February 2014

Saturday, 2/1

The Adroit Journal Launch: A Reading

1:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

In the Arts Café at KWH, founder and editor-in-chief Peter LaBerge (C'17 at Penn) hosts the launch of The Adroit Journal's exciting new issue. Slam poet Camara Brown (C'17 at Penn) performs She Starts Off Smooth and her featured poem Shred. Lydia Weintraub (C'16 at Princeton University) reads her short story Progeny. Luisa Banchoff (C'17 at Princeton University) reads her poems Border War, Reading the Bible as a Bus Schedule, and Terra Incognita. Alina Grabowski (C'16 at Penn) reads her untitled short story. Adroit Journal poetry prize judge, Richie Hofman, reads his poems MCMXCI, Mid Winter, Powdered Wig, and Birthday. Followed by Emily Cutler (C' 16 at Penn) who performs a segment from her play The Road Trip, which debuts in April. The Adroit Journal is a student run journal celebrating its eighth issue and will be publishing The Best of Adroit: 2010-2013 this Spring.

Sunday, 2/2

Monday, 2/3

A lunch Talk with Bob Ford

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Dick Polman
RSVP: email wh@writing.upenn.edu or call 215-746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Bob Ford is an award-winning sports columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary, Ford joined the Inquirer in 1987 as the beat writer for the 76ers. He became a general assignment feature writer, with an emphasis on Olympic sports and long-form narrative, in 1994, and was promoted to columnist in 2003. His work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the Keystone Press Association and the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, which has named him Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year five times. He is a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He's a graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

A meeting of the Writers House Planning Committee (the "Hub")

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: jalowent@writing.upenn.edu

Tuesday, 2/4

Radio personality Benjamen Walker

In collaboration with the Year of Sound

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

Benjamen Walker is a radio host and producer. His work has been heard on the BBC, NPR, and the CBC. His current podcast is called "The Theory of Everything" (a member of the brand new PRX podcast network RADIOTOPIA, toe.prx.org). He also hosted a program called "Too Much Information" on WFMU. He uses both fiction and nonfiction in his work and often interviews his friends as well as experts.

An excerpt from this program was featured in the 35th Kelly Writers House Podcast.

Wednesday, 2/5

Feminism/s Presents: Sex in Journalism

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: The Fund for Feminist Projects and the Povich Journalism Fund
moderated by: Arielle Pardes (C'14)
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Join us for a discussion of sex in journalism, featuring a panel of journalists, current and former sex columnists, and scholars: Lena Chen, Julia Allison and Kelsey McKinney.

Julia Allison, 32, is a nationally recognized journalist, relationship expert, public speaker, former BRAVO star and 2008 WIRED cover girl. She is currently at work writing her first book, Experiments in Happiness, to published Spring 2015 by St. Martin's Press. A veteran tv commentator and host, Allison has made hundreds of appearances on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, E!, MSNBC, VH1 and MTV, and has published several hundred articles for publications as diverse as ELLE, Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, New York magazine and The New York Post, covering everything from Burning Man to Comic Con to NY Fashion Week to the White House Correspondents' Dinner, as well as interviewing unconventional experts in the realm of happiness and relationships, and examining the impact of technology and social media on culture. She has spoken at conferences around the world as well as universities like MIT, Wharton, Harvard on new media, personal branding, unconventional purpose driven marketing, and hacking happiness. Allison got her start as the (sometimes controversial) dating columnist for Georgetown University when she was an undergraduate. A recovering social media addict with over 300k combined Facebook and Twitter followers, she’s lived in New York, LA, DC and Chicago. Now she lives, loves, and experiments with happiness (and a lot of yoga) in San Francisco.

Lena Chen (@lenachen) is a writer and activist working to advance intersectional feminism, reproductive justice, and sexual and bodily empowerment. Lena studied sociology at Harvard University, where she organized the Rethinking Virginity Conference and co-founded Feminist Pride Day. Since graduating in 2010, Lena has hosted educational programming for Alloy Digital, mtvU, and The National Campaign To Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy and has spoken about gender justice and youth activism at colleges throughout the country. She has been a member of Bitch Magazine's Leadership Council, recognized as a young feminist leader by More Magazine, and named a Progressive Women’s Voices Fellow at the Women’s Media Center.

In 2006, Lena started the blog SexAndTheIvy.com, posting firsthand accounts of her experiences with sex and depression, and getting pegged by The New York Times and Newsweek as "a small Asian woman" and "a self-appointed poster girl for brainy girls gone wild" (respectively). After an ex-partner emailed websites like Gawker and IvyGate with "revenge porn", Lena stopped writing publicly about her personal life. Anonymous posters subsequently published the names and personal details of her new partner, friends, family, and readers across dozens of "satire" blogs and message boards in a five-year defamation campaign capturing the interest of media and law enforcement.

In 2013, Lena relocated to Berlin, Germany to write a novel. She is becoming certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher and traveling through the U.S. to document the experiences of homeless youth and survivors of sexual violence and trauma. Her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, The American Prospect, Marie Claire, Glamour, and Salon.

Kelsey McKinney is a Plan II student at The University of Texas at Austin, and the online editor of Foxing Quarterly. Her writings have been published in Slate, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and The Millions. She likes big sandwiches and slim novels. While lifestyle editor at The Daily Texan, she implemented and edited a four-person sex column series that received national attention.

Dan Reimold, Ph.D., is a college media scholar who has written and presented about the student press throughout the U.S., Southeast Asia and in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. As the Student Press Law Center Report notes, “Reimold’s work allows him to track the pulse of America’s college papers and identify student press trends.” He is an assistant professor of journalism at Saint Joseph’s University, where he also advises The Hawk student newspaper. His first book on college media, Sex and the University: Celebrity, Controversy, and a Student Journalism Revolution, was published in fall 2010 by Rutgers University Press.

Thursday, 2/6

Trisha Low and Joey Yearous-Algozin

A 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

Trisha Low is committed to wearing a shock collar because she has so many feelings. She is the author of The Compleat Purge (Kenning Editions, 2013). Remote controls are available at Gauss PDF, Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing, TROLL THREAD and others. She lives in New York City.

Joey Yearous-Algozin is the author of the The Lazarus Project (2011-2013) and 911 (forthcoming, 2014). He is a member of TROLL THREAD and co-editor of the literary journal, P-Queue. He lives in Buffalo, NY.

Friday, 2/7

Saturday, 2/8

Sunday, 2/9

Monday, 2/10

Seamus Heaney Tribute

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: the English Department

Seamus Heaney wrote some of the most memorable and best-loved poetry of the last half-century. To commemorate his passing in August 2013, this event will feature a program of readings by students, poets, professors, and Heaney enthusiasts of all stripes from Penn and the wider Philadelphia community. Come hear, speak, and celebrate the work of one the great writers of our age.

Tuesday, 2/11

Whenever We Feel Like It

featuring Katie Price and Steve McLaughlin

6:00 pm in the Arts Cafe

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

The Whenever We Feel Like It Reading Series is put on by Committee of Vigilance members Michelle Taransky and Emily Pettit. The Committee of Vigilance is a subdivision of Sleepy Lemur Quality Enterprises, which is the production division of The Meeteetzee Institute.

Katie L. Price is currently a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania, where she specializes in modern and contemporary poetry. Her creative work is published or forthcoming from Fence, and the Journal of Medical Humanities, and she has published several occasional pieces for Jacket2. Her poetry manuscript, BRCA, was a finalist for Les Figues Press’ NOS contest in 2011 and 2012, and she is currently working on a second book-length project, SIK.

Stephen McLaughlin produces and hosts the podcast Into the Field for Jacket2, and edits the podcast PoemTalk at the Writers House. He created the 3,785-page PDF anthology Issue 1 with Jim Carpenter in 2008, an excerpt of which was included in Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing. His first book of poems is Infinite Unexplored Domain of Poetic Values by Easter Halloween (Principal Hand Editions, 2011). McLaughlin is a senior editor at UbuWeb and an associate editor at the Electronic Poetry Center.

Gabriel Ojeda-Sague is a Miami native currently residing in Philadelphia where he studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His work has been published in the Daily Pennsylvanian, APIARY, and is upcoming in Cleaver Magazine, and his collection "JOGS," a rewriting of the 1977 book "The Joy of Gay Sex", is currently available through Lulu.

Wednesday, 2/12

A lunch talk with Mark Halperin

Kauders Lunch Series

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Dick Polman
RSVP: email wh@writing.upenn.edu or call 215-746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Mark Halperin is an editor at large and a senior political analyst for Time magazine, and a senior political analyst for MSNBC. Halperin, who has covered seven presidential elections, received his B.A. from Harvard University and resides in New York City. He is the co-author (with John Heilemann) of the bestselling campaign books Game Change and Double Down: Game Change 2012.

Benito del Pliego and Lina Meruane: a bilingual reading

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Benito del Pliego (Madrid, 1970). His poetry collections include Fisiones (1997 and 2010), índice (2004 and 2011), Merma (2009), Fábula (2012) and Extracción (2013). His poetry has been included in anthologies such Forrest Gander’s Panic Cure: Poetry from Spain for the 21st Century (2013), and Mónica de la Torre and Cristián Gómez’s Malditos latinos Malditos sudacas. Poesía Iberoamericana Made in USA (2010). He is also author of essays, translations and editions of poetry such as Voces comunes y otros poemas. Poesía reunida de Mario Merlino (2012) and Extracomunitarios: nueve poetas latinoamericanos en España (2013). In collaboration with Andrés Fisher, he has translated a selection of Lew Welch poetry and a soon-to-be-published collection of short pieces by Gertrude Stein. He is a Professor at the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Appalachian State University, North Carolina.

Benito del Pliego (Madrid, 1970). Sus principales libros de poesía son Fisiones (1997 and 2010), índice (2004 and 2011), Merma (2009), Fábula (2012) y Extracción (2013). Sus poemas han sido incluidos en antologías como la editada por Forrest Gander bajo el título de Panic Cure: Poetry from Spain for the 21st Century (2013) o la de Mónica de la Torres y Cristián Gómez Malditos latinos Malditos sudacas. Poesía Iberoamericana Made in USA (2010). También es autor de ensayos, traducciones y ediciones de poesía como Voces comunes y otros poemas. Poesía reunida de Mario Merlino (2012) y Extracomunitarios: nueve poetas latinoamericanos en España (2013). En colaboración con Andrés Fisher ha traducido una selección de la obra poética de Lew Welch y una colección de piezas breves de Gertrude Stein que está a punto de publicarse. Es profesor en el Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures de Appalachian State University, de Carolina del Norte.

Lina Meruane has published the collection of short stories Las Infantas, and four novels: Póstuma, Cercada, Fruta Podrida, Sangre en el Ojo. She has received the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (México 2012) and the Anna Seghers (Berlín 2011) literary prizes as well as writing grants from the Guggenheim Foundation (US 2004) and the National Endowment for the Arts (US 2010).

Lina Meruane. Su obra de ficción incluye la colección de relatos Las Infantas, y las novelas Póstuma, Cercada, Fruta Podrida y Sangre en el Ojo. Ha recibido los premios Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (México 2012) y Anna Seghers (Berlín 2011) así como becas de escritura de la Fundación Guggenheim (2004) y la National Endowment for the Arts (2010).

Thursday, 2/13

Sensible Nonsense

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Arielle Brousse

Join us for a celebration of The Sensible Nonsense Project, and help us honor the humor, pathos, and enduring wisdom of children's books! Six speakers will share stories about their own favorite childhood books, what those books taught them, and how those lessons continue to influence their adult lives.

Stay on afterward for a delicious reception inspired by after-school snacks, and to get more information about how you, too, can participate in the project. In the meantime, visit The Sensible Nonsense Project at sensiblenonsense.us.

The readers of Sensible Nonsense:

Jay Kirk is the author of Kingdom Under Glass (Henry Holt), which was named one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2010 by the Washington Post. His award-winning nonfiction has been published in Harper’s, GQThe New York Times Magazine, and anthologized in Best American Crime Writing, Best American Travel Writing, and Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person from Harper’s Magazine. He was a National Magazine Award Finalist in 2013, and the recipient of a 2005 Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He currently teaches in Penn’s Creative Writing Program. His next book, Avoid the Day (HarperCollins), is due out in 2015.

Caitlin Goodman is a librarian and archivist in the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia and writes the monthly "Grumpy Librarian" readers' advisory column for City Paper. She lives in Philadelphia and, like all librarians, loves cats and cardigans.

Emily Harnett (C’13) has been lucky enough to stay in Philadelphia, and at the Writers House, in some professional capacity. She enjoys twentieth century fiction, which she hopes to study next year as a PhD student. Emily's other research interests include, but are not limited to, Russian history and politics, napping, and Kanye West.

Andrew Panebianco is a writer at the Philly ad firm, Brownstein Group. Prior to that he inflicted piles of Romantic poetry and Shakespeare on a decade's worth of college kids. He is also the author of nearly 200 definitions to words that aren't, but should be. Read more at wordsthatarent.com, and follow him @fancywhitebread.

If Andie Davidson (C’15) had her own personal Room of Requirement, it would likely be filled with coffee, chocolate, and books. An English major and French minor, she is a grammar freak and nearly-certifiable shopaholic. In between exploring (or wandering, as her friends would call it) and searching for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks, she can usually be found reading, making up stories in her head, or overusing parentheses.

Dylan Leahy (C’16) plans on majoring in English and minoring in Cinema Studies because he enjoys the idea of a future without job security. He filters most of his experiences through pop culture and idolizes various TV lesbians (cheerleader or otherwise). He's been obsessed with stories and the way they are told ever since his dad read wordsthatarent.comHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to him when he was seven.

Friday, 2/14

Saturday, 2/15

Sunday, 2/16

Monday, 2/17

Buzz Bissinger

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP required: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Buzz Bissinger was born in New York City in 1954. Bissinger is a non-fiction writer, celebrated for his career in investigative journalism and sports writing. As a Penn alumnus and a staff writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bissinger has deep roots to this city, which he examines through the lens of Ed Rendell's mayoral term in his A Prayer for the City (1998) and where he now lives with his family, splitting their time between Philadelphia and the Pacific Northwest. Though perhaps best known for his first book, Friday Night Lights (1990), Bissinger first met critical acclaim in 1987 when his investigative report on the Philadelphia court system for the Inquirer won him a Pulitzer Prize, shared with two colleagues.

Bissinger has a unique talent among "sports writers" to open the scope of the project to include, beyond the scoreboards and offsides, everything it is to be human: failure, violence, loyalty, hatred, hope, love and so much more. And yet Bissinger's readers see him at his most (brutally) human in his memoir Father's Day (2012), about his relationship with his developmentally disabled son, Zach.

Bissinger is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair where his 1998 piece "Shattered Glass," an expose on New Republic journalist Steven Glass, revealed that more than half of the pieces he wrote for that magazine had been entirely fabricated. His journalistic work has also been published in Sports Illustrated, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere.

After his visit with the Fellows Seminar, Buzz Bissinger joined KWH for brunch and conversation moderated by Faculty Director Al Filreis. Bissinger began by reading a list of ships from the Philadelphia Navy Yard from A Prayer for the City and discusses why lists appear throughout his work: they offer a poetic way to describe something at its core and reveal the power of facts. This was followed by a conversation about the symbolism behind the aesthetic fragmentation of two of his books A Prayer for the City and Father's Day, as opposed the neatly tied-up ending of his first book Friday Night Lights. Then Bissinger read from the chapter “Cardinals and Cookies” in Father's Day and explained the significance of this liberated moment of writing. The discussion opened up to a Q&A with the audience about a the importance of music in Bissinger's work, what reporting on the Rendell administration taught him, if he's ever had to "fudge the details" to enhance his writing, his thoughts on the Sochi Olympics, a reading from Friday Night Lights, and a heartfelt discussion and reading about his son Zach from Father's Day.

Tuesday, 2/18

Brunch with Buzz Bissinger

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

10:00 AM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP required: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Buzz Bissinger was born in New York City in 1954. Bissinger is a non-fiction writer, celebrated for his career in investigative journalism and sports writing. As a Penn alumnus and a staff writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bissinger has deep roots to this city, which he examines through the lens of Ed Rendell's mayoral term in his A Prayer for the City (1998) and where he now lives with his family, splitting their time between Philadelphia and the Pacific Northwest. Though perhaps best known for his first book, Friday Night Lights (1990), Bissinger first met critical acclaim in 1987 when his investigative report on the Philadelphia court system for the Inquirer won him a Pulitzer Prize, shared with two colleagues.

Bissinger has a unique talent among "sports writers" to open the scope of the project to include, beyond the scoreboards and offsides, everything it is to be human: failure, violence, loyalty, hatred, hope, love and so much more. And yet Bissinger's readers see him at his most (brutally) human in his memoir Father's Day (2012), about his relationship with his developmentally disabled son, Zach.

Bissinger is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair where his 1998 piece "Shattered Glass," an expose on New Republic journalist Steven Glass, revealed that more than half of the pieces he wrote for that magazine had been entirely fabricated. His journalistic work has also been published in Sports Illustrated, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere.

Listen to an excerpt of the discussion here

Wednesday, 2/19

Speakeasy Open Mic Night

7:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Rosa Escandon and Isa Oliveres
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Our Speakeasy Open Mic Night is held once a month. We invite writers to share their work, or the work of others, in our Arts Cafe. Speakeasy welcomes all kinds of readings, performances, spectacles, and happenings. Bring your poetry, your guitar, your dance troupe, your award-winning essay, or your stand up comedy to share. You should expect outrageous (and free!) raffles for things you didn't know you needed, occasional costumes, and, of course, community members who love writing.

Thursday, 2/20

Marathon Reading

Noon to midnight in the Arts Cafe

This year's Marathon Reading is of the novel Jazz by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. One of Morrison’s most-loved books, Jazz famously opens with the line, “Sth, I know that woman,” and continues with an exploration of literary forms and conventions that echo jazz signatures such as improvisation and call and response. Whether you’ve never read the Readers will take turns reading the book aloud from start to finish, while enjoying snacks pulled from the pages of the book. All are welcome to listen, and all are welcome to read. To sign up, please visit here.

Friday, 2/21

Saturday, 2/22

Sunday, 2/23

Monday, 2/24

LIVE at the Writers House

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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 Alli Katz (katza@writing.upenn.edu).

Tuesday, 2/25

Writing About TV: The Family

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

Eight community members -- Jess Bergman, Kathy DeMarco, Josie Elias, Jim English, Emily Harnett, Ross Karlan, Elliott Sharp, and Lance Wahlert -- will each speak about an iconic TV family. What's queer about The Golden Girls? What messages from Roseanne -- about motherhood, about class -- continue to resonate today? Perspectives on these TV shows and others will allow us to delve deeply into ideas about family, identity, and culture, and will help satisfy a growing craving for smart TV-talk.

Wednesday, 2/26

Roberto Bolaño's last years

Heled Travel Grant presentation by Shaj Mathew

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP: wh@writing.upenn.edu

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

Shaj Mathew is a senior Comparative Literature major with concentrations in Spanish and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. The Heled Travel Grant allowed him to travel to Barcelona in the summer of 2013 to research the life and work of novelist Roberto Bolaño for a literary essay melding travelogue, literary criticism, and personal reflection. Deeply interested in the violence of Bolaño's work, Mathew re-traced Bolaño's last years last years, visited an exhibition of Bolaño's previously unpublished manuscripts at the Barcelona Contemporary Culture Center, and spent time developing impressions of Barcelona.

An Evening of Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry by The Penn and Pencil Club

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 for an exhilarating evening of readings from Penn writers experimenting with a variety of forms. Each reader will delight and enliven you with their energy, wit and wisdom. Many members of the group have been published in literary magazines or online blogs. From personal narrative to experimental meta-fiction, traditional rhymed verse to prose poems--there promises to be something for everybody! You are invited to join the group at a small reception following the event.

Thursday, 2/27

A Reading by Leigh Stein

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

Originally from Chicago, Leigh Stein studied at a community college, at Brooklyn College and in the acting program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She is the author of the novel The Fallback Plan (2012) and the poetry collection Dispatch from the Future (2012), both from Melville House. Stein won Poets & Writers Amy Award and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She formerly worked on the New Yorker staff and as a Snow White impersonator. She lives in Brooklyn.


Friday, 2/28