playscripts, Inc. Romero received a BA in Liberal Arts from the Louisiana Scholars College and an MFA in Playwriting from The University of Texas-Austin where he held the James A. Michener Fellowship. He has taught Playwriting at The Eugene O'Neill National Theater Institute, The Wilma Theater, and Philadelphia Dramatists Center and taught Theater at The University of the Arts and Saint Joseph's University. Most recently, Romero was selected as the first-ever Resident Writer of the ArtsEdge Residency, created by The Kelly Writers House and The University of Pennsylvania.

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Friday, 1/23

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Saturday, 1/24

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM in the KWH: WriteOn! meets.

For more information, contact Amanda J. Steren at amandajsteren@gmail.com

Sunday, 1/25

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)


Monday, 1/26

7:00PM in the Arts Cafe: LIVE at the Writers House featuring Writing ALoud with InterAct Theatre Company.

The award-winning series, Writing Aloud, celebrates its tenth season in 2008/2009. Known for presenting diverse voices in contemporary fiction, Writing Aloud features short fictional stories by the region's best writers, read on stage by professional actors. Local newspapers have noted:

"... an engrossing mix of storytelling and theater."

- Philadelphia City Paper

"... [brings] contemporary short fiction by some of the region's best writers to life."

- Philadelphia Daily News

"...has found a way to please both the lovers of fiction and the wistful nonreaders for whom stories lost all magic when they were no longer read aloud."

- The Philadelphia Inquirer

listen: to an audio recording of this event

This special LIVE will feature three stories by Liz Abrams-Morley, Jonathan Liebson, and Kelly Lundgren Pietrucha performed by members of InterAct Theatre.

Liz Abrams-Morley is the author of the full-length poetry collection Learning to Calculate the Half Life, (Zinka Press, 2001) and two chapbooks including What Winter Reveals, (Plan B Press, 2005.) Her second full-length collection, Necessary Turns, is due out from Word Press in 2010. Liz's poems and short stories have appeared in a variety of nationally distributed journals and anthologies and both have been read on National Public Radio. She is on the MFA in Creative Writing faculty at Rosemont College, has worked as a poet-in-residence in grades K-12 in public and private schools throughout Pennsylvania, and is one of three director/editors at and a co-founder of an online writing consultation business, www.writearoundtheblock.org). In the rest of her life she lives with her husband and two dog-like cats in Philadelphia, is a mother, a mother-in-law, wife, sister, family caretaker, friend and lapsed family therapist. She wades knee-deep in the flow of everyday life from which she draws constant inspiration and occasional exasperation.

Jonathan Liebson's work has appeared in Chelsea, South Dakota Review, Harvard Review, Meridian and The Georgia Review, among other places, and has also won awards or been honored by The Atlantic Monthly and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom's annual fiction competition. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he holds an M.A. in literature from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England, and an MFA in fiction from NYU. He currently teaches writing and literature at Eugene Lang College of The New School, in New York.

Kelly Lundgren Pietrucha's work has appeared in Carve, Fiction Attic, Literary Mama, and Pindeldyboz. She earned a Masters in Fiction from Temple University, where she currently teaches creative writing. She also teaches reading and writing at Camden County College in New Jersey. She lives in New Jersey with her family, and is currently working on her first novel.

LIVE at the Writers House is a long-standing collaboration between the Kelly Writers House and WXPN FM (88.5). Six times annually between September and April, Michaela Majoun hosts a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, along with one musical guest, all from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN. LIVE is made possible by generous support from BigRoc. For more information, contact Producer Erin Gautsche (gautsche@writing.upenn.edu).


Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Tuesday, 1/27

5:30 PM in the Arts Cafe: "Rebuilding The Temple: Typesetting George Herbert Several Centuries Out of Context"


listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Print inevitably creates several degrees of separation between manuscript and finished form, author and audience. Taking George Herbert's posthumously published collection of poems, The Temple, into account, Brooke Palmieri, an undergraduate major in English and History, Thomas Ward, a Graduate student in the English Department, Peter Stallybrass, the Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities, will discuss the paper trail of Herbert's manuscripts through to their 17th century incarnations, as well as the process of adapting them to print form today. The problems that arise along the way ultimately cast the typesetter as both a source of survival for the poems through print, but paradoxically the chief cause of textual variants and deformations of the author's work.


Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Wednesday, 1/28

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe: Inquirer Deputy Managing Editor for News and Multimedia Vernon Loeb, introduced by Dick Polman. Co-sponsored by the CPCW.


listen: listen to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

RSVP required to wh@writing.upenn.edu or call 215-573-9748

Vernon Loeb is the Deputy Managing Editor for News and Multimedia at The Philadelphia Inquirer. As a reporter, bureau chief and foreign correspondent for 16 years at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Loeb covered four Philadelphia mayors and was the newspaper's City Hall bureau chief from 1985-1989 and 1992-1994. Between the stints at City Hall, he was The Inquirer's Southeast Asia correspondent from 1989-1992. Based in Manila, he covered events such as the Tiannenmen Square massacre in China and the normalization of U.S. relations with Vietnam. Loeb also worked on a team of reporters covering the Persian Gulf War and Iraq's missile attacks on Tel Aviv and wrote extensively from the West Bank. Loeb has also been the managing investigator for the LA Times, covering the Pentagon and the CIA, and covered the U.S. intelligence community and national security issues on the national staff of The Washington Post.

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe: "A Bridge from Brooklyn to Boston?: Kafka Imagining America," a reading by Kafka translator Mark Harman, followed by a panel discussion with Penn professors Jean-Michel Rabate and Catriona MacLeod.


listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: view a video recording of this program via KWH-TV

How did Franz Kafka, who never traveled outside Europe, come to write a novel set in the United States? Is the Prague-born Kafka, who had American relatives and read critical accounts of this country by European travelers, fashioning a topsy-turvy version of the American dream? To what extent is his vision of America a dark fantasy along the lines of his famous story "The Metamorphosis"?

Mark Harman, translator of Kafka's novel The Castle (Schocken Books/Random House) — which won the Modern Language Association's first Lois Roth Award — recently completed for the same publisher a new translation of Kafka's engaging first novel, Amerika: The Missing Person (pub. date November 18, 2008). The session at Kelly Writers House will include a reading of a short extract and a panel discussion addressing such questions as well as the challenges involved in translating modern classics.

Harman, who has taught a popular course on Kafka, Joyce, and Beckett at Penn, is currently Chair of Modern Languages and Professor of English and German at Elizabethtown College.


Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Thursday, 1/29

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe: Mind of Winter - A Writers House Planning Committee ("Hub") Gathering.

listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: view a video recording of this program via KWH-TV

Each January the Writers House hub beats the midwinter doldrums with a community celebration of wintry writing and warming food. We light a fire in the fireplace and spend the day making soups and stews. For more information about the "hub" or to RSVP, write to wh@writing.upenn.edu.

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Friday, 1/30

3:30 PM - 5:30 PM in the KWH: WriteOn! meets.

For more information, contact Jen Green at jennin@sas.upenn.edu

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Saturday, 1/31

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM in the KWH: WriteOn! meets.

For more information, contact Amanda J. Steren at amandajsteren@gmail.com