February 2017

Wednesday, 2/1

Speakeasy Open Mic Night

7:15 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Our student-run open mic night 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.

Thursday, 2/2

Heled travel presentation: Casey Quackenbush

12:15 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

Winner of the 2016–17 Heled Travel and Research Grant, Casey Quackenbush is a senior studying diplomatic history and journalism. She is also fascinated by cheese. So for a journalism class, she wrote a story in a non-fiction writing course on how mounting FDA regulations of bacteria levels in cheese fabrication were not only stifling the American artisan cheese industry, but also banned some of the most sought-after cheeses in the world from the US. With this research as a launching point, she used the prize to investigate cheese-making in France using cheese as a lens to reveal cultural, historical, and political differences. The project involved hiking to different cheese farms around Mont Blanc to shadow farmers and learn about their techniques and traditions.

Brian Koppelman with Kathy De Marco Van Cleve

on screenwriting

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP REQUIRED: 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

Brian Koppelman is a co-creator, executive producer and showrunner of Showtime's acclaimed hit drama series Billions. Over the past two decades, the screenwriter/producer/director has created an influential and diverse body of work in both film and television. Some of his most noteworthy credits (all with David Levien) include Rounders, Ocean's Thirteen, Solitary Man, The Illusionist, Runaway Jury, Tilt, ESPN's 30 for 30 (This Is What They Want), I Smile Back, The Girlfriend Experience and Joe Berlinger's Tony Robbins documentary, I Am Not Your Guru.

Koppelman is also the host and creator of the popular Slate podcast The Moment with Brian Koppelman.

Friday, 2/3

Saturday, 2/4

Sunday, 2/5

Monday, 2/6

Performance by Maria Bamford

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

EVENT FULL

This event is FULL.

Comedian, actress and writer Maria Bamford was raised in Duluth, Minnesota and began her stand-up career at the age of 19. Her first of four stand-up albums, The Burning Bridges Tour, was released in 2003. She toured with The Comedians of Comedy to promote the album, which also led to a documentary series on Comedy Central and Showtime. Other stand-up albums include How to WIN! (2007), Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome (2009), and Ask Me About My New God! (2013). She has also released two full length stand-up video recordings, most recently The Special Special Special! (2012), and is the first woman to have two Comedy Central Presents specials air. In 2016, Maria was the executive producer and star of a Netflix series based on her own life, Lady Dynamite, in which she plays a fictionalized character version of herself. She has also appeared in cameos and recurring roles on many widely lauded comedy series such as Arrested Development, Louie, The Sarah Silverman Program, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, and more. Maria is also a very talented voice over artist, and has provided recurring character voices for such shows as Adventure Time, BoJack Horseman, The Legend of Korra, CatDog, and many more. In addition to these very prominent stand-up and TV appearances, Maria is widely known for her "cult" web series The Maria Bamford Show and Ask My Mom, in which Maria writes and performs as the sole actor, doing impressions of various other characters.

RSVP REQUIRED: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

Tuesday, 2/7

Brunch with Maria Bamford

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

10:00 AM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp to: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

Comedian, actress and writer Maria Bamford was raised in Duluth, Minnesota and began her stand-up career at the age of 19. Her first of four stand-up albums, The Burning Bridges Tour, was released in 2003. She toured with The Comedians of Comedy to promote the album, which also led to a documentary series on Comedy Central and Showtime. Other stand-up albums include How to WIN! (2007), Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome (2009), and Ask Me About My New God! (2013). She has also released two full length stand-up video recordings, most recently The Special Special Special! (2012), and is the first woman to have two Comedy Central Presents specials air. In 2016, Maria was the executive producer and star of a Netflix series based on her own life, Lady Dynamite, in which she plays a fictionalized character version of herself. She has also appeared in cameos and recurring roles on many widely lauded comedy series such as Arrested Development, Louie, The Sarah Silverman Program, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, and more. Maria is also a very talented voice over artist, and has provided recurring character voices for such shows as Adventure Time, BoJack Horseman, The Legend of Korra, CatDog, and many more. In addition to these very prominent stand-up and TV appearances, Maria is widely known for her "cult" web series The Maria Bamford Show and Ask My Mom, in which Maria writes and performs as the sole actor, doing impressions of various other characters.

RSVP REQUIRED: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

A poetry reading by Tyrone Williams

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

Tyrone Williams teaches literature and theory at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of five books of poetry, c.c. (Krupskaya Books, 2002), On Spec (Omnidawn Publishing, 2008), The Hero Project of the Century (The Backwaters Press, 2009), Adventures of Pi (Dos Madres Press, 2011) and Howell (Atelos Books, 2011). He is also the author of several chapbooks, including a prose eulogy, Pink Tie (Hooke Press, 2011). His website is at http://home.earthlink.net/~ suspend/.


Wednesday, 2/8

Thursday, 2/9

Visions of Dylan

RealArts@Penn Program

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Anthony DeCurtis
curated by: Sarah Wilson

Philly musicians perform and discuss the songs of Bob Dylan.

Friday, 2/10

Saturday, 2/11

Sunday, 2/12

Monday, 2/13

A meeting of the Writers House Hub

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP: jalowent@writing.upenn.edu

Anyone is welcome to join us for this meeting of the Hub, the core group of students, faculty, staff, and community members who invent KWH projects and programs.

Tuesday, 2/14

Valentines Day Chili cook-off + Chopped

5:00 PM in the dining room

Anyone can participate in this KWH-style cooking competition: a chili cook-off, followed by a head-to-head dessert throw-down. To participate in the cook-off, please make a big batch of your best chili — all kinds of chili welcome — and bring it to the KWH (ready to eat!) by 5:00 PM for a community tasting. (Chilis can be made by teams or individuals). The two best chili-makers or chili-making teams will face-off in a dessert throw down in the KWH Kane-Wallace Kitchen. If you plan to make a chili: email wh@writing.upenn.edu to let us know. To help in your efforts, we’ll have a wide selection of chili and new spices available in the KWH kitchen by February 10th. We’ll also happily reimburse chili makers up to $25 per batch (with receipt).

Wednesday, 2/15

Whenever We Feel Like It

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Craig Dworkin

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.

Thursday, 2/16

Cecilia Vicuña: illustrated conversation

Beltran Family Program

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 illustrated conversation and dialog with poet & artist Cecila Vicuña. Louise Neri writes of her work: "Her work explores the symbolic function of weaving and language, spinning sound and time through the voice into invisible webs. Her intuitive, ritualistic performance, includes song and gesture. It refers to the perpetual motion of doing and undoing, pointing to an open-endedness which allows for improvisations and new connections." Vicuña will create an interactive conversation, discuss past and current projects, with a focus on the environment and its interaction with sound, poetry performance, and art. She writes: "Ritual acts connecting us with the future memory of the land.”

Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, visual artist and filmmaker born in Santiago de Chile. The author of twenty two books of poetry, she exhibits and performs internationally. An early practitioner of the improvisatory oral performance, her work deals with the interactions between text, textile, language and earth. In these multidimensional works an image becomes a poem, a film, a song, a sculpture or a collective performance. She calls this participatory, impermanent work “lo precario” (the precarious), a series of transformative acts or “metaphors in space” that bridge the gap between art and life, the ancestral and the avant-garde. In Chile she founded the legendary Tribu No in l967, a group that created anonymous poetic actions throughout the city. In l974, exiled in London, she co-founded Artists for Democracy to oppose dictatorships in the Third World. Her Selected Poetry is forthcoming from Kelsey Street Press, 2017. She divides her time between Chile and New York.

Friday, 2/17

Saturday, 2/18

Sunday, 2/19

Monday, 2/20

Matt Flegenheimer

Tales from the Trail and the Future of Political Journalism

Povich Journalism program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Dick Polman
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

Matt Flegenheimer is a staff writer at The New York Times. As a political reporter In 2016, he covered the Bush, Cruz, Clinton and Trump campaigns. This year he is based in Washington, D.C., covering Congress. He's a University of Pennsylvania graduate, Class of 2011.

** EVENT CANCELED **

Maureen Dowd, Ashley Parker, Paul Hendrickson

Povich Journalism Program

6:00 PM

rsvp: wh@writing.upenn.edu or 215-746-POEM

Maureen Dowd is a columnist for The New York Times Opinion Pages and a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. Dowd won the Pulitzer Prize in 1999, in the commentary category, for her “unsparing columns on the hypocrisies involved in the Lewinsky affair and the effort to impeach President Clinton.” She was appointed a columnist for the Op-Ed page of The New York Times in January 1995 and has covered nine presidential campaigns. She served as White House correspondent during the first Bush administration and the Clinton administration, gaining a wide following of admirers and imitators for her witty, incisive and acerbic portraits of the powerful. She was named staff writer for The New York Times Magazine in 2014. Dowd joined The Times as a metropolitan reporter in October 1983. She began her career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for The Washington Star, where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter and feature writer. When The Star closed in 1981, she went to Time magazine. A 1992 Pulitzer Prize finalist in national reporting for her coverage of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, Ms. Dowd received the Breakthrough Award from Women, Men and Media at Columbia University in 1991 and a Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications in 1994. She was named one of Glamour’s Women of the Year for 1996 and won the Damon Runyon Award in 2000 for outstanding contributions to journalism. She has written three best-selling books, Bushworld, Are Men Necessary? and most recently The Year of Voting Dangerously.

Ashley Parker is a White House reporter for The Washington Post, covering Donald Trump. She previously worked for the New York Times for 11 years, where she covered two presidential campaigns — Mitt Romney in 2012, and Jeb Bush and then Donald Trump in 2016 — as well as Congress. She started at the Times in 2005, as Maureen Dowd's research assistant. Ashley's writing has also appeared in Chicago Magazine, Glamour, The New York Sun, Philadelphia Weekly, and The Washingtonian, and her photos have appeared in Vanity Fair. She graduated from Penn in 2005, with a double major in English (creative writing concentration) and Communications. And she also worked on The DP and 34th Street Magazine, both as a writer and editor.

Tuesday, 2/21

FEMINIST JOURNALISM NOW

Anna Holmes, Salamishah Tillet, Julia Bloch

Applebaum Editors and Publishers Series

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

We're thrilled to welcome ANNA HOLMES back to the Writers House for our annual APPLEBAUM PUBLISHERS AND EDITORS SERIES. Holmes, who founded the iconic feminist website Jezebel and now serves as editor of digital voices at Fusion, will be joined by Penn English professor SALAMISHAH TILLET, along with Penn student journalists TAYLOR HOSKING and REBECCA TAN. Moderated by Creative Writing Program director JULIA BLOCH, our group of writers will discuss the current state of doing feminist, anti-racist, intersectional journalism, including the new sorts of challenges journalists face around parity, opportunity, and integrity in the current political and social landscape.


ANNA HOLMES has written and edited for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, InStyle and The New Yorker online. She is the founder of the popular website Jezebel.com and the 2012 recipient of a Mirror Award for Best Commentary. In 2013 her Twitter account was named one of the top 140 Twitter feeds by Time Magazine. She is the editor of two books, including the Book of Jezebel, and works as a columnist for the New York Times Book Review and as an editor of Digital Voices at Fusion. She lives in New York.

SALAMISHAH TILLET is an associate professor English and Africana Studies and a faculty member of the Alice Paul Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Penn. Salamishah has appeared on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, TedxWomen, and written blogs and editorials for The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, The Nation, The New York Times, The Root, and Time. She is the co-founder of A Long Walk Home, Inc., a non-profit organization that uses art to end violence against girls and women.

TAYLOR HOSKING is an urban studies and political science student at the University of Pennsylvania whose academic interest in the interdisciplinary study of urban inequality has become a focus of her journalism. An investigative article she wrote for Impact Magazine won Best Analysis Article of the 2014-2015 school year from Penn's Publication Cooperative. She has also written for Philly Mag.

REBECCA TAN is an English and creative writing student at the University of Pennsylvania, where she works as a beat and senior reporter at The Daily Pennsylvanian covering gender and diversity; she has also written and researched for Singapore’s leading gender equality advocacy group, AWARE, and has written for Impact Magazine, Vulture and The Straits Times.

Wednesday, 2/22

Lunch with Steve Twomey

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Dick Polman

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

Steve Twomey began his career in journalism as a copyboy at the Chicago Tribune when he was in high school. After graduating from Northwestern University, he began a fourteen-year career at The Philadelphia Inquirer, during which he won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, and then worked at The Washington Post for the next thirteen years. More recently, he has written for Smithsonian and other magazines and has taught narrative writing at the graduate schools of New York University and the City University of New York. The ghostwriter of What I Learned When I Almost Died and author of Countdown to Pearl Harbor, Twomey lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife, Kathleen Carroll.

Sensible Nonsense

Lucy F. DeMarco Fund for Youth Literature

6:00 PM

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

listen to an audio recording of this event

Join us for a celebration of The Sensible Nonsense Project, edited by Arielle Brousse, 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 after the readings 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.

Thursday, 2/23

Otter Jung-Allen and Yolanda Wisher

Poets Laureate reading

A Creative Writing Program event

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

Philadelphia’s two poetry eminences will visit the Writers House for a joint reading. Yolanda Wisher, Philadelphia's third Poet Laureate, and Otter Jung-Allen, Philadelphia's fourth Youth Poet Laureate, have both dedicated themselves to representing the city with events and community service initiatives that advance the arts of the city. This reading is proudly hosted by the Creative Writing Program.

Otter Jung-Allen is a seventeen-year-old genderqueer poet and performer from West Philly. They are the coach of Science Leadership Academy's Slam League team, a 2015 Brave New Voices International Champion, the 2015 Liberty Unplugged Champion, and the 2016-17 Youth Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. Jung-Allen was inducted as the fourth youth poet laureate in July 2016; their recently announced signature project, Voices of the East Coast, will publish original work by young poets ages 14 to 19 from Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New York City, Hampton Roads, and Atlanta in a joint production with the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, the National Youth Poet Laureate program, Urban Word, and Penmanship Books.

Yolanda Wisher is the 2016-2018 Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia. Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Fence, Chain, MELUS, PUBLICPOOL, Hanging Loose, and GOOD Magazine and the anthologies Gathering Ground and The Ringing Ear. Wisher is a 2016 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, 2015 Pew Fellow, Center for Performance and Civic Practice Catalyst Initiative grantee (2015), Leeway Art & Change Award recipient (2008), and the inaugural Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate (1999). She holds an M.A in English/Creative Writing-Poetry from Temple University and a B.A. in English/Black Studies from Lafayette College. Wisher founded and directed the Germantown Poetry Festival (2006-2010), served as Director of Art Education for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (2010-2015), and worked as Chief Rhapsodist of Wherewithal for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (2014-2016). She lives in Germantown with her partner Mark Palacio and their son Thelonious. Her signature project as Poet Laureate, Outbound Poetry Festival, will bring poets from up and down the East Coast to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station in April to celebrate the serendipity of poetry. Slam poets, page poets, teaching poets, jazz poets, and people’s poets will deliver daily rhapsodies to the citizens of Philadelphia and riff along the continuum of poetry and song in an extended Saturday performance.

Friday, 2/24

Saturday, 2/25

Sunday, 2/26

Monday, 2/27

LIVE at the Writers House

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

LIVE at the Writers House is a long-standing collaboration of the people of the Kelly Writers House and of WXPN (88.5 FM). Six times annually between September and April, the Writers House airs a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, along with one musical guest -- from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN. "LIVE" is broadcast on WXPN. "LIVE" is made possible through the generous support of BigRoc and is produced by Alli Katz.

Tuesday, 2/28

Paul Lisicky

A Creative Writing Program Reading

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

introduced by: Beth Kephart

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

listen to an audio recording of this event

Paul Lisicky is the author of five books: The Narrow Door (a New York Times Editors' Choice), Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Conjunctions, Fence, The Offing, Ploughshares, Tin House, and in many other magazines and anthologies. His awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was twice a Fellow. He teaches in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden. In Fall 2018, he will be the visiting writer at University of Texas-Austin.