March 2017

Wednesday, 3/1

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, 3/2

Persian Literature in Translation

Lunch with Dick Davis & Fatemeh Shams

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations and the Middle East Center
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

Dick Davis is a British poet, and translator. He is professor emeritus of Persian at Ohio State University. He has written scholarly works on both English and Persian literature, as well as eight volumes of his own poetry, and been the recipient of numerous academic and literary awards, including both the Ingram Merrill and Heinemann awards for poetry. His publications include volumes of poetry and verse translation chosen as books of the year by The Sunday Times (UK) in 1989; The Daily Telegraph (UK) in 1989; The Economist (UK) in 2002; The Washington Post in 2010, and The Times Literary Supplement (UK) in 2013. He has published numerous book-length verse translations from medieval Persian, most recently, Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz (2012). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and has been called, by The Times Literary Supplement, “our finest translator from Persian”.

Fatemeh Shams is an Iranian poet, translator and professor of Modern Persian literature who is currently based at the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at University of Pennsylvania. Her three poetry collections in Persian and English have received recognition and prestigious literary awards in the past ten years. Her most recent collection “When They Broke Down the Door”, translated by tDick Davis, received the 2016 annual book prize by the Persian Heritage Foundation. She was recognized as one of the leading voices of exile and diaspora literature when she won the Jaleh Esfahani poetry prize for the best young Iranian poet in 2012. She holds a doctorate in the field of Oriental Studies from University of Oxford, United Kingdom and currently teaches courses in the field of Persian literature at Upenn.

Friday, 3/3

Saturday, 3/4

Sunday, 3/5

Monday, 3/6

Tuesday, 3/7

Wednesday, 3/8

Thursday, 3/9

Friday, 3/10

Saturday, 3/11

Sunday, 3/12

Monday, 3/13

Lunch with Bob Englehart

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Kauders Lunch Program

rsvp: wh@writing.upenn.edu or (215) 746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Bob Englehart worked for 35 years as the full-time editorial cartoonist for America’s oldest continuously published newspaper, The Hartford Courant. After attending Chicago’s American Academy of Art, Bob drew art and illustrations for the Chicago Today. In 1972, while working as an independent commercial artist, he began his editorial cartoon career by drawing freelance for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. His first full-time position came in 1975 at the Dayton Journal Herald and, four years later, was the Pulitzer Prize finalist in the Editorial Cartoon category. He drew for The Courant from 1980 to 2015. Today, he's still drawing. His new work is syndicated worldwide by Caglecartoons.com, and is clickable on his own website, bobenglehart.com. He's the author of two collections of his editorial cartoons and a memoir, Trackrat: Memoir of a Fan.

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

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: jalowent@writing.upenn.edu

Join us for a meeting of the Hub, the core of engaged faculty, students, staff, 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, 3/14

Alec Sokolow

Hartman Screenwriting Symposium

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP: wh@writing.upenn.edu or (215) 746-POEM

Alec Sokolow, nominated for an Academy Award (Toy Story) has worn many hats in his career as a professional writer. A career in Hollywood has taken him from writing late night TV comedy to having written some of the most memorable studio films of our time. His credited film work has topped one billion dollars in worldwide Box Office receipts and includes Toy Story, Cheaper by the Dozen, Garfield, Evan Almighty, Daddy Day Camp, and Money Talks. Alec hails from New York City and resides in Sagaponack, NY.

Wednesday, 3/15

Lunch with Andrew Rosenthal

Povich Journalism program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Andrew Rosenthal became an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times in June 2016 after more than nine years as the Editorial Page editor of The Times, overseeing the newspaper’s Opinion section. He previously was deputy Editorial Page editor, starting in August 2003. Before that, Mr. Rosenthal had been an assistant managing editor since September 2001 and the foreign editor beginning in May 1997. He also served as national editor of The Times for six months in 2000, supervising coverage of the presidential election and the post-election recount.

Mr. Rosenthal was The Times’s Washington editor beginning in November 1992. He joined the company in March 1987 as a Washington correspondent. While in Washington, he covered the first Bush administration, the 1988 and 1992 presidential elections and the Persian Gulf War. He also supervised coverage of the 1994 and 1996 national elections.

Ivana Kohut, Justin Sheen, and Amanda Silberling

Creative Ventures Prize presentations

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

listen to an audio recording of this event

Ivana Kohut is a junior studying Anthropology. Her academic interests lie largely in studying the Cuban cultural and healthcare systems, which have partially been fueled by her pride in her Cuban-American roots. Outside of the classroom and the field, she loves to go for long hikes, have deep conversations that last until midnight, and listen to Hamitlon songs on repeat. Thanks to the CV Grant, Ivana traveled to Cuba to conduct a qualitative interview-based project on the evolution of lullabies in the rural countryside. From recording informal "performances," to having long conversations on porches with women and their families, to reading anthologies on "revolutionary" Cuban children's songs, she was able to track and document some of Cuba's most historic lullabies in relation to the larger Cuban and socialist cultures.

Justin Sheen is a senior at Penn studying computational biology. For his Creative Ventures project he traveled to Barrow, Alaska. Although Barrow is an extremely isolated town, it is also one that is somewhat regularly covered by news organization due to its unusual weather — for a quarter of the year the sun doesn’t come out and for another quarter of the year the sun doesn’t set. Justin was interested in how this strange, other-worldly weather affects the day-to-day rhythm of life in Barrow.

Amanda Silberling is a junior studying English and Fine Arts. Her writing (which ranges from poems about Pokemon to investigative journalism about Facebook memes) has appeared in PAPER, Impose Magazine, She Shreds Magazine, The Rumpus, The Media, and others. For her Creative Ventures project, she went on a summer tour across the Midwest with 70s punk innovator Alice Bag and up-and-comers Leggy. By working through various media including documentary filmmaking, photojournalism, narrative writing, and DIY printmaking, Amanda is investigating the historical and present intersections of punk music and social change.

Thursday, 3/16

Freewrite Night

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Have you been meaning to find some extra time to simply sit down and write? Whether you have a project you’re currently working on or you need a little inspiration, come to FREEWRITE NIGHT! We’ll have prompts and writing activities available as well as space for people to exchange drafts and ideas if peer feedback is needed. You can be as interactive or as solitary as you need to be, and you can work on a piece for a creative writing class, a publication, or just for yourself. This is a time for the KWH community to come together and do the thing that we love (the thing that can also drive us crazy): write!

Friday, 3/17

Saturday, 3/18

Sunday, 3/19

Monday, 3/20

Reading by Nathaniel Mackey

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp to: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

Nathaniel Mackey is a poet, writer, editor and critic whose work is widely known for incorporating jazz, ritual, and African mythology, both as content and form. Mackey often works with the long series, with his largest and still ongoing series being the poetry series "Mu" and "Song of the Andoumboulou," published across many volumes, including National Book Award-winning Splay Anthem (2006), Nod House (2011), and Blue Fasa (2015). Mackey also writes an ongoing fiction series entitled From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, published in his books Bedouin Hornbook (1986), Djbot Baghostus's Run (1993), Atet A.D. (2001), Bass Cathedral (2008), and the forthcoming Late Arcade, out in February 2017. He has also published two widely acclaimed books of literary theory, Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross-Culturality, and Experimental Writing (1993), and Paracritical Hinge: Essays, Talks, Notes, Interviews (2005), and is the long-time editor of avant-garde literary journal Hambone. In 2010, Mackey received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Mackey was raised in California, and earned his BA from Princeton and his PhD from Stanford University. For many years he was a professor of literature and creative writing at UC Santa Cruz, and is currently a professor of creative writing at Duke University.

RSVP REQUIRED: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

Tuesday, 3/21

Brunch with Nathaniel Mackey

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

10:00 AM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp to: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

Nathaniel Mackey is a poet, writer, editor and critic whose work is widely known for incorporating jazz, ritual, and African mythology, both as content and form. Mackey often works with the long series, with his largest and still ongoing series being the poetry series "Mu" and "Song of the Andoumboulou," published across many volumes, including National Book Award-winning Splay Anthem (2006), Nod House (2011), and Blue Fasa (2015). Mackey also writes an ongoing fiction series entitled From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, published in his books Bedouin Hornbook (1986), Djbot Baghostus's Run (1993), Atet A.D. (2001), Bass Cathedral (2008), and the forthcoming Late Arcade, out in February 2017. He has also published two widely acclaimed books of literary theory, Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross-Culturality, and Experimental Writing (1993), and Paracritical Hinge: Essays, Talks, Notes, Interviews (2005), and is the long-time editor of avant-garde literary journal Hambone. In 2010, Mackey received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Mackey was raised in California, and earned his BA from Princeton and his PhD from Stanford University. For many years he was a professor of literature and creative writing at UC Santa Cruz, and is currently a professor of creative writing at Duke University.

RSVP REQUIRED: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

Wednesday, 3/22

A celebration of The Adroit Journal

Charif Shanahan, Brynne Rebele-Henry, Julia Kolchinsky-Dasbach, and Alex Dimitrov

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

The Adroit Journal was founded in November 2010 by poet Peter LaBerge. At its foundation, the journal has its eyes focused ahead, seeking to showcase what its global staff of emerging writers sees as the future of poetry, prose, and art.

Alex Dimitrov is the author of Together and by Ourselves (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), Begging for It (Four Way Books, 2013), and the online chapbook American Boys (2012). He is the recipient of the Stanley Kunitz Prize from the American Poetry Review and a Pushcart Prize. Dimitrov has taught creative writing and literature at Bennington College, Columbia University and Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He is the Senior Content Editor at the Academy of American Poets where he edits the popular online series Poem-a-Day and American Poets magazine. In 2009 Dimitrov founded Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon which he ran until 2013 in New York City, where he lives.

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach came to the United States as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old, from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and grew up in the DC metro area suburb of Rockville, Maryland. She spent three years in Eugene, earning an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. Julia is currently back east, living in Philadelphia and working towards a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the lyric rendering of trauma in contemporary American poetry about the Holocaust. She is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars, winner of Split Lip Magazine‘s 2014 Uppercut Chapbook Award.

Brynne Rebele-Henry has published fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in such journals as The Adroit Journal, Denver Quarterly, Fiction International, PANK, Prairie Schooner, Revolver, Rookie, So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art, and The Volta. Her book Fleshgraphs was published by Nightboat Books in September 2016. She has won numerous awards for her writing, including the 2016 Adroit Prize for Prose and the 2015 Louise Louis/Emily F. Bourne Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is a founding editor of Fissure, an online magazine dedicated to LGBT+ writers and artists.

Charif Shanahan is the author of Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (Southern Illinois University Press, 2017), winner of the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. His poems have appeared in Baffler, Boston Review, Callaloo, Literary Hub, New Republic, the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day, Poetry International, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, he is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Originally from the Bronx, he lives in Oakland, California. Visit him at charifshanahan.com.

Thursday, 3/23

A conversation with Duncan Sheik

Blutt Singer-Songwriter Symposium

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP REQUIRED: mingo@writing.upenn.edu

Duncan Sheik is a Grammy and Tony Award-winning artist who launched his musical career in 1996 with his self-titled debut album. Sheik quickly earned a Grammy nomination for “Best Male Vocal” for his hit “Barely Breathing.” He subsequently garnered critical accolades for his unique brand of folk-pop music with 2006’s White Limousine. Sheik composed the music for critically acclaimed musical Spring Awakening, which in 2006 went on to win eight Tony Awards. In 2015, Sheik released Legerdemain, his first production of original material, not attached to a theatre piece, since 2006’s White Limousine. While writing and recording Legerdemain, Sheik was also composing the music and lyrics for the musical theatre production of American Psycho, based on Brett Easton Ellis’ cult classic novel of the same name. Sheik is currently working on several projects, including a theatrical production of Secret Life of Bees and a series for New Form Digital.

Friday, 3/24

Madeleine George on What Plays Are Good For

Hosted by Brooke O'Harra

Co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Please join us for a conversation with Madeleine George, whose play Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England will run at the Annenberg Center for The Arts April 5-8. George is the Theatre Arts Program’s Visiting Artist this Spring. She will be on campus to work with Penn student actors and director Brooke O’Harra (Faculty Theatre Arts) on the upcoming production. George will also work with O’Harra’s directing students who have been staging George’s work in class this year. For this lunchtime event at Kelly Writers House, O’Harra and her students will lead a conversation with George about transformation, hope, gays on the stage, and theater in this moment.

Madeleine George's plays, including The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, Precious Little, and The Zero Hour, have been produced at theaters around the country. She was a founding member of the Obie-winning playwrights' collective 13P (Thirteen Playwrights, Inc.), and is a resident playwright at New Dramatists. Madeleine's two novels are published by Viking Children's Books. Her first book, Looks, was one of Booklist's 2008 Top Ten First Novels for Youth, and a 2009 ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Her second book, The Difference Between You and Me, was a Kirkus Best Teen Book of 2012, a Junior Library Guild selection and an ALA Rainbow List selection.

Brooke O’Harra is co-founder of the OBIE Award-winning Theater of a Two-Headed Calf. She has developed and directed all 14 of Two-headed Calf’s productions including Drum of the Waves of Horikawa (HERE), Trifles (Ontological Hysteric) and the opera project You, My Mother (La MaMa, River to River Festival). O’Harra conceived, directed, wrote for, and performed in the Dyke Division of Two-headed Calf’s live lesbian soap opera, Room for Cream, which ran for three seasons at La Mama ETC. Brooke has also created performances at The New Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Performing Garage and is a freelance director. She is the current recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Award for Theatre. Brooke is on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania’s Theatre Arts Program.

Saturday, 3/25

Sunday, 3/26

Monday, 3/27

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, 3/28

Brodsky Gallery Opening: Community Futurisms: Mapping Memories 001

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

An installation of sound, maps, surveys, and ephemera from the quantum time capsule of Community Futures Lab, a pop-up oral history/oral futures recording lab, community resource library, workshop space, and gallery located in North Philadelphia exploring eminent futures and temporal domains of housing and displacement. Community Futurisms considers time, memory, and temporality as experienced by people and communities identifying as Black or African-American in the United States and across the diaspora and explores alternative and cultural, communal, and personal temporal-spatial frameworks.

Wednesday, 3/29

Lunch with Jennifer Lin

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Author of Shanghai Faithful, Jennifer Lin is an award-wining journalist and former reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In a distinguished thirty-year career, she served as the paper’s New York financial correspondent, Washington foreign affairs reporter, and Asia bureau chief, based in China.

Shanghai Faithful is both a touching family memoir and a chronicle of the astonishing spread of Christianity in China. Within the next decade, China could be home to more Christians than any country in the world. Through the 150-year saga of a single family, this book vividly dramatizes the remarkable religious evolution of the world’s most populous nation. Five generations of the Lin family—buffeted by history’s crosscurrents and personal strife—bring to life an epoch that is still unfolding.

The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Join us for a celebration of The Golden Shovel Anthology and the life and work of poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Our event will feature Golden Shovel editors Patricia Smith and Peter Kahn; poets Camara Brown (C’17), Greg Djanikian, Sasha Rogelberg, and Eleanor Wilner; and members of the Excelano Project. Anthology editors will talk about the Golden Shovel form, the process of making this special anthology, and the far-reaching influence of Gwendolyn Brooks. Readers will share original Golden Shovel poems, as well as favorites from the anthology.

The Golden Shovel Anthology celebrates the life and work of poet and civil rights icon Gwendolyn Brooks through a dynamic new poetic form, the Golden Shovel, created by National Book Award–winner Terrance Hayes. The last words of each line in a Golden Shovel poem are, in order, words from a line or lines taken from a Brooks poem. The poems are, in a way, secretly encoded to enable both a horizontal reading of the new poem and vertical reading down the right-hand margin of Brooks’s original.


Thursday, 3/30

Marathon reading of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

2:00 PM in the Arts Cafe (until it’s done)

Each year, the Hub selects a book to read aloud, straight through from beginning to end, and we celebrate the book with extravagant decorations, food, and props all derived from the text. To contribute ideas or sign up as a reader for this year’s book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, please email wh@writing.upenn.edu

Friday, 3/31