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March 2009

Sunday, 3/1

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

Monday, 3/2

Buffalo Poetics Extravaganza

a poetry reading by Andrew Rippeon, Chris Sylvester, Divya Victor, and Steven Zultanski

presented by the Emergency Poetry Series

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Photo Credit: Elissa Tobin
Photo Credit: Elissa Tobin Photo Credit: Elissa Tobin

Photo credit: Elissa Tobin

Andrew Rippeon edits P-Queue (a journal of poetry, poetics, and innovative prose) and QUEUE (a chapbook series adjunct to the journal). He lives in Buffalo, NY, where he participates in the Poetics Program at the University at Buffalo.

Chris Sylvester remains decidedly unpublished.
He was born in Hawaii.
He was raised in Florida.
He lives in Buffalo.
Chris Sylvester does not drive.
His recent reading at Rust Belt books was described variously:
"Sweaty."
"Irresponsible." "Erotic as a wayward hand."
Chris Sylvester is currently writing a tract on digestion.

Divya Victor has lived and learned in India, Singapore, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Seattle. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and Poetry from Temple University and is currently a PhD. candidate in the English Department at SUNY, Buffalo, where she curates (co)ludere, a constraint-based collaborative performance series. Her work has appeared in ambit: journal of poetry and poetics, XConnect, ixnay reader 3, dusie , and is forthcoming in President's Choice and Drunken Boat.

Steven Zultanski is the author of the chapbooks Homoem (Radical Readout), USA = NAZI (with Brad Flis, Nocturnal Editions) and This and That Lenin (BookThug), plus the forthcoming volumes Generic Human Stuff (Patrick Lovelace Editions) and Pad (Make Now). He edits President's Choice magazine, a Lil' Norton publication. His poetry has appeared in Antennae, FO(A)RM, The Physical Poets, Shiny, and elsewhere.


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

Tuesday, 3/3

A reading by Mimi Schwartz and Nahid Rachlin

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: the Creative Writing program
listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Nahid Rachlin is the author, most recently, of Persian Girls, a memoir about her experience of growing up in Iran. She has also written numerous works of fiction, including the novels Jumping over Fire, Foreigner, Married to a Stranger, and The Heart's Desire, as well as a short story, "Forget Me," and a short story collection called Veils. Her stories have appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Redbook, Shenandoah, and New Letters, and her essays have been published in publications such as the Natural History Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. She is also the recipient of the Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. She currently teaches at the New School University and the Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y in New York.

Mimi Schwartz is a writer and teacher of creative nonfiction. Her memoirs include Thoughts from a Queen-sized Bed, about life in a long marriage, and Good Neighbors, Bad Times: Echoes of My Father's German Village, composed of stories about a small village in Germany where her father lived around the time of World War II. Schwartz's short works have appeared in publications such as Creative Nonfiction, Tikkun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, Fourth Genre, Calyx, Brevity, Jewish Week, Puerto del Sol, and Florida Review. She has also written books on writing. Her book, Writing True: the Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction, co-authored with Sondra Perl, offers tips for writers who are pursuing various modes of creative nonfiction. Her other books are Writing for Many Roles and Writer's Craft, Teacher's Art: Teaching What We Know.

Schwartz taught nonfiction and creative nonfiction writing at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey for 24 years. She has also offered writing workshops at places like the Geneva Writers' Conference in Switzerland, the Kachamak Bay Writers' Conference in Alaska, New Hampshire Writer Project events, and the Cape May Winter Prose and Poetry Getaway in New Jersey.

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

Wednesday, 3/4

A Conversation with Singer-Songwriter Steve Earle

presented by the Blutt Singer-Songwriter Symposium
6PM in the Dining room and Arts Cafe

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

The Blutt Singer-Songwriter symposium brings eminent and lauded songwriters into the intimate space of the Arts Cafe for not just a performance, but a conversation about the work and the form.


Steve Earle is an American singer-songwriter, well known for his rock and country music, as well as his political views. He is also a fiction writer, a playwright, and a political activist. In his early career, he was seen as a savior of country music and hailed by some as the "new Bruce Springsteen." In the later part of his career, after troubles with the law, drug addiction and his uncompromising viewpoints, he has become known as "the hardcore troubadour."

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

Thursday, 3/5

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

Friday, 3/6

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

Saturday, 3/7

WriteOn!

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM at the KWH

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

Write-On! is a children's literacy program generously supported by Penn alumni Brian and Jerilyn Perman. We work with the Lea Elementary school and the Penn Alexander school to bring Penn students and West Philadelphia youth together in a meaningful way.

Sunday, 3/8

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

Monday, 3/9

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

Tuesday, 3/10

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

Wednesday, 3/11

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

Thursday, 3/12

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

Friday, 3/13

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

Saturday, 3/14

WriteOn!

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM at the KWH

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

Write-On! is a children's literacy program generously supported by Penn alumni Brian and Jerilyn Perman. We work with the Lea Elementary school and the Penn Alexander school to bring Penn students and West Philadelphia youth together in a meaningful way.

Sunday, 3/15

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

Monday, 3/16

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

5:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP: to jalowent@writing.upenn.edu

From the time of its founding in 1995-1996, the Kelly Writers House has been run more or less collectively by members of its community. Our original team of intrepid founders — the group of students, faculty, alumni, and staff who wanted to create an independent haven for writers and supporters of contemporary writing in any genre — took for themselves the name "the hub." "Hub" was the generic term given by Penn's Provost, President, and other planners who hoped that something very innovative would be done at 3805 Locust Walk to prove the viability of the idea that students, working with others, could create an extracurricular learning community around common intellectual and creative passions. To this day, the Writers House Planning Committee refers to itself as "the hub" — the core of engaged faculty, student, staff, and alumni volunteers from whom the House's creative energy and vitality radiates.

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

Tuesday, 3/17

PoemTalk records episode #21

Al Filreis, Marcella Durand, Eli Goldblatt, and Hank Lazer discuss Charles Bernstein's "In a Restless World Like This Is"

3:30 PM on the third floor

Co-sponsored by: the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and the Poetry Foundation
rsvp: wh@writing.upenn.edu
for more information: poemtalkatkwh.blogspot.com

For each episode of PoemTalk, four friends and colleagues in the world of poetry and poetics convene to collaborate on a close (but not too close) reading of a single poem. We talk through and around the poem, sometimes beyond it, often disagreeing, always excited by what we discover as we talk, and perhaps after twenty-five minutes we've opened up the verse to a few new possibilities and have gained for a poem that interests us some new readers and listeners.

A poetry reading by Hank Lazer

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: the Creative Writing program
introduced by: Charles Bernstein
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: an audio recording of this event on Lazer's PennSound author page


Hank Lazer has published 14 books of poetry, including The New Spirit (Singing Horse, 2005), Elegies & Vacations (Salt, 2004), and Days (Lavender Ink, 2002). He has given poetry readings and talks in the United States, France, Canada, the Canary Islands, China, Mexico, and Spain. Lazer's poetry has been nominated for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and the 2004 Forward Prize. With Charles Bernstein, he edits the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series for the University of Alabama Press. For the past twelve years, his essays on innovative poetry, new modes of lyricism, and representations of spiritual experience have appeared in a variety of journals, including Facture, The Boston Review, Jacket, American Poetry Review, and Talisman. In 2008, Omnidawn published Lyric & Spirit: Selected Essays, 1996-2008. Over the past few years, Lazer has collaborated with jazz musicians Tom Wolfe and Chris Kozak on some jazz & poetry improvisations and with outsider artist Pak on a series of poem-paintings. He is currently working with animation artist Janeann Dill on a poetry-video installation project. Hank Lazer is a Professor of English at the University of Alabama where he is also an administrator serving as the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.

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

Wednesday, 3/18

A lunch talk with Steve Lopez

presented by the Sylvia Kauders lunch series

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: CPCW
introduced by: Dick Polman
RSVP: to wh@writing.upenn.edu or call 215-573-9748
listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Steve LopezSteve Lopez is a former writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and currently a columnist for the L.A. Times. His book, The Soloist, was recently chosen as the book for Philadelphia's community reading project, One Book, One Philadelphia. Soon to be a motion picture starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, The Soloist is based on a series of Lopez's columns published in the Los Angeles Times in 2005. Lopez tells of meeting an African American man playing classical music on a violin with two strings. He learns that the man, Nathaniel Ayers, had been a double-bass student at the Juilliard School in New York. After being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, the charismatic instrumentalist wound up playing the two-stringed violin on L.A.'s Skid Row.

Lopez was an Inquirer columnist from 1986 to 1997. His book Land of Giants: Where No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (1995) is a collection of his best Inquirer columns. He is also the author of the novels Third and Indiana (1995), The Sunday Macaroni Club (1997), and In The Clear (2002).


A reading by fiction writer Stuart Dybek

First Annual Bob Lucid Memorial Program in Fiction

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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


Stuart Dybek is the author of three books of fiction: I Sailed With Magellan, The Coast of Chicago, and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. Both I Sailed With Magellan and The Coast of Chicago were New York Times Notable Books, and The Coast of Chicago was a One Book One Chicago selection. Dybek has also published two collections of poetry: Streets in Their Own Ink and Brass Knuckles. His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, Poetry, Tin House, and many other magazines, and have been widely anthologized, including work in both Best American Fiction and Best American Poetry. Among Dybek's numerous awards are a MacArthur Prize, the Rea Award "for significant contribution to the short story form," PEN/Malamud Prize "for distinguished achievement in the short story," a Lannan Award, a Whiting Writers Award, an Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, several O.Henry Prizes, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University and a member of the permanent faculty for Western Michigan University's Prague Summer Program.

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

Thursday, 3/19

Speakeasy: Poetry, Prose, and Anything Goes!

8:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Friday, 3/20

WriteOn!

3:30 PM - 5:50 PM in the KWH

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

Write-On! is a children's literacy program generously supported by Penn alumni Brian and Jerilyn Perman. We work with the Lea Elementary school and the Penn Alexander school to bring Penn students and West Philadelphia youth together in a meaningful way.

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

Saturday, 3/21

POETRY READING FEATURING HEATHER CHRISTLE AND NATALIE LYALIN WITH CECILIA CORRIGAN

Whenever We Feel Like It Reading Series

4:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to individual files for each reader on PennSound's Whenever We Feel Like It series page.

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.




Heather Christle grew up in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Her poems have recently appeared in Boston Review, 6X6, Fou, and No: a journal of the art. Octopus Books will publish her first poetry collection, The Difficult Farm, later this year. She lives, studies and teaches in Western Massachusetts.

Cecilia Corrigan is a poet and Penn undergrad.

Natalie Lyalin is the author of the forthcoming book Pink and Hot Pink Habitat (Coconut Books). She is the co-editor of GlitterPony magazine. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two cats.

WriteOn!

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM in the KWH

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

Write-On! is a children's literacy program generously supported by Penn alumni Brian and Jerilyn Perman. We work with the Lea Elementary school and the Penn Alexander school to bring Penn students and West Philadelphia youth together in a meaningful way.

Sunday, 3/22

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

Monday, 3/23

LIVE at the Writers House presents Young Fiction Writers

a live taping of Sam Allingham, Katherine Hill, Adrian Khactu, Shannon Pelcher and Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Michaela Majoun
produced by: Erin Gautsche
listen: to an audio recording of this event

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).

Sam Allingham
Sam Allingham
Katherine Hill
Katherine Hill
Adrian Khactu
Adrian Khactu
Vince Levy
Vince Levy
Shannon Pelcher
Shannon Pelcher
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

Sam Allingham is a fiction writer. His work has appeared in One Story, Another Magazine, and has received a Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia, where he is writing a book about the city.

Katherine Hill was born in Washington D.C. in 1982. Her writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, Bookforum, Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper, Word Riot, and elsewhere. Katherine is a speechwriter for the Dean and Deputy Dean of the Wharton School and has taught composition writing at Philadelphia University. She holds a BA from Yale and an MFA from Bennington College, and is slowly, but surely, at work on a novel.

Adrian Khactu's work has been published or is forthcoming in The Atlantic Monthly, Carve, Heritage, and In/Vision (or HOOT! as those in the know pronounce it). He has won the Richard Moyer Prize in Fiction and the Ezra Pound Prize in Literary Translation, as well as fellowships from Clarion West and Vermont Studio Center. Adrian is currently a PhD student in English literature at the University of Pennsylvania.

Vince Levy is a college senior from Portland, OR. He was the Managing Editor for 34th Street magazine and has published articles in the New York Observer. He is currently working on his fiction thesis, a collection of short stories, with Max Apple.

Shannon Pelcher attended Temple's music school for jazz guitar yet she is a singer songwriter who learned much outside the classroom. She has performed at New York's Knitting Factory and National Underground, and recently played a sold out show at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia. "I need instrumental music in my life, but I also need songs," she states. Recalling her mentors, (Mickey Roker, Odean Pope, Monette Sudler, Deborah Carmichael, Dave Burrell,) Pelcher is forging ahead with her own creative vision. "I can come up with lyrics and melody when walking to or from work, and when I get home I think about harmonies. I am comfortable playing alone, but I like having a band, and I have people I call on regularly, but there is no set line up," she explained. Today, Pelcher is viewed with pride by her peers and mentors.

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is a Ph.D. student, fiction writer, and playwright from Harlem, New York. Her fiction has appeared in journals and anthologies including Bloom, Crab Orchard Review, X-24 Unclassified, Lumina, Baobab, Philadelphia Stories online and others. She has received honors and awards for fiction, critical writing, playwriting and teaching from Temple University, The Boston Fiction Festival, New World Theater, The Smith College Praxis fund, the New York State Summer Writers Institute, the NAACP and other organizations. She recently received Crab Orchard Review's 2008 Charles Johnson Student Fiction Award for her short story "A Strange People." Mecca holds a B.A. in Afro-American Studies from Smith College and an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Temple University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focuses on the relationships between narrative form and intersectional identity in Afrodiasporic women's writing.


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

Tuesday, 3/24

Theorizing Presents Christopher Wood

"Temporalities of the Cult Image"

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Co-sponsored by: the Department of Art History and the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

ABSTRACT: Art is the spatialization of time, and in order to find our way back from an artwork to a vanished life-world we must recognize the temporalities condensed and disguised in the fabric of the work. Every work, for example, figures its own origins in time. Premodern European images fetched their meaning from the most distant origin-point possible: gods or heroes, at the beginning of time. Such works tended not to thematize the real, historical circumstances of their own making. The modern image, by contrast, derives its identity from its origins in historical time, perhaps from an individual artist. This shift was driven by the advent of print technology. Other images, meanwhile, figure their own origins in folded, nonlinear, or disturbed temporalities, for example in the layered time of devotion; or in the urgent, affective time-frames of disease or emergency.

Christopher Wood is Professor of the History of Art with a focus on late medieval and early modern European art and on the history of the discipline of art history. He also teaches in Humanities and Directed Studies (Literature). He has taught at Yale since 1992, and as a visitor at University of California (Berkeley), Vassar College, and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. From 1989 to 1991 he was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University. In 2002-2003 he was a Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome and the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2004 he was a Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. He is the author of Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape (1993) and Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art (2008), and editor of The Vienna School Reader: Politics and Art Historical Method in the 1930s (2000).

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

Wednesday, 3/25

A conversation with filmaker and screenwriter Tom McCarthy

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

introduced by: Kathy DeMarco
co-sponsored by: the Cinema Studies Program
listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Tom McCarthy is an American actor, writer, and director who received an undergraduate degree from Boston College and theatrical training from the Yale School of Drama. The Visitor, Tom McCarthy's follow up film to the critically acclaimed feature The Station Agent, premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, was released by Overture Films, and recently won the Grand Jury Prize at the 34th Deauville Film Festival for American Films. The Station Agent, released by Miramax in 2003, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was bestowed The Audience Award and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. It was also awarded the BAFTA for Best Screenplay and two Independent Spirit Awards, including the John Cassevetes Award. The National Board of Review named it third on their list of Ten Best Films of the Year. It was nominated for three Screen Actors Guild Awards including Best Ensemble and was also nominated by the Writer's Guild for Best Original Screenplay. The film also won awards at many film festivals including San Sebastian, Stockholm, Mexico City and Aspen.

As an actor, some of McCarthy's feature credits include Flag of Our Fathers, Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Year of the Dog and Meet the Parents. He was a regular in the final season of HBO's critically acclaimed series, The Wire. Tom recently finished filming Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, Lukas Moodysohn's Mamouth, and Tony Gilroy's Duplicity opposite Julia Roberts. Tom is currently filming Roland Emmerich's 2012 for Sony Pictures.


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

Thursday, 3/26

RealArts@Penn Presents Amanda Petrusich

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Anthony DeCurtis
co-sponsored by: CPCW
listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Amanda Petrusich is the author of It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music and Pink Moon, an installment in Continuum Books' acclaimed 33 1/3 series. She is a senior contributing editor at Paste Magazine and a staff writer for Pitchforkmedia.com. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Spin, the Village Voice, the Onion A.V. Club, the Oxford American, ReadyMade, eMusic.com, MSN.com, and elsewhere, including the anthologies Hang the DJ: An Alternative Book of Music Lists and The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


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

Friday, 3/27

WriteOn!

3:30 PM - 5:50 PM in the KWH

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

Write-On! is a children's literacy program generously supported by Penn alumni Brian and Jerilyn Perman. We work with the Lea Elementary school and the Penn Alexander school to bring Penn students and West Philadelphia youth together in a meaningful way.

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

Saturday, 3/28

WriteOn Celebration!

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM in the KWH

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

Write-On! is a children's literacy program generously supported by Penn alumni Brian and Jerilyn Perman. We work with the Lea Elementary school and the Penn Alexander school to bring Penn students and West Philadelphia youth together in a meaningful way.

WriteOn! End-of-the-Year Celebration!

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Sunday, 3/29

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

Monday, 3/30

Joan Didion

presented by The Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP only: THIS EVENT IS FULL. This program will be broadcast live on KWH-TV.


Novelist, essayist and screenwriter Joan Didion has been an incisive observer of American politics and culture for more than forty-five years. Her distinctive blend of spare, elegant prose and fierce intelligence has earned her books a place in the canon of American literature as well as the admiration of generations of writers.

In 2005 she won the National Book Award for The Year of Magical Thinking. Chronicling the year following her husband's death, the book is a personal account of losing a partner and an attempt to describe the mechanism that governs grief and mourning. In 2007 Ms. Didion adapted The Year of Magical Thinking into a play, which debuted on Broadway.

Didion's novels include A Book of Common Prayer and Democracy, and her nonfiction includes Slouching Towards Bethlehem and Where I Was From. Ms. Didion and her late husband, John Gregory Dunne, co-authored five screenplays including Star Is Born and Up Close and Personal.

Her honors include the Gold Medal for Belles Lettres from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the 2007 National Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In a review of We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live, Ms. Didion's collected nonfiction, the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Many of us have tried, and failed, to master [Joan Didion's] gift for the single ordinary deflating word, the word that spins an otherwise flat sentence through five degrees of irony. But her sentences could only be hers."

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

Tuesday, 3/31

Joan Didion

presented by The Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

10:30 AM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP only: THIS EVENT IS FULL. This program will be broadcast live on KWH-TV.


Novelist, essayist and screenwriter Joan Didion has been an incisive observer of American politics and culture for more than forty-five years. Her distinctive blend of spare, elegant prose and fierce intelligence has earned her books a place in the canon of American literature as well as the admiration of generations of writers.

In 2005 she won the National Book Award for The Year of Magical Thinking. Chronicling the year following her husband's death, the book is a personal account of losing a partner and an attempt to describe the mechanism that governs grief and mourning. In 2007 Ms. Didion adapted The Year of Magical Thinking into a play, which debuted on Broadway.

Didion's novels include A Book of Common Prayer and Democracy, and her nonfiction includes Slouching Towards Bethlehem and Where I Was From. Ms. Didion and her late husband, John Gregory Dunne, co-authored five screenplays including Star Is Born and Up Close and Personal.

Her honors include the Gold Medal for Belles Lettres from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the 2007 National Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In a review of We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live, Ms. Didion's collected nonfiction, the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Many of us have tried, and failed, to master [Joan Didion's] gift for the single ordinary deflating word, the word that spins an otherwise flat sentence through five degrees of irony. But her sentences could only be hers."

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