January 2016

Friday, 1/1

Saturday, 1/2

Sunday, 1/3

Monday, 1/4

Tuesday, 1/5

Wednesday, 1/6

Thursday, 1/7

Friday, 1/8

Saturday, 1/9

Sunday, 1/10

Monday, 1/11

Tuesday, 1/12

Wednesday, 1/13

Thursday, 1/14

Ashraf Fayadh: Teach-In

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: wh@writing.upenn.edu or (215)746-POEM
listen to audio recordings of this event:
  1. Introduction by Charles Bernstein
  2. Untitled excerpts from Instructions Within read by Ron Silliman
  3. "A Space in the Void" (Original Arabic)
  4. "A Space in the Void" (trans. Johnathan Wright) read by Julia Bloch
  5. "A Melancholy Made of Dough" (Original Arabic)
  6. Brief Remarks on "A Melancholy Made of Dough" from Rachel Blau Duplessis
  7. "A Melancholy Made of Dough" (trans. Tariq al Haydar) read by Rachel Blau Duplessis
  8. "The Last of the Line of Refugee Descendants" (Original Arabic)
  9. "The Last of the Line of Refugee Descendants" (trans. Johnathan Wright) read by Ariel Resnikoff

Ashraf Fayadh, a 35 year-old Palestinian poet and art curator who lives in Saudi Arabia, was sentenced to death by a Saudi court on Nov. 17th, 2015 for the “crime” of apostasy. Besides renouncing Islam, Fayadh stands accused of blaspheming and promoting atheism through his collection of poetry, Instructions Within, published in 2008. Join us at KWH to learn more, as a part of a worldwide network of events, readings, and protests, organized in collaboration with PEN International and the international literature festival Berlin (ilb), that will take place this day in support of Fayadh and against the heinous charge on his life.

For more information about Fayadh and the international call for justice in his name, please visit: http://www.pen.org/blog/saudi-arabia-poet-ashraf-fayadh-sentenced-death.

Brodsky Gallery Opening: Organize Your Own

Organized by Daniel Tucker

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Join us to celebrate this gallery opening, where we'll hear poetry readings by Thomas Graves (Austin), Frank Sherlock (Philadelphia), Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela (Philadelphia), and Salem Collo-Julin (Philadelphia), and spend time taking in the art over a reception immediately following the reading.

Organize Your Own is an exhibition and event series featuring new work by contemporary artists and poets that responds to archival materials related to the history of white people organizing their own working-class white neighborhoods in Philadelphia (the October 4th Organization) and Chicago (the Young Patriots Organization) in keeping with the mandate from the Black Power movement to "organize your own" community against racism. The exhibit features work by the following artists: Mary Patten (Chicago), Dave Pabellon (Chicago), Dan S Wang (Madison), Rosten Woo (Los Angeles), Robby Herbst (Los Angeles), Mat Neff (Philadelphia), Amber Art and Design (Philadelphia), Works Progress with Jayanthi Kyle (Minneapolis),Irina Contreras (Oakland), and Anne Braden Institute (Louisville). Major support for Organize Your Own has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

For more information please visit OYO's website.

Friday, 1/15

Saturday, 1/16

Sunday, 1/17

Monday, 1/18

Tuesday, 1/19

Organize Your Own: Performances

Amber Art & Design and Rashayla Marie Brown

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Join Organize Your Own exhibition curator Daniel Tucker for a night of newly commissioned performances by Amber Art & Design (Philadelphia) and Rashayla Marie Brown (Chicago) that respond to the premise of the exhibition “Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements."

Amber Art & Design is comprised of five international public artists with years of specialized experience. Based in Philadelphia, PA, Amber Art and Design is committed to creating meaningful public art that is transcendent and continually challenges the norm with innovative designs and cutting edge fabrication.

Rashayla Marie Brown is an artist-scholar who was lauded as a 2015 Breakout Artist by New City and Arc Magazine, and manages an extensive list of cultural production modes including photography, video, performance, curation, and writing. Brown also serves as the inaugural Director of Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and holds a BA from Yale University and a BFA from SAIC. Her work has been featured at Bellwether, Cleveland; Black Paper, Los Angeles; Calumet Gallery, New York; Center for Sex and Culture, San Francisco; Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago; Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; University of Chicago; and other venues.

Wednesday, 1/20

David Grazian

American Zoo: A Sociological Safari

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen to an audio recording of this event

Penn sociologist David Grazian used to study nightlife. But when his son was born Grazian traded late nights on the town for long days at the zoo. Intrigued by what was taking place behind scenes of carefully composed exhibits, Grazian volunteered to prepare animals' meals, clean enclosures, and serve as docent to visiting groups. Soon he decided to take his curiosity on the road and with his young son in tow set off to tour and study twenty-six zoos and aquariums across America. In his book American Zoo, Grazian explores how zoos have transformed in recent decades from featuring the sad spectacle of animals in spare, cramped cages to centers for conservation, research, and education that emphasize naturalistic habitats, immersive and expansive landscapes, breeding programs for endangered species, and enrichment activities for the captive animals. American Zoo introduces readers to a fascinating cast of characters, from animal rights activists to cynical parents and captivated toddlers, and provides insight into the shifting demographics of contemporary zookeepers.

David Grazian is associate professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs, On the Make: The Hustle of Urban Nightlife, and Mix It Up: Popular Culture, Mass Media, and Society.

Thursday, 1/21

Mind of Winter

5:30 in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: wh@writing.upenn.edu or (215) 746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event

In January of every year, the Writers House Planning Committee embraces the post-holiday doldrums with a celebration of winter's comforts, inspired by Wallace Stevens's chilly poem, "The Snow Man." We gather here at the Writers House, stoke a big fire in the parlor, simmer several big pots of soup and stew, and share our favorite winter-themed readings with one another. Let it snow! Please RSVP to wh@writing.upenn.edu or call (215) 746-POEM.

Friday, 1/22

Saturday, 1/23

Sunday, 1/24

Monday, 1/25

Live at the Kelly Writers House

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen to an audio recording of this event

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

Tuesday, 1/26

Suppose An Eyes Poetry Reading

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Suppose An Eyes is an ongoing workshop for poets sponsored by the Kelly Writers House. Formed in 1999, the group meets two evenings per month, providing a workshop for poets to explore, share and improve their work as part of a supportive community of writers. Though often full, the group is open to anyone interested in writing poetry — any type of poetry, from traditional forms to "found" poetry, flarf, and even computer-generated work. In addition to workshop meetings, Suppose an Eyes participates in readings at various locations in the greater Philadelphia area.

Wednesday, 1/27

Shifting the Gaze: Women in Music Panel

Fran Blanche, Camae Ayewa, Diane Foglizzo, & Maria Raha

Moderated by Cynthia Schemmer

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Women are everywhere in music – Sleater-Kinney turned the rock world on its axis with their long-awaited reunion, Adele's new album smashed sales records left and right, and Nicki Minaj changed what it means to be a woman in rap music. But visibility doesn't mean that our work is done. Amanda Silberling (C'18) has brought together five stellar women in the Philadelphia music scene to discuss what challenges women face in the music industry and what action we can take to create a fully inclusive atmosphere for anyone who can shred on a Fender, engineer the best sounds in the business, or wail into a microphone.

Camae Ayewa is an interdisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia. A musician performing under the name Moor Mother Goddess, she has toured in Europe and the U.S., and has performed at numerous festivals, colleges and universities sharing the stage with King Britt, Islam Chipsy, and Claudia Rankine. A soundscape artist with work featured at Samek Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art Chicago, and Everson Museum of Art, Camae is also a singer in punk band The Mighty Paradocs. Camae is co-founder and organizer of Rockers! Philly, a 10-year long running event series and festival focused on marginalized artists. As a workshop facilitator she works with youth centered programs, non profits and shelters. As a curator of fundraising events, Camae has worked with and serves on the board of Girls Rock Philly, and is assistant coordinator of The Afrofuturist Affair, Philadelphia's premiere afrofuturism organization. Camae is also a poet and author of the forthcoming poetry book Fetish Bones and is an avid zinemaker and collector. She is a member of Black Quantum Futurism Collective, which released its first book, Black Quantum Futurism theory and practice Vol. 1. and has been featured at the Schomburg Center, as well as presented installations at the Rebuild Foundation and Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art.

Fran Blanche is the owner and founder of Contour Corsets (2008-present), and Frantone Electronics (1994-present), and in addition to being a completely self-taught electronic engineer, Fran is also one of the wold's most well known and respected bespoke anatomical corset designers and pattern makers. Frantone was one of the world's very first boutique guitar effects companies, and in creating, coding, and maintaining all of her own websites, Fran launched www.frantone.com in 1995, making it one of the oldest web domains in the music gear industry. In addition to designing the 20+ year old Frantone line of effects, Fran was also the designer of the Electro-Harmonix NYC Big Muff in 2000. In March, 2011 the NYC Big Muff was included along with the Frantone Peachfuzz in MusicRadar's list of the 42 best fuzz pedals of all time. Fran is also a published photographer, graphic artist, musician, space technology researcher and historian, and mechanical engineer. She has worked on the restoration of the one of a kind Maillardet Automaton at the Franklin Institute, and worked on vintage Apollo flight hardware at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Fran's work on reverse engineering the Apollo Saturn V LVDC computer got her an article in Popular Science Magazine in 2014, and her work with supermodel Stella Tennant was included in a cover article for Vogue Italia in 2011. Fran's photographic portraits of musicians have been published in numerous magazines, and her photos of the attacks on 9/11/2001 were published in the Book Here Is New York, and enshrined in the Library of Congress official archive. The Frantone Vibutron was put on the cover of Dave Hunter's 2004 book; Guitar Effect Pedals: the Practical Handbook and Franone pedals have been reviewed in dozens of guitar magazines going back to 1996. Fran maintains a popular YouTube channel that showcases her many interests and projects, and is also an occasional FM radio DJ.

Diane Foglizzo is the Program Director at Girls Rock Philly and has been active in the international Girls Rock movement for over 7 years. She is currently the President/Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, an alliance of over 40 girls rock camps from all over the world. After graduating from high school outside of Philadelphia, Diane lived in Washington, DC for 9 years, where she was involved in different projects including helping to found Girls Rock! DC in 2007. She also worked as a union organizer and spent two years as a political analyst/lobbyist for the Prometheus Radio Project, working to successfully pass federal legislation expanding access to community radio. Diane is currently on break from being a student at CCP, working towards a degree in ASL/English Interpreting. She plays in a band called Trophy Wife and organizes with the statewide organization, Decarcerate PA.

Maria Raha is the author of Cinderella's Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground and Hellions: Pop Culture's Rebel Women, both published by Seal Press. She has contributed to numerous nonfiction anthologies, including The W Effect: Bush's War on Women, Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop, and Punk Rock Warlord: The Life and Work of Joe Strummer. In 2008, Hellions received the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Emily Toth Award for the "best single work in women's studies." Raha is also an editor at Temple University.

Cynthia Schemmer is a writer, editor, book devourer, and musician. She currently lives in Philadelphia, PA where she freelances and works remotely as the managing editor of She Shreds Magazine. She has been published in Philadelphia City Paper, Impose, Underwater New York, The Media, Broken Pencil, Toska Magazine, Connotation Press, RE/VISIONIST, and Elevate Difference, among others. She has also co-authored a chapter in Don't Leave Your Friends Behind, a collection of tips and narratives on ways non-parents can support parents and children. She writes Secret Bully, a creative nonfiction zine of personal essays, as well as Habits of Being, an oral history zine that was also released in audio format. She has a BA in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She currently plays guitar in Radiator Hospital and once sang and wrote songs for Heavy Bangs. Her debut solo 12" “Swanning” is due out on Salinas Records late this year. She is a true bull Taurus and her cat, Frankie, is her creative mews.

Amanda Silberling (C'18) is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania studying English, Creative Writing, and Fine Arts. Her music writing, journalism, and photography have appeared in Rock On Philly, She Shreds Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Rumpus, BandsInTown, The 405, and more, and she books DIY music gigs to benefit charitable organizations around Philadelphia. She photographs and writes about various concerts and events around the Philadelphia and NYC areas, including major festivals like the CMJ Music Marathon, XPoNential Music Fesitval, and Made in America. She has spoken about college campus feminism for HuffPost Live, and she organized this panel because of her interest in the relationship between feminism and music. You can learn more about Amanda here.

Thursday, 1/28

Calling All Poets: Graduate Student Poetry Reading

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

From the avant-garde and experimental to the most traditional poetics and translations, Calling All Poets (CAP) brings you a graduate student reading by its workshop participants. Come hear the exciting writing being produced by Penn's very own students and maybe even participate in the workshop next year.

Friday, 1/29

Saturday, 1/30

Sunday, 1/31