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March 2011

Tuesday, 3/1

A reading by non-fiction writer Jay Kirk

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Jay Kirk's fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in Harper's, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Peregrine, The Nation, Chicago Reader, Philadelphia City Paper, Saturday Night and Nerve. His work has been anthologized in Best American Crime Writing 2003, Best American Crime Writing 2004, and Best American Travel Writing 2009. He was also included in the anthology, Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person from Harper's Magazine (New Press, 2008). He was a recipient of a 2005 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, as well as a 2007 Individual Creative Artists Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His first book, Kingdom Under Glass: A Tale of Obsession, Adventure, and One Man's Quest to Preserve the World's Great Animals (Holt, Henry & Company, 2010) is about the taxidermist-sculptor Carl Akeley.

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

Wednesday, 3/2

Feminism/s presents Karen Finley

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

No other contemporary performing artist has captured the psychological complexity of this decade's political and social milestones as Karen Finley has in the past ten years. In her inimitable style, Finley has embodied some of the most troubling figures to cast a long shadow on the public imagination, and has envisioned a kind of catharsis within each drama: Liza Minnelli responds to the September 11 attacks; Terri Schaivo explains why Americans love a woman in a coma; Martha Stewart dumps George W. Bush during their tryst on the eve of the Republican National Convention; Silda Spitzer tells the former governor why "I'm sorry" just isn't enough; Jackie O cries, "Please stop looking at me!"

Finley's new book and transcripts of her performances The Reality Shows blazes through a dark and vivid era. These seething performance pieces are fully contextualized with introductions by the author and a time-line of cultural and political milestones since the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Karen Finley's raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. She has presented her visual art, performances and plays internationally. The author of many books including A Different Kind of Intimacy, George & Martha, and Shock Treatment, she is a professor at the Tisch School of Art and Public Policy at New York University. Visit The Feminist Press to find out more about Finley's book The Reality Shows.

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

Thursday, 3/3

Whenever We Feel Like It Presents

Rachel Blau DuPlessis

8:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

The Collage Poems of Drafts (just published in 2011) and Pitch: Drafts 77-95 (2010) are the newest poetry books by Rachel Blau DuPlessis from Salt Publishing. She is a poet-critic whose other works include The Pink Guitar and Blue Studios. Forthcoming from Iowa is Purple Passages: Patriarchal Poetry and its Ends.


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Friday, 3/4

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

Saturday, 3/5

Sunday, 3/6

Monday, 3/7

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

Tuesday, 3/8

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

Wednesday, 3/9

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

Thursday, 3/10

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

Friday, 3/11

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

Saturday, 3/12

Sunday, 3/13

Monday, 3/14

A lunch talk with Nina Godiwalla

Suits: A Woman on Wall Street

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Nina Godiwalla shares key themes and experiences from her upcoming book, Suits: A Woman on Wall Street, a memoir about her experience at Morgan Stanley best described as The Devil Wears Prada of investment banking. It's an insider's perspective on banking from an outsider's point of view—woman, second-generation Indian American, and Texan. USA Today chose Suits as one of their top books to read. In addition to discussing her experience as a first-year analyst in investment banking, Nina will talk about her career path from corporate executive to author and her publishing process.

Nina Godiwalla has written for The Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, and the Austin Business Journal. Before founding MindWorks, which trains business professionals in meditation and stress management, she spent almost a decade working for Fortune 500 corporations including Morgan Stanley and Johnson & Johnson. She speaks nationally on leadership and diversity in the workplace and has been featured in several major publications including Bloomberg BusinessWeek and ABC News. Nina has an MBA from Wharton School of Business, a MA focused in Creative Writing from Dartmouth, and a BBA from University of Texas. She currently lives in Austin, TX.


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

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: 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.

New and old Hub members alike are welcome to join us for pizza and a discussion of upcoming readings and programs, volunteer opportunities, and updates from project leaders. Anyone is welcome to join the Writers House Planning Committee.

Go here to get a sense of what we do; go here for sound clips and photos from our end-of-year party; go here for a list of campus publications.

Johanna Drucker: A Conversation about Aesthetics and Materiality

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Johanna Drucker is and a book artist, poet, and scholar whose work focuses on the history of the book and print culture, history of information, critical studies in visual knowledge representation, and collection development in book arts. Recent books: Speclab (University of Chicago Press, 2010), Design History: A Critical Guide, with Emily McVarish (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008), and Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005). Drucker is Martin and Bernard Breslauer Professor of Information Studies at UCLA.

Explore more of Johanna Drucker's work at EPC and PennSound.


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

Tuesday, 3/15

Oulipolooza

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Come help us celebrate the continuing potential of literatures by attending the Oulipolooza, a Kelly Writers House-style celebration of all things Oulipo. The OuLiPo, or "Ouvroir de littérature potentielle" (workshop of potential literature), is a group of experimental French poets founded in 1960, devoted to exploring the potential of literature, language and freedom through the lenses of different constraints. Oulipolooza will include readings about the Oulipo by Penn's own Jean-Michel Rabaté and Katie Price, a reception full of Oulipo-inspired foods, and the launch of "An Oulipolooza": a collection of oulipian texts.

Oulipolooza requests your participation! Please submit your Oulipo-inspired works to "An Oulipolooza": a collection of creative and critical texts to be published as adjunct to Oulipolooza. We look forward to reading your experiments in constraint, being introduced to procedures you've invented, and previously held definitions you've reinvented. We want your lipograms! Your N+7s! Your prisoner's restrictions! Send beautiful outlaws and all exercises in style you have!

Send your work, and a short note introducing yourself to Michelle Taransky and Sarah Arkebauer via oulipolooza@gmail.com. Deadline for consideration: March 1.


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

Wednesday, 3/16

A Lunch Talk with David Bianculli

presented by the Sylvia Kauders lunch series

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Hosted by: Dick Polman
rsvp: to 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

David Bianculli David Bianculli is a guest host and TV critic on NPR's New York Daily News. Bianculli has written three books: Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 2009), Teleliteracy: Taking Television Seriously (1992), and Dictionary of Teleliteracy (1996). An associate professor of TV and film at Rowan University in New Jersey, Bianculli is also the founder and editor of the online magazine, TVWorthWatching.com


Speakeasy: Poetry, Prose, and Anything Goes!

8:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Speakeasy is an open mic night held at the Kelly Writers House every other Wednesday evening. It's an opportunity for writers to share their work, or the work of others, in a friendly setting. Speakeasy was founded in 1997 and continues to be an important part of the regular Writers House programming series. We welcome poets, storytellers, singers, musicians, and anything in between to share their voices with us in the Arts Cafe twice a month. As always: Poetry, prose, anything goes!


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

Thursday, 3/17

A CONVERSATION WITH SINGER-SONGWRITER RUFUS WAINWRIGHT

presented by the Blutt Singer-Songwriter Symposium

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Rufus Wainwright is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter who began playing the piano at age six, and started touring with his family at age 13. Wainwright's dry wit and sometimes-haunting and world-weary singing style has set him apart from the mainstream of pop music. After his self-titled debut album received critical acclaim, he went on to produce five more albums by 2011.


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Friday, 3/18

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

Saturday, 3/19

Sunday, 3/20

A workshop reading of Prize-Winning Play

Front Row Theatre prize

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

For the seventh year in a row, the Front Row Theatre Company and the Kelly Writers House have sponsored a playwriting fellowship. Please join us for a public reading and discussion of the winning play, to help prepare the work for a capstone staged reading. More information is available at www.frontrowtheatreco.com.

Monday, 3/21

A reading by Edward Albee

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: sorry, this event is full!

Funded by a grant from Paul Kelly, the Kelly Writers House Fellows program enables us to realize two unusual goals. We want to make it possible for the youngest writers and writer-critics to have sustained contact with authors of great accomplishment in an informal atmosphere. We also want to resist the time-honored distinction — more honored in practice than in theory — between working with eminent writers on the one hand and studying literature on the other.

Edward Albee

Playwright Edward Albee has defined modern American theatre with five decades of controversial and brilliant plays. A three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, The New Yorker has called him "the greatest living playwright."

Albee is perhaps best known for his 1962 drama, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? It won both the Tony and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards and is widely considered a classic of American contemporary theatre. In his lectures, Albee describes the power of the arts as a catalyst for change. He believes that art should be dangerous, that it should reveal all of our shortcomings and complacency – and, at its best, will inspire us to live our lives more fully.

Albee's other groundbreaking plays include The Zoo Story, A Delicate Balance, Seascape, Three Tall Women and The Goat: or, Who is Sylvia, which won a Tony Award. He is a Kennedy Center Honoree, was awarded the National Medal of Arts, and received a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre.

Albee had three plays produced in New York during the 2007-2008 season: Peter and Jerry with Bill Pullman; a revival of his one-act plays, The American Dream and The Sandbox; and Occupant about Louise Nevelson. His play, Me, Myself and I, opened at the McCarter Theater in January 2008; At Home at the Zoo ran in 2009.

Edward Albee is often identified as the successor to Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill. He "throws the abyss in our faces," one critic has written, "with exhilarating, articulate, daring and dark, grown-up dazzle."

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Tuesday, 3/22

A brunch conversation with Edward Albee

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

10:00 AM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Al Filreis
rsvp: sorry, this event is full!

Funded by a grant from Paul Kelly, the Kelly Writers House Fellows program enables us to realize two unusual goals. We want to make it possible for the youngest writers and writer-critics to have sustained contact with authors of great accomplishment in an informal atmosphere. We also want to resist the time-honored distinction — more honored in practice than in theory — between working with eminent writers on the one hand and studying literature on the other.

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

Wednesday, 3/23

A reading by novelist Karen Russell

Cheryl J. Family fiction 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

Karen Russell, a native of Miami, has been featured in both The New Yorker's debut fiction issue and New York Magazine's list of twenty-five people to watch under the age of twenty-six. She is a graduate of the Columbia MFA program and is the 2005 recipient of the Transatlantic Review/Henfield Foundation Award; her fiction has recently appeared in Conjunctions, Granta, Zoetrope, Oxford American, and The New Yorker. She is the author of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Random House, 2007) and Swamplandia! (Random House, 2011).

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

Thursday, 3/24

A Reading and Discussion with Vanessa Place

presented by Feminism/s

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 on PennSound

Vanessa Place is a writer, a lawyer, and co-director of Les Figues Press. She is author of Dies: A Sentence (2006), La Medusa (Fiction Collective 2, 2008), Notes on Conceptualisms, co-authored with Robert Fitterman (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009), and The Guilt Project: Rape, Morality and Law (2010). A book of conceptual poetry, Statement of Facts, will be published in France as Exposé des Faits; a trilogy of conceptual work, Statement of Facts, Statement of the Case, and Argument, is forthcoming from Blanc Press (USA). Her Factory-type chapbook series is available via oodpress (Brazil). Place is also a regular contributor to X-tra Art Quarterly, and has lectured and performed internationally.


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Friday, 3/25

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

Saturday, 3/26

Sunday, 3/27

Monday, 3/28

LIVE at the Writers House

featuring readers from Philadelphia Noir and musical guest A Stick and a Stone

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen: to an live at the writers house march 2011.mp3audio 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).


Carlin Romano

Solomon Jones

Asali Solomon

Dennis Tafoya

Jim Zervanos

Carlin Romano, Critic-at-Large of the Chronicle of Higher Education and Literary Critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty-five years (1984–2009), is now Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Ursinus College. In 2006, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism, cited by the Pulitzer Board for "bringing new vitality to the classic essay across a formidable array of topics." He lives in University City.

Solomon Jones is the best-selling author of six novels, including The Last Confession, The Bridge, and his critically acclaimed debut, Pipe Dream. Jones is an adjunct professor at Temple University's College of Liberal Arts, an award-winning columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, and an aide to U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah. He is a member of The Liar's Club, a Philadelphia-area writers group. For more information, visit solomonjones.com.

Asali Solomon was born and raised in West Philadelphia. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award and was selected as one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" for her first book of short stories, Get Down. After nearly twenty years of wandering, she once again lives in West Philadelphia, with her husband and son.

Dennis Tafoya was born in Philadelphia and lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His first novel, Dope Thief, was published by St. Martin's Minotaur in 2009. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Liars Club, a Philadelphia-area writers group. His second novel, The Wolves of Fairmount Park, was published by St. Martin's in June 2010.

Jim Zervanos is the author of the novel LOVE Park, which was hailed as "a love letter to Philadelphia" and a "tribute to the power of brotherly love." His fiction has appeared in numerous publications, including the story anthology Philly Fiction. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and the Warren Wilson MFA Program. An English and creative-writing teacher, he lives with his wife in the city's art-museum area.

A Stick and a Stone is the haunted folk therapy of Philly songwriter and male soprano, Elliot Harvey. From banjos to bass drums to body parts, a Stick and a Stone uses various instruments for different songs. Working fluidly with artists of many forms, a Stick and a Stone's live shows range from intimate solo exchanges to full collaborative performances.


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Tuesday, 3/29

A lunch program with Michael Sokolove

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

introduced by: Dick Polman
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event on PennSound

Michael Sokolove is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, as well as the author of two previous books, The Ticket Out: Darryl Strawberry and The Boys of Crenshaw and Hustle: The Myth, Life, and Lies of Pete Rose. He has appeared on numerous national television and radio news shows, including ABC's Good Morning America and Prime Time Thursday, ESPN's Outside the Lines, and CNN's Paula Zahn Now. He has been a guest on the National Public Radio shows Fresh Air, The Tavis Smiley Show, and Only a Game. His new book, Warrior Girls, takes us into the lives and homes of female athletes and their injuries.


A Poetry Reading by Ari Banias and Lynn Xu

presented by the Emergency Poetry Series

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Emergency addresses North American poetic practice as it is centered around close-knit communities, long-distance mentorships, new media, and chapbook exchange, asking how theoretical stances and aesthetic practices are transmitted among poets at different stages in their careers. The series was launched in 2006 with support from the Kerry Sherin Wright Prize for programming at Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia, an award designed to support a project that demonstrates aesthetic capaciousness and literary communitarianism. All readings are held at the Writers House and are available online at PennSound.

Ari Banias grew up in Los Angeles, El Paso, and in the suburbs of Chicago. His poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Drunken Boat, Salt Hill, Aufgabe, Literary Imagination, The Cincinnati Review, FIELD, MiPOesias, Arts & Letters, and elsewhere. He has been awarded residencies at Caldera, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Millay Colony. He works with used books and curates Uncalled-for Readings, a queer reading series in Brooklyn, NY.


Lynn Xu was born in Shanghai. Her poems have appeared in 6x6, Best American Poetry 2008, The Boston Review, Effing, Eoagh, Poetry Daily, Tinfish, Octopus, The Walrus, Zoland Poetry, and elsewhere. She co-edits Canarium Books and is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.


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

Wednesday, 3/30

Speakeasy: Poetry, Prose, and Anything Goes!

8:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Speakeasy is an open mic night held at the Kelly Writers House every other Wednesday evening. It's an opportunity for writers to share their work, or the work of others, in a friendly setting. Speakeasy was founded in 1997 and continues to be an important part of the regular Writers House programming series. We welcome poets, storytellers, singers, musicians, and anything in between to share their voices with us in the Arts Cafe twice a month. As always: Poetry, prose, anything goes!

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

Thursday, 3/31

a lunch with Marcella Durand

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

SEATING STRICTLY LIMITED

rsvp to: wh@writing.upenn.edu

Marcella Durand's recent books include Deep Eco Pré, a collaboration with Tina Darragh published by Little Red Leaves in 2009; Area, published by Belladonna Books in 2008 as part of the Council of Literary Magazines and Small Press’s FACE OUT program, and Traffic & Weather, a site-specific book-length poem written during a residency at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in downtown Manhattan (Futurepoem Books, 2008). She has collaborated with artists on various projects, including most recently a collaboration with New Orleans artist Karoline Schleh titled, “Stare: What Wild New World Is This?” (exhibited at Barrister’s Gallery, Fall 2010). She has talked about the potential intersections of poetry and ecology at Kelly Writers House, Poets House, Small Press Traffic, Naropa University, and other venues. Her essays and poetry have appeared in The Nation, Ecopoetics, NYFA Current, Conjunctions, The Poker, HOW(2), Critiphoria, The Denver Quarterly, and other journals. She was a 2009 fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

A poetry reading by Derek Beaulieu

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Co-Sponsored by: Writers Without Borders and Brodsky Gallery
listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Author of five books of poetry (most recently the visual poem suite Silence) and three volumes of conceptual fiction (most recently the short fiction collection How to Write), Derek Beaulieu's work is consistently praised as some of the most radical and challenging contemporary Canadian writing.

His work has appeared in over 150 journals internationally, has been translated into Turkish, Polish, French and Icelandic and has been featured in over 200 small press publications. His conceptual novels Flatland and Local Colour, both explorations of texts without texts, were published in the UK and Finland respectively and are limit cases of prose.

Publisher of the acclaimed smallpresses housepress (1997-2004) and no press (2005-present), and past editor of several small magazines, Beaulieu has spoken and written on poetics internationally. Toro magazine recently wrote "using techniques drawn from graphic design, fine art and experimental writing, [Beaulieu] vigorously tests the restrictions, conventions, and denotations of the letters of the alphabet."


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