March 2020

Sunday, 3/1

Monday, 3/2

A reading by Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro

Charla/Lectura: Calle de la Resistencia: Narrative, Poetry and Perreo Combativo from an Afrolesbian Boricua

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Co-sponsored by: the Department of Romance Languages, the Center for Africana Studies, and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program
introduced by: Odette Casamayor-Cisneros, Associate Professor of Romance Languages

Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro is an award-winning Afro lesbian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and feminist activist from Puerto Rico, who addresses both racial and gender issues, and sexual identity in her combative, non-conformist, and creative works. She offers lectures about antiracist, decolonial feminism, LGBTTQ issues and how to be a black woman in today’s society. She is also the Director of the Department of Afro-Puerto Rican Studies, a performative project of Creative Writing based in San Juan and has founded the Chair of Ancestral Black Women to respond to the invitation promulgated by UN and UNESCO to celebrate the International Decade of Afro-Descendants 2015−2024. Her book Las Negras, winner of the PEN Club Puerto Rico National Short Story Award in 2013, explores the limits of female characters during the slavery period that challenged hierarchies of power. She also won the Prize of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture in 2015 and 2012, and the National Prize of the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature in 2008. Her work has been translated into German, French, Italian, English, Portuguese and Hungarian.


Tuesday, 3/3

An evening with Ottessa Moshfegh

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

introduced by: Justin McDaniel

Acclaimed writer Ottessa Moshfegh reveals the craft and inspiration behind her diverse body of work which spans novellas, novels, and short stories. As forthright as a speaker as she is a writer, Moshfegh showcases the deliberation and care behind her writing process and invites audiences into a truly extraordinary literary mind.


Photo Credit: Jake Belcher

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from New England. Her first book, McGlue, a novella, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. She is also the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World. Her stories have been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Granta, and have earned her a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, the Plimpton Discovery Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction; My Year of Rest and Relaxation, her second novel, was a New York Times bestseller.


Wednesday, 3/4

Lunch with Trish Hall

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Trish Hall was the "Op-Ed" editor of The New York Times for five years - tasked with deciding which guest submissions should get the green light to appear on the Times' commentary page (opposite the editorial page). Her new book, "Writing to Persuade," offers tips on how to write persuasive commentary, and recounts her experiences on the job. During her long Times career, she also wrote about food trends, ran the Sunday Business section, and reinvented real estate coverage.

Prior to The Times, she was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where she interviewed food company executives and wrote about the culture of eating. She also worked for The Associated Press, and for the Connecticut State News Bureau, covering state politics. Her website is trishhallbooks.com.

Speakeasy Open Mic Night

7:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

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, 3/5

Friday, 3/6

Saturday, 3/7

Sunday, 3/8

Monday, 3/9

Tuesday, 3/10

Wednesday, 3/11

Thursday, 3/12

Friday, 3/13

Saturday, 3/14

Sunday, 3/15

Monday, 3/16

Lunch with Jason Nark

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in th Arts Cafe

hosted by: Dick Polman

JASON NARK has been a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News since 2008, writing features, longform stories, and personal essays. He won numerous first place awards from the Society for Features Journalism, including the best feature portfolio in 2018. Judges said Nark finds “beautiful stories in everyday existences and brings them to life.” He has also won prizes from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association in a variety of categories, including sports, as well as numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Prior to the Inquirer, Nark worked as a general assignment reporter for the Courier Post, in New Jersey, and he has contributed recent freelance pieces to National Geographic, The New York Times, and the Washington Post. He has a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, three children, and their beloved pit bull.

A MEETING OF THE WRITERS HOUSE PLANNING COMMITTEE

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, 3/17

Lunch with Alex Gino

12:00 PM in the Arts Café

Co-sponsored by: the LGBT Center
rsvp: wh@writing.upenn.edu

Alex Gino is author of middle grade novels You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! and the Stonewall Award-winning George. They love glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the diversity and complexity of being alive. Born and raised on Staten Island, NY, they now enjoy living in Oakland, CA.

Mess + Process: Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow and David Chavannes

6:00 PM in the Arts Café

curated by: Amber Rose Johnson

MESS + PROCESS is a conversation and workshop series that brings together artists, poets, and performers to discuss the messiness of the creative process and the winding paths that we take in our imaginative exploration of new ideas before they manifest as specific projects. Moving away from solely focusing on the polished, completed work, we turn our attention toward the collaborative brainstorming, active research, and study-driven play that we maneuver through as creatives in pursuit of something else.

David Chevannes is a Jamaican pianist, singer, songwriter, and researcher who believes in the creative and transformative power of empathy and compassion. He makes sound recordings and performance pieces that tell stories about gender, sexuality, race, immigration, and love. David lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and invites you to learn more about him and his work by visiting www.dchavannes.com.

Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow is a 1.5 generation Jamaican-American interdisciplinary artist living and working in Queens, NY. Her work often explores performance and installation art drawing from the nostalgia of her homeland, Caribbean folklore, fantasy, feminism, globalism, spirituality, environmentalism, and migration. She holds a BFA with honors from New World School of the Arts, University of Florida and an MFA from Hunter College, CUNY. Lyn-Kee-Chow’s exhibitions of note include “Jamaican Pulse: Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora”, Royal West Academy of England, Bristol, UK (2016), a special project commission at “Jamaica Biennial”, The National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, JA (2017), “Live Action 12” in Gothenburg, Sweden (2017), Guangzhou Live 5: International Performance Art Festival, China (2014). Lyn-Kee-Chow’s work has garnered a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Award in Interdisciplinary Art (2012), Rema Hort Mann Artist in Community Engagement Award (2017), Franklin Furnace Fund (2017-18), Culture Push Fellowship for Utopian Practice (2018), and Queens Art Fund (2019). She is also a faculty member at School of Visual Arts, NY.

Wednesday, 3/18

MESS + PROCESS: WORKSHOP

Led by David Chavannes

11:00 AM in the Cafe

Curated by: Amber Rose Johnson
rsvp: wh@writing.upenn.edu or 215-746-POEM

MESS + PROCESS is a conversation and workshop series that brings together artists, poets, and performers to discuss the messiness of the creative process and the winding paths that we take in our imaginative exploration of new ideas before they manifest as specific projects. Moving away from solely focusing on the polished, completed work, we turn our attention toward the collaborative brainstorming, active research, and study-driven play that we maneuver through as creatives in pursuit of something else.

David Chevannes is a Jamaican pianist, singer, songwriter, and researcher who believes in the creative and transformative power of empathy and compassion. He makes sound recordings and performance pieces that tell stories about gender, sexuality, race, immigration, and love. David lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and invites you to learn more about him and his work by visiting www.dchavannes.com.

From Idea to Book: Weike Wang and Jennifer Kurdyla

Beltran Family Program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

How does an idea become a book? How does an editor usher a manuscript into publication? Novelist Weike Wang will lead a conversation with Jennifer Kurdyla, taking Wang’s novel Chemisty (Knopf 2017) as an example of how writer and editor work together to bring new books into the world.

Weike Wang is the author of Chemistry (Knopf 2017). She is the recipient of the 2018 Pen Hemingway, a Whiting award and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35. Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train and The New Yorker, among other publications. She is in the 2019 Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Prizes. She currently lives in New York City and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jennifer Kurdyla is a writer, freelance editor, and wellness teacher. She has acquired and edited a range of fiction and nonfiction at Alfred A. Knopf and The Experiment, and now supports literary arts as an independent ghost writer, collaborator, and publishing consultant. When she isn't reading, she is practicing and studying yoga and Ayurveda, and shares her knowledge of holistic well-being as a yoga teacher throughout New York City. She is the co-author of the forthcoming cookbook, Root & Nourish: An Herbal Cookbook for Women's Wellness, with Abbey Rodriguez. She lives in Brooklyn. Read more from Jennifer on her website, benourished.me, or on Instagram @jenniferkurdyla.

Thursday, 3/19

A poetry reading by Gregory Djanikian

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

introduced by: Al Filreis

Gregory Djanikian is the author of seven collections of poetry, The Man in the Middle, Falling Deeply into America, About Distance, Years Later, So I Will Till the Ground, Dear Gravity, and most recently, Sojourners of the In-Between (February, 2020), all appearing from Carnegie Mellon University Press. His poems have appeared in such places as The Adroit Journal, The American Poetry Review, Boulevard, crazyhorse, The Florida Review, The Iowa Review, New Ohio Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, TriQuarterly, and numerous other periodicals and anthologies including Best American Poetry, Good Poems, American Places (Viking), Killer Verse: Poems of Murder and Mayhem (Knopf), Becoming Americas: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing (Library of America), Poem in Your Pocket (The Academy of American Poets), Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (Norton), 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (Random House), among others. He was for many years Director of the Creative Writing Program at Penn until his retirement in 2015. He lives outside Philadelphia.


Friday, 3/20

Saturday, 3/21

Sunday, 3/22

Monday, 3/23

Erín Moure

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp required: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

Erín Moure is a poet and translator. In Canada, the USA, and the UK, she has published 18 books of poetry, a coauthored book of poetry, a volume of essays, a book of short articles on translation, a biopoetics (alongside the biopoetics of Chus Pato), and two memoirs. She is translator/co-translator of 19 books of poetry and two of creative non-fiction (biopoetics) from French, Galician, Portunhol, Portuguese, Spanish, and Ukrainian, by poets such as Nicole Brossard (with Robert Majzels), Andrés Ajens, Louise Dupré, Rosalía de Castro, Chus Pato, Uxío Novoneyra, Lupe Gómez (with Rebeca Lema Martínez), Fernando Pessoa, and Yuri Izdryk (with Roman Ivashkiv). Three of her own books have appeared in translation, one each in German, Galician, and French. Her work has received the Governor General's Award, Pat Lowther Memorial Award, A.M. Klein Prize twice, has been a three-time finalist for the Griffin Prize (twice for translations), and a two-time finalist for a Best Translated Book Award (USA-Poetry)—most recently for Paraguayan Sea (Nightboat 2017), her Frenglish translation of the Portuñol of Brazilian Wilson Bueno. A 40-year retrospective of her poetry, Planetary Noise: Selected Poetry of Erín Moure (Wesleyan University Press 2017, edited by Shannon Maguire) is a good introduction to her practice. Her own latest is The Elements (Anansi 2019), which she calls “a book of Dad.” In March 2020, she will launch two new translations: a sequence from Argentinian poet Juan Gelman’s “translations” of the English poet John Wendell, Sleepless Nights Under Capitalism (Eulalia Books) and, from the mountain Galician of Uxío Novoneyra, The Uplands, Book of the Courel and other poems (Veliz Books).

Tuesday, 3/24

Brunch with Erín Moure

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

10:00 AM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp required: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

Erín Moure is a poet and translator. In Canada, the USA, and the UK, she has published 18 books of poetry, a coauthored book of poetry, a volume of essays, a book of short articles on translation, a biopoetics (alongside the biopoetics of Chus Pato), and two memoirs. She is translator/co-translator of 19 books of poetry and two of creative non-fiction (biopoetics) from French, Galician, Portunhol, Portuguese, Spanish, and Ukrainian, by poets such as Nicole Brossard (with Robert Majzels), Andrés Ajens, Louise Dupré, Rosalía de Castro, Chus Pato, Uxío Novoneyra, Lupe Gómez (with Rebeca Lema Martínez), Fernando Pessoa, and Yuri Izdryk (with Roman Ivashkiv). Three of her own books have appeared in translation, one each in German, Galician, and French. Her work has received the Governor General's Award, Pat Lowther Memorial Award, A.M. Klein Prize twice, has been a three-time finalist for the Griffin Prize (twice for translations), and a two-time finalist for a Best Translated Book Award (USA-Poetry)—most recently for Paraguayan Sea (Nightboat 2017), her Frenglish translation of the Portuñol of Brazilian Wilson Bueno. A 40-year retrospective of her poetry, Planetary Noise: Selected Poetry of Erín Moure (Wesleyan University Press 2017, edited by Shannon Maguire) is a good introduction to her practice. Her own latest is The Elements (Anansi 2019), which she calls “a book of Dad.” In March 2020, she will launch two new translations: a sequence from Argentinian poet Juan Gelman’s “translations” of the English poet John Wendell, Sleepless Nights Under Capitalism (Eulalia Books) and, from the mountain Galician of Uxío Novoneyra, The Uplands, Book of the Courel and other poems (Veliz Books).

City Planning Poetics 9: Feeling the City

Jill Magi and Akira Drake Rodriguez

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Curated by Davy Knittle, City Planning Poetics is a semesterly series that invites one or more poets or more planners, designers, planning historians, or others working in the field of city planning to discuss a particular topic central to their work, to ask each other questions, and to read from their current projects.

Akira Drake Rodriguez is a Joint Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design and School of Social Policy & Practice. She has a PhD from the Bloustein School at Rutgers University, an MPA from the Fels Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines the politics of urban planning, or the ways that disenfranchised groups re-appropriate their marginalized spaces in the city to gain access to and sustain urban political power. Using an interdisciplinary and multiple method approach, her research engages scholarship in urban studies, political science, urban history, black feminist studies, community development, urban policy, and critical geography using both qualitative and quantitative data and methods. Her professional experience includes over a decade of public sector consulting experience with IBM and Econsult Solutions. Her clients include The City of Philadelphia, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Office of Justice Programs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the New York City Housing Authority. Dr. Rodriguez has a book under contract on the political history of public housing tenant associations in Atlanta, expected in Winter 2021.


Photo Credit: Jennifer Firestone

Jill Magi works in text, image, and textile. Her sixth book, SPEECH, was published by Nightboat Books in September 2019. Jill has blogged for the Poetry Foundation, written weekly commentaries for Jacket2 on “a textile poetics,” and curated a series of poetic engagements with the Wagner Labor Archive at NYU for Essay Press. Jill teaches in the visual arts and literature / creative writing programs at NYU Abu Dhabi where she is currently working on a curatorial project called “The Textile Imaginary” for the NYUAD Gallery. With Shamma Al Bastaki and Sarah Al Mehairi, she is a founding member JARA Collective, a UAE-based publishing effort.


Wednesday, 3/25

VOTE THAT JAWN

4:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

#VoteThatJawn, #TrendThatJawn packs KWH to create and share great content to amplify youth voice and support new voters! We're gonna get youth vote trending. Food, a community of passionate youth from across the region, plus merch and pizza. Democracy at its best: bring a friend!

Thursday, 3/26

Friday, 3/27

Saturday, 3/28

Sunday, 3/29

Monday, 3/30

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, 3/31

STAND UPS SIT DOWN

LEW SCHNEIDER, EMILY BLOTNICK, GARY GULMAN

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: mingo@writing.upenn.edu

Penn alumnus and funnyman Lew Schneider hosts “Stand-Ups Sit Down,” an annual series that features stand-up comedians in conversation.

Emily Blotnick is a stand-up comic, writer and actress based out of New York. She has appeared on CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where she is also one of the program's staff writers. She has also been featured on TBS' Conan and in her own half hour stand-up special on Comedy Central. Blotnick was head writer for Comedy Central's The President Show, with other writing credits including Comedy Central's Not Safe with Nikki Glaser and @midnight. Blotnick was highlighted as one of Comedy Central's Comics To Watch and a "New Face" at Just For Laughs in Montreal.

Gary Gulman is a stand-up comedian who lives in New York City. Originally from Boston, Gary has been a scholarship college football player, an accountant, a barista, a doorman, a waiter and a high school teacher. Now he is one of the most popular touring comics and one of only a handful of comedians to perform on every single late night comedy program. “Gary will be the next giant ex-Bostonian comic to break huge, CK, Burr, Gulman: You heard it here first” raved the Village Voice. He’s made three TV specials, and three albums. Gary marked his 20-year anniversary in stand-up with the “It’s About Time Tour,” selling out theaters throughout the country. It’s no wonder the New York Times wrote “Gary is finally being recognized as one of the country’s strongest comedians.”