April 2017

Saturday, 4/1

Sunday, 4/2

Monday, 4/3

Not as Bad as You Thought: The New Digital Positivism

Lunch with Virginia Heffernan and Peter Decherney

Co-sponsored by the Cinema Studies Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Virginia Heffernan is a journalist and cultural critic. She has worked as a staff writer for the The New York Times--first as a TV critic, then as a magazine columnist, and then as an opinion writer. She has also worked as a senior editor for Harper's, a founding editor of Talk, a TV critic for Slate, a fact checker for The New Yorker and a national correspondent for Yahoo News. Her 2016 book Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art argues that the internet is a "massive and collective work of art" and a "work in progress," and that the suggested deterioration of attention spans in response to it is a myth. Heffernan is known as a playful, stylish, and erudite writer; in 2014 Ben Yagod in the Chronicle of Higher Education named her among his top candidates for "best living writer of English prose," and she has been called "one of the mothers of the Internet."


Peter Decherney is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication and an affiliation with the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition at Penn Law School. He is the author or editor of five books including Hollywood's Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet and Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction. Prof. Decherney has been an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to Myanmar. Subsequently, he returned to Myanmar to direct the short documentary, Filmmaking for Democracy in Myanmar. He is a regular contributor to Forbes, and he has won multiple teaching awards. His free online course (a MOOC) on the history of Hollywood is available though the edX platform.


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, 4/4

Finding an Agent: A Lunchtime Panel Discussion

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and hosted by Beth Kephart

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

Join us for this lunchtime discussion on FINDING AN AGENT for writers eager to begin sending their work out for publication: our panel of writers and agents will discuss the art of the query letter, identifying the agent or literary arts agency that might be right for you, how to read and research in preparation for submitting your manuscript, and many other topics related to the journey toward publication. All are welcome; this event is free and open to the public.

Beth Kephart (our host) is the award-winning author of 21 books in multiple genres, with two new books on the way. Published by large presses (including W.W. Norton, HarperCollins, Penguin, Houghton Mifflin, Simon & Schuster, and Berrett Koehler) and small ones (including Temple University Press, New World Library, Shebooks, and Egmont USA), Kephart has achieved unexpected results by taking a chance on slush-pile submissions and by navigating opportunities with agents.

Janet Benton's first novel, Lilli de Jong, is the diary of an unwed mother in 1883 Philadelphia, and it will be published by the Nan A. Talese imprint at Doubleday in May 2017. Her shorter writings have been published in the Modern Love column of the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Writers' Digest, Glimmer Train, and other publications; two recent short stories were nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She has taught writing at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, the University of California in Davis, the University of the Arts, and Temple University, and mentors writers through her business, The Word Studio, located outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Stephanie Feldman's debut novel, The Angel of Losses (Ecco), is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection and winner of the Crawford Fantasy Award. Stephanie teaches fiction writing in the Arcadia University MFA program and lives outside Philadelphia with her family.

Josh Getzler (CAS '90, English/Creative Writing) left Harcourt in 1993 to get an MBA from Columbia Business School. He then spent 11 years owning and operating a minor league baseball team (the Staten Island Yankees), left baseball in late 2006 and rejoined the book world on the agent side. In May 2011 he partnered with Carrie Hannigan and Jesseca Salky to form HSG Agency, and has been actively and happily running his list. Josh represents more than 60 authors, particularly in women's fiction, historical fiction, thrillers and mysteries, middle grade fiction, contemporary/funny books about kids, and a range of nonfiction, including history (including micro-histories), business, and political thought.

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of Her Body and Other Parties. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Guernica, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best Horror of the Year, and elsewhere, and her story "The Husband Stitch" was nominated for the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and lives in Philadelphia with her partner.

Sara Sligar is a novelist and critic based in Philadelphia. Her debut novel, The Image of Her, follows a young archivist who becomes obsessed with a photographer's mysterious death. Sligar is represented by Alexandra Machinist at ICM Partners. She is currently at work on her second novel.

Wesley Morris, Stephen Metcalf, and Al Filreis

Povich Journalism 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

Stephen Metcalf is critic-at-large and columnist at Slate magazine. He is also the host of the magazine's weekly cultural podcast the Culture Gabfest, which features Metcalf along with Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and special guests, in conversation about movies, books, TV, and more. Metcalf's work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Observer and New York (magazine), among many other outlets. Currently, he is writing a book about the 1980s.

Wesley Morris is an American journalist and critic-at-large for The New York Times. Previously, Morris wrote for The Boston Globe, then Grantland. He won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his work with The Globe.

Wednesday, 4/5

Radical Tea

6:00 PM

Feeling exhausted by our current political climate? Radical Tea is intended to combat our current political situation with art and writing. This event will offer space to continue action but through the support and listening of others. An extension of the KWH zine project founded by Maya Arthur, the event will feature readings from personal zines and other DIY works.

Thursday, 4/6

CODED, UNCONSCIOUS MESSAGES: Poetry Across Language

Julia Dasbach, Nick Defina, Ariel Resnikoff

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

Come join your fellow poetry lovers at the Kelly Writers House in celebration of National Poetry Month. The program will include a short reading by three English-language poets of their work, originally written in German, Yiddish and Russian, and translated into English, followed by a discussion of poetry, translation and creativity, moderated by Al Filreis.

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania where her research focuses on contemporary American poetry related to the Holocaust. Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Missouri Review, and Narrative Magazine, among others. She has received fellowships from Bread Loaf and TENT Writers' Conferences as well as the Auschwitz Jewish Center. She is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars, winner of Split Lip Magazine's Uppercut Chapbook Award. Julia is also Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine.

Nick Martinez Defina graduated from the College in May 2016 with a BA in Philosophy. He began developing tonight's program after being named the Kelly Writers House Junior Fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year. Since graduating high school, Nick has pursued his interest in literature and languages in a variety of academic and extracurricular settings. Since completing his BA, Nick has continued to write and read in his free time. He is currently employed by the Philadelphia-based law firm Drinker, Biddle & Reath.

Ariel Resnikoff is a​ poet, translator & teacher whose most recent works include the collaborative pamphlet, Ten-Four: Poems, Translations, Variations (Operating System Press,​2015) with Jerome Rothenberg, & the chapbook, Between Shades (Materialist Press, 2014). New poems & translations can be found or ​ are forthcoming in​Golden Handcuffs Review, White Wall Review, karawa, Mantis, The Wolf Magazine for Poetry & Dibur Journal. With Stephen Ross, he is translating into English Mikhl Likht's Yiddish modernist long-poem, 'Processions', & with Lilach Lachman & Gabriel Levin, the collected Hebrew writings of Avoth Yeshurun. Ariel teaches creative w/reading at the University of Pennsylvania & curates the "Multilingual Poetics" reading/talk series at Kelly Writers House.

DYLAN INTERPRETATIONS, INTERPRETING DYLAN

RealArts@Penn Program

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Anthony DeCurtis
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

Bob Dylan has just released Triplicate, a triple album of songs from the Great American Songbook. What does it mean when one of the greatest songwriters of the past century -- and the recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature -- devotes that much energy to songs written by other writers? We will explore those questions and many others -- and listen to live performances of Dylan's songs and the standards with which he has become so infatuated. Moderated by RealArts@Penn impresario Anthony DeCurtis, our panel is composed of singer-songwriter Richard Barone, producer Steve Addabbo, and composer Anna Weesner, chair of the Music Department at Penn.

Richard Barone is an acclaimed recording artist, performer, producer, and author. Since pioneering the indie rock scene in Hoboken, NJ as frontman for The Bongos, Barone has produced countless studio recordings and worked with artists in every musical genre. He has recently collaborated with Tony Visconti, Beach Boy Al Jardine, Sean Lennon, Dion, John Sebastian, Alejandro Escovedo, Jill Sobule, and Donovan, as well as Moby, the late Lou Reed, and American folk icon Pete Seeger. He has scored shows and staged all-star concert events at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and the SXSW Music Festival. His memoir Frontman: Surviving The Rock Star Myth was published by Hal Leonard Books. His latest album "Sorrows & Promises" was produced by Steve Addabbo and celebrates the early 1960s music scene of Greenwich Village, where Barone lives. He is affiliated with the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University.

Steve Addabbo is best known as a Grammy nominated producer, musician, writer, recording engineer and owner of Shelter Island Sound Recording studio in NYC. Steve's production and engineering work on Suzanne Vega's first two albums set a new standard for the singer songwriter genre and helped pave the way for artists like Shawn Colvin, Tracy Chapman and others. Suzanne's second album, Solitude Standing, with the worldwide hits Luka and Tom's Diner went multiplatinum. Steve also co-produced Shawn Colvin's Grammy Award winning debut album, Steady On. Recent projects include mixing Bob Dylan's Bootleg X, Another Self Portrait, unreleased recordings from 1970, mixing all 400+ tracks from the 2017 Grammy winning Bob Dylan Bootleg XII, The Cutting Edge, Jeff Buckley's recent posthumous release from 1993, You and I, Richard Barone's newly released Sorrows and Promises and Steve's own debut album, Out of Nothing.

Recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2008 'Academy Award' from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Anna Weesner's music has been performed extensively by such performers as the American Composers Orchestra, Cygnus Ensemble, the Daedalus Quartet, the Cassatt Quartet, Prism Saxophone Quartet, Network for New Music, Orchestra 2001, the Cypress Quartet, Mary Nessinger, Sequitur, Ensemble X, Eighth Blackbird, Dawn Upshaw, Richard Goode, Gilbert Kalish, Metamorphosen, and the New York Virtuoso Singers, among many others. Still Things Move, for string orchestra, was performed by the Riverside Symphony at Alice Tully Hall in October, 2016. Love Progression: A Personal Essay for oboe and string quartet was premiered in Philadelphia and Boston on March 24 and 26, 2016. Recently composer-in-residence at the Weekend of Chamber Music festival in the Catskills (July, 2016; including performances of five works of chamber music), Weesner has been in residence at the MacDowell Colony, the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Seal Bay Festival, Songfest, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the American Academy in Rome, Civitella Ranieri and Fondation Royaumont. Her music has been recorded on CRI and Albany Records. Upcoming commissions include new works for the Lark Quartet and Todd Palmer, and for Mimi Stillman with Dolce Suono. Further awards include a Bunting Fellowship at Radcliffe (which she was unable to accept), a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a Lakond Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and an ASCAP Young Composer's award.

Anna Weesner's music has been described as "animated and full of surprising turns" (New York Times, Oct. 10, 2003), as "a haunting conspiracy" (Philadelphia Inquirer, April 24, 2001) and cited as demonstrating "an ability to make complex textures out of simple devices" (San Francisco Classical Voice, March 27, 2001). John Harbison has written that "none of it proceeds in obvious ways. Her vocabulary is subtle and rather elusive; the effect is paradoxically confident and decisive."

Born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1965, Weesner grew up in New Hampshire. She holds degrees from Yale (B.A.), where her composition teachers included Jonathan Berger and Michael Friedman, and Cornell (D.M.A.), where she studied with Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, and Karel Husa. She also studied with John Harbison. As a flutist, she studied with Thomas Nyfenger as well as with Nadine Asin at the Aspen Music Festival. She currently lives in Philadelphia, where she is Robert Weiss Professor and Chair of the Music Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Friday, 4/7

Saturday, 4/8

Sunday, 4/9

Monday, 4/10

Tuesday, 4/11

Wednesday, 4/12

Speakeasy Open Mic Night

7:15 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen to an audio recording of this event (NOTE: This event was recorded in audio only)

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, 4/13

Quaker Days Reading

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

Stand-Ups Sit Down: Handwerker Comedy Symposium

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

listen to an audio recording of this event

“Stand-Ups Sitdown” is an annual series that features stand-up comedians in conversation with eminent TV comedy writer (and Penn alumnus) Lew Schneider. For this year’s event, Lew will interview Dom Irrera and Morgan Murphy about their stand-up careers.

Lew Schneider (C’83) began his career as a stand-up comedian. At a time when any stand-up who could work clean got a shot at television he booked his first on camera job as a Nickelodeon game show host. This lead to two sitcoms and eventually an HBO comedy special and then…nothing. “Nothing” gave way to years of TV writing on numerous shows including, “The New Adventures of Old Christine”, “American Dad”, “Men of a Certain Age” (for which he got a Peabody Award and no one watched) and “Everybody Loves Raymond” for which he won two Emmy awards and more people watched. He is now writing, producing and directing the ABC comedy “The Goldbergs” on ABC.

Trying to analyze what makes a comedian special is typically a fool's errand, but we'll give it a go: With South Philly native Dom Irrera, it seems to be a blend of regular-guy presence and relaxed, effortless delivery-and, of course, what he's delivering is top-notch material, laced with an array of colorful characters and voices. Beyond beautifully-crafted jokes and routines, Dom's also giving the audience one-man sketches and bursts of improv. His credits include starring in his own specials for Showtime, HBO and Comedy Central. Also The Big Lebowski, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and yes Hey Arnold! Currently Dom curates his hit podcast "Dom Irrera Live From The Laugh Factory" and as of June 5th on the Showtime series "I'm Dying Up Here " produced by Jim Carrey.

Morgan Murphy was born in Portland, OR, but she moved around frequently before settling down in Hollywood. At 18, Morgan started doing stand-up at coffee houses, youth hostels, and laundromats. She landed a writing job on Comedy Central's "Crank Yankers“, which led her to become a writer on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," where she has performed twice as a stand-up. After moving to New York in 2009 to become a writer for the “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” Variety named Morgan a Top 10 Comic To Watch in 2010. In September of 2011, Rolling Stone Magazine included her in their “New Wave of Comedy”. Morgan moved back to Los Angeles in 2011 to write for the hit CBS sitcom “2 Broke Girls”. Morgan is currently writing for the new ABC comedy series, “Downward Dog,” about a struggling millennial, Nan, from the point of view of her lonely and philosophical dog, Martin.

Friday, 4/14

Saturday, 4/15

Sunday, 4/16

Monday, 4/17

Ellen Doré Watson: poetry and translation

Hosted by Doublespeak magazine

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

Poet & translator Ellen Doré Watson directs the Poetry Center at Smith College and has translated a dozen books from the Brazilian Portuguese, most notably poetry by Brazilian Adélia Prado, including Ex-Voto (Tupelo) and The Mystical Rose (Bloodaxe), which was shortlisted for both the Popescu European Translation Prize and the Poetry East West Translation Award. Watson has also translated from the Arabic with co-translator Saadi Simawi, and has published four collections of her own poems, most recently Dogged Hearts (Tupelo); a fifth is forthcoming from Alice James in early 2018. Other honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. Watson serves on the faculty of the Drew University MFA Program in Poetry and Translation and as Poetry & Translation editor of The Massachusetts Review.

Tuesday, 4/18

An Evening in Memory of Nina Auerbach

Readings and Reminiscences

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

Wednesday, 4/19

7UP on Break

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

Break dancing, breakfast, Breaking Bad, cigarette break, breakneck speed, give me a break, break up, nervous breakdown, breaking the fourth wall, breaking news, line break. The 7-Up series is an annual program for which we invite seven people to speak for seven minutes each about a shared topic selected by the Hub. For 7up on Break, expect comments and thoughts on all things "break," from breakfast to Breaking Bad.

Thursday, 4/20

City Planning Poetics 3: Queer Placemaking

Rachel Levitsky and Max Andrucki

Creative Ventures 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

Organized and hosted by Davy Knittle, "City Planning Poetics" holds events that invite one or more poets and one 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.

Max J. Andrucki is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography & Urban Studies at Temple University. He holds degrees from Leeds University, the University of Vermont, and Columbia University and has published on sexuality and space, geographies of the body, mobilities, and critical whiteness studies. Also a songwriter, he's a member of long-running indiepop band The Smittens. He lives in New York City.

Rachel Levitsky came out as a Lesbian in 1984 and as a poet in 1994. In between those two events she wrote fact sheets and polemic for street actions demonstrating for LGBT and Women's Liberation, Women's Health, and against the state negligence of the AIDS epidemic. As a poet and a prose writer and teacher, she's been interested in the strange ways of USAmerican subjectification. She's specifically informed by being born of Jewish refugees and immigrants with an absented story of what came before settling in New York City. She is the author of three book length collections, Under the Sun (Futurepoem, 2003), NEIGHBOR (UDP, 2009) and the poetic novella, The Story of My Accident is Ours (Futurepoem, 2013). She calls her current writing project The Mother of Separation, which she describes as a 'memoir without memory.' Adjunct and intersecting with her writing practice, Levitsky builds and participates in a variety of publishing, collaboration and pedagogical/performative activities. In 1999 she founded Belladonna* which is now Belladonna* Collaborative, a matrix of literary action promoting the writers and writing of the contemporary feminist avant-garde. In 2010, she co-founded the Office of Recuperative Strategies, which has staged urban walks and instant performances and publications in a variety of cities, about which more can be learned at OORS.net. She is currently a fellow of LMCC Process Spaces, an open studio project on Governors Island. She teaches writing Pratt Institute, Naropa Summer Writing Program and lay institutions in NYC. In 2009 she was Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at University of Pennsylvania's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing.

Friday, 4/21

Saturday, 4/22

Sunday, 4/23

Monday, 4/24

Reading with Lydia Davis

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

This event is FULL.

Lydia Davis is a short story writer, novelist and translator, widely regarded as a master of the short story and known for her "flash fiction" pieces, some of which may be a paragraph or a sentence long. She has published six short story collections, most recently Can't and Won't (2014), and one novel, The End of the Story (1995), along with a beautiful collected volume, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, which collects all of her short fiction from 1986's Break it Down to 2007's National Book Award-nominated Varieties of Disturbance. She has also published numerous widely-acclaimed translations of French literature and philosophy into English, including works by Marcel Proust, Maurice Blanchot, and Gustave Flaubert. Davis has won many prestigious awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997, a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003, and the 2013 Man Booker International Prize. Davis received her BA from Barnard College, and is a professor of english and writer-in-residence at SUNY Albany.

Tuesday, 4/25

Brunch with Lydia Davis

10:00 AM in the Arts Cafe

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

listen to an audio recording of this event

Lydia Davis is a short story writer, novelist and translator, widely regarded as a master of the short story and known for her "flash fiction" pieces, some of which may be a paragraph or a sentence long. She has published six short story collections, most recently Can't and Won't (2014), and one novel, The End of the Story (1995), along with a beautiful collected volume, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, which collects all of her short fiction from 1986's Break it Down to 2007's National Book Award-nominated Varieties of Disturbance. She has also published numerous widely-acclaimed translations of French literature and philosophy into English, including works by Marcel Proust, Maurice Blanchot, and Gustave Flaubert. Davis has won many prestigious awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997, a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003, and the 2013 Man Booker International Prize. Davis received her BA from Barnard College, and is a professor of english and writer-in-residence at SUNY Albany.

Junior Research Seminar Projects

Co-sponsored by the English Department

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

Join us in celebrating this year's final projects from the Junior Research Seminar. The Junior Research Seminar is designed to introduce English majors to methodologies currently employed in literary studies. Selected students will read, sing, perform, exhibit, and play from a dazzling breadth of creative and critical projects, including experimental and visual poetry, short stories, essays, songs, web videos, zines, and computer games. Readers include Julia Wang, Karis Stephens, Maya Arthur, Isabel Kim, Emily Hoeven, Kaitlin Moore, Sara Albert, Zoe Stoller, Amy Chan, Kai Kornegay, and many more!

Wednesday, 4/26

Honors Thesis Reading

Hosted by the Creative Writing Program

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

listen to an audio recording of this event

Years of hard work in writing and reading culminates for some of our students in the Creative Writing Honors Thesis. On this night, we celebrate their lengthy, adventurous, and challenging projects in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, and more. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, this event will feature students reading from their original projects written for consideration of Honors in English. We hope you’ll join us in toasting their achievement and the final project of their college career.

Thursday, 4/27

Friday, 4/28

Saturday, 4/29

Sunday, 4/30