February 2020

Saturday, 2/1

Sunday, 2/2

Monday, 2/3


5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: wh@writing.upenn.edu

Join us for a meeting of the Writers House Planning Committee (also know as "the Hub") — the core group of engaged students, staff, faculty, and volunteers who help make things happen at Writers House. Anyone is welcome to become a Hub member by participating in Hub activities and helping out. Members of the Hub plan programs, share ideas, and discuss upcoming projects.

Tuesday, 2/4


6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Hosted by Mary Osunlana and Kwynasia Young

Waist Beads, n., single or multiple strands of beads made from various kinds of glass, metal, crystal, bone, and wood, worn around the waist and stomach. Waist beads have been worn for centuries by women in many West African cultures. They are a popular way for Black women in the diaspora to connect to their ancestors and celebrate their heritage and cultural practices. Join us for an evening of beading and conversation on self-love in the diaspora.

Wednesday, 2/5

A conversation with David Zucchino

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Hosted by: Dick Polman
RSVP: wh@writing.upenn.edu

David Zucchino author of the new book Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy, is a contributing writer for The New York Times. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for his reporting from South Africa. He’s a four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist for coverage of Lebanon, Africa, inner-city Philadelphia, and Iraq. He has reported from more than three dozen countries, most recently from Iraq. He is the author of two other books Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad (2004) and Myth of the Welfare Queen (1997). Zucchino worked as a foreign and national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times from 2001 to 2016, focusing on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Before that, he worked for 20 years at The Philadelphia Inquirer, as the bureau chief in Beirut, Lebanon; Nairobi, Kenya; and Johannesburg. For The Inquirer, he also covered the Middle East, Africa and wars in Chechnya and the former Yugoslavia.

Speakeasy Open Mic Night

7:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

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, 2/6

Friday, 2/7

Saturday, 2/8

Sunday, 2/9

Monday, 2/10

A reading by Carmen Maria Machado

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the memoir In the Dream House and the short story collection Her Body and Other Parties . She has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of "The New Vanguard," one of "15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century."

Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, Harper’s Bazaar, Tin House, VQR, Conjunctions, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The Believer, Guernica, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, Michener-Copernicus Foundation, Elizabeth George Foundation, CINTAS Foundation, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia with her wife.

Tuesday, 2/11

Wednesday, 2/12

A reading by Tommy Pico

Introduced by Michelle Taransky

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Tommy "Teebs" Pico is the author of the books IRL, Nature Poem, and Junk. Feed (Tin House Books, November 2019) completes the Teebs tetralogy. He's been the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Poetry Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Brooklyn Public Library. He co-curates the reading series Poets with Attitude, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Thursday, 2/13

Friday, 2/14

Saturday, 2/15

Sunday, 2/16

Monday, 2/17

A reading by Saidiya Hartman

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp required: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

Saidiya Hartman is an American writer, researcher, and professor, whose major fields of study range from African American and American literature to cultural history, slavery, law and literature, and performance studies. Hartman gives a beautiful and generous attention to individual stories in the process of writing about large topics of collective history and culture such as race, queer identity, slavery and more, an attention she sometimes shines on her own individual story as in the memoir Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route. Born and raised in New York City, Hartman has been a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library, a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana, a Whitney Oates Fellow at Princeton University, and a Rockefeller Fellow at Brown University. She is the author of three major works, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth Century America, (Oxford University Press,1997), Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar,Straus and Giroux, 2007), and most recently Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval (W. W. Norton, 2019). Hartman currently teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and is working on a new project surrounding ideas on photography and ethics.

Tuesday, 2/18

Wednesday, 2/19

Thursday, 2/20

Friday, 2/21

Saturday, 2/22

Sunday, 2/23

Monday, 2/24

LIVE at the Writers House

WXPN radio show

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 records a one-hour show of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art for broadcast by WXPN. “LIVE" is made possible through the generous support of BigRoc and is produced by Alli Katz.

Tuesday, 2/25

Wednesday, 2/26

Thursday, 2/27

A reading by Major Jackson

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Introduced by Herman Beavers

Cosponsored by the Center for Africana Studies

Major Jackson is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Absurd Man (2020). His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019, Renga for Obama, and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. A recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Inc., Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and World Literature Today. He lives in South Burlington, Vermont and is the Richard A. Dennis Professor of English at the University of Vermont. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review. For more information, visit www.majorjackson.com.

Friday, 2/28

Saturday, 2/29