April 2019

Monday, 4/1

Poems (in color) by Bernadette Mayer

Brodsky Gallery Opening

6:00PM in the Arts Cafe

Curated by: Emily Rush (C'19)

Tuesday, 4/2

Allison Cobb and Brian Teare: A poetry reading

Creative Writing Program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Brian Teare is the author of five critically acclaimed books, most recently Companion Grasses, which was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, and The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven. His sixth book, Doomstead Days, will be out from Nightboat Books in 2019. His honors include a Lambda Literary Award and fellowships from the NEA, the Pew Foundation, the American Antiquarian Society, and the MacDowell Colony. An Associate Professor at Temple University, he lives in South Philadelphia, where he makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.


Allison Cobb is the author of After We All Died (Ahsahta Press); Plastic: an autobiography (Essay Press EP series); Born2 (Chax Press); and Green-Wood, originally published by Factory School with a new edition in 2018 from Nightboat Books.

Cobb’s work combines historical and scientific research, essay, and poetry to address issues of landscape, politics, and ecology. She was a 2018 finalist for the Oregon Book Award; a 2015 finalist for the National Poetry Series; a 2015 Djerassi Resident Artist; a 2014 Playa Resident Artist; received a 2011 Individual Artist Fellowship award from the Oregon Arts Commission; and was a 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow.

Cobb works for the Environmental Defense Fund and lives in Portland, Oregon, where she co-hosts The Switch reading, art, and performance series.

Wednesday, 4/3

Thursday, 4/4

Friday, 4/5

Saturday, 4/6

Sunday, 4/7

Monday, 4/8

Alternative Theatre Festival Preview

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Join us for a sneak peak at plays selected for the Alternative Theatre Festival (ATF), an annual celebration of experimental plays written by Penn playwrights, hosted by Penn’s undergrad-led experimental theatre group iNtuitons.

Tuesday, 4/9

Katie Degentesh poetry reading

Hosted by Ron Silliman

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Katie Degentesh's first book, The Anger Scale (Combo, 2006), was featured in the Poetry Society of America’s New American Poets Series. Her work has been reviewed or featured in venues such as The Believer, the Chicago Review and Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology. She lives in New York City, where she works as a digital creative director and brand consultant.

photo by Drew Gardner


Wednesday, 4/10

Thursday, 4/11

Friday, 4/12

Saturday, 4/13

Sunday, 4/14

Monday, 4/15

Hub Meeting

5:00 PM

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, 4/16

Brave Testimony: A reading by Chris Abani

Sponsored by the Center for Africana Studies

Time TBA in the Arts Cafe

Chris Abani is an acclaimed novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria, received a BA in English from Imo State University, Nigeria, an MA in English, Gender, and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. He has resided in the United States since 2001.

Abani’s fiction includes The Secret History of Las Vegas (Penguin 2014), nominated for the Hurston/Wright 2015 Legacy Award, Song For Night (2007), The Virgin of Flames (2007), Becoming Abigail (2006), GraceLand (2004), and Masters of the Board (1985). His poetry collections are Sanctificum (2010), There Are No Names for Red (2010), Feed Me The Sun – Collected Long Poems (2010), Hands Washing Water (2006), Dog Woman (2004), Daphne’s Lot (2003), and Kalakuta Republic (2001). Poet Kwame Dawes has noted that “Abani’s line has a sharp precision that turns a scream into a line of memorable lyric music without losing the emotion and force.”

Through his TED Talks, public speaking, and essays, Abani is known as an international voice on humanitarianism, art, ethics, and our shared political responsibility. His critical and personal essays have been featured in books on art and photography, as well as Witness, Parkett, The New York Times, O Magazine, and Bomb.

Abani is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award for Graceland, the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the Hurston Wright Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many honors. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Romanian, Hebrew, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bosnian, and Serbian.

Wednesday, 4/17

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, 4/18

Friday, 4/19

Saturday, 4/20

Sunday, 4/21

Monday, 4/22

A reading by Roseanne Cash

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp required: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

One of the country's pre-eminent singer-songwriters, Rosanne Cash has released 15 full length albums for which she has earned four GRAMMY Awards and nominations for 11 more. In 2015, she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame. She is the author of several books including bestselling memoir Composed, and Bodies of Water, a short story collection, as well as editor of the anthology Songs Without Rhyme: Prose by Celebrated Songwriters. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Oxford-American, the Nation and many more publications.

In addition to continual worldwide touring, Cash has partnered in programming or served as artist in residence at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, San Francisco Jazz, the Minnesota Orchestra and The Library of Congress. She was awarded the SAG/AFTRA Lifetime Achievement award for Sound Recordings in 2012 and received the 2014 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award in the Performing Arts. She was chosen as a Perspective Series artist at Carnegie Hall and hosted four concerts during their 2015/16 season, and she continues her association as Creative Partner through the 2017/18 season.   

Rosanne Cash was born in Memphis in 1955, the oldest child of Vivian Liberto Cash Distin and the legendary musician Johnny Cash, and has written about her life and her upbringing in the acclaimed memoir Composed. She currently resides with her husband and son in Manhattan, where she and husband/co-writer/producer and arranger John Leventhal are currently working on the music and lyrics for a new musical.

Tuesday, 4/23

A brunch conversation with Roseanne Cash

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

10:00 AM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp required: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

One of the country's pre-eminent singer-songwriters, Rosanne Cash has released 15 full length albums for which she has earned four GRAMMY Awards and nominations for 11 more. In 2015, she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame. She is the author of several books including bestselling memoir Composed, and Bodies of Water, a short story collection, as well as editor of the anthology Songs Without Rhyme: Prose by Celebrated Songwriters. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Oxford-American, the Nation and many more publications.

In addition to continual worldwide touring, Cash has partnered in programming or served as artist in residence at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, San Francisco Jazz, the Minnesota Orchestra and The Library of Congress. She was awarded the SAG/AFTRA Lifetime Achievement award for Sound Recordings in 2012 and received the 2014 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award in the Performing Arts. She was chosen as a Perspective Series artist at Carnegie Hall and hosted four concerts during their 2015/16 season, and she continues her association as Creative Partner through the 2017/18 season.   

Rosanne Cash was born in Memphis in 1955, the oldest child of Vivian Liberto Cash Distin and the legendary musician Johnny Cash, and has written about her life and her upbringing in the acclaimed memoir Composed. She currently resides with her husband and son in Manhattan, where she and husband/co-writer/producer and arranger John Leventhal are currently working on the music and lyrics for a new musical.

Wednesday, 4/24

A conversation with Douglas Brinkley

Povich Journalism Program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Paul Hendrickson

Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, the CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards, museums, colleges and historical societies. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “America’s New Past Master.” The New-York Historical Society has chosen Brinkley their official U.S. Presidential Historian. His recent book Cronkite won the Sperber Prize while The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He has received a Grammy Award for Presidential Suite and seven honorary doctorates in American Studies. His two-volume annotated The Nixon Tapes recently won the Arthur S. Link – Warren F. Kuehl Prize. His newest book is American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race. He is a member of the Century Association, Council of Foreign Relations and the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children.

Thursday, 4/25

Emily Wilson’s The Odyssey

13th annual marathon reading

4:00 PM (until it’s done) in the Arts Cafe

For our first annual Bernheimer Symposium, our Program Coordinator Erin Gautsche invented for us what has become an annual tradition. Each year, the Hub selects a book to read aloud, straight through from beginning to end. We celebrate the book with extravagant decorations, food, and props all derived from the text. Want to sign up as a reader for this year’s book? Email wh@writing.upenn.edu.

Friday, 4/26

Saturday, 4/27

Sunday, 4/28

Monday, 4/29

Tuesday, 4/30