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October 2011

Saturday, 10/1

Sunday, 10/2

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

Monday, 10/3

Lunch with Editors of Apiary Magazine

Applebaum Editors and Publishers Series

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP: email 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

Join the buzz and lunch with editors of APIARY, one of Philadelphia's newest and most successful young literary magazines. An informal discussion session follows.

In the words of APIARY editors:

"We're Philly writers. We love words and the people who love them. And we started APIARY because we didn't see any other publications or blogs that reflected this city's huge diversity of literary communities and the excellent work they produce — including young people, new writers, and performance-oriented poets.

"At its core, writing is a communal act, and we believe that this community can also grow beyond the institutions and closed groups in which it is often kept. We believe writing is at its best not when it stands apart, but when it exists within our community, and reflects our common fears, love, beauty and struggle in turbulent times.

We believe that writing is not just the solitary act, but the community that forms when writing is shared. We believe that writing is about communication and understanding one another, not about competitions and prizes.

We want to capture the liveliness we experience in our city in our time.

We want to have fun. We want you to have fun."

H.G. Adler's Panorama

a reading and talk by translator Peter Filkins

supported by the Wexler Family Endowed Fund for Programs in Jewish Life and Culture

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

Published for the first time in English, Panorama is a superb rediscovered novel of the Holocaust by a neglected modern master. One of a handful of death camp survivors to fictionalize his experiences in German, H. G. Adler is an essential author—referenced by W. G. Sebald in his classic novel Austerlitz, and a direct literary descendant of Kafka.

Peter Filkins is an award-winning poet and translator. His translations of H.G. Adler's novels The Journey and Panorama have been widely reviewed and highly praised. A recipient of the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, and an Outstanding Translation Award from ALTA, he teaches writing and literature at Bard College at Simon's Rock.

Praise for Panorama:
"The novel's streaming consciousness and verbal play invite comparison with Joyce, the individual-dwarfing scale of law and prohibition brings Kafka to mind, and there is something in the hypnotic pulse of the prose that is reminiscent of Gertrude Stein."—The New York Times Book Review

"A masterpiece of modern fiction."—The Times Literary Supplement

"[Adler] produced a quantity and a diversity of writings about the Holocaust that seem to have been equalled by no other survivor.... The Journey and Panorama are very different works, each with its own distinctive style, but both are modernist masterpieces worthy of comparison to those of Kafka or Musil."—Ruth Franklin, The New Yorker

"Every so often, a book shocks you into realizing just how much effort and sheer luck was required to get it into your hands.... Panorama should have been the brilliant debut of a major German writer.... It's hard to fathom why we had to wait so long. Adler, who died in London in 1988, was a gifted novelist as well as an important scholar. Under any circumstances, let alone such harsh ones, his accomplishments would be remarkable."—The New York Times Book Review

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

Tuesday, 10/4

Emma Crandall, Josey Foo, and Lonely Christopher

presented by the Emergency Poet Series

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

Emma Crandall is an English professor at Temple University who writes on fashion, melodrama, and queer history. Emma has poems forthcoming in Pank and the Windsor Review and new non-fiction in the upcoming anthology Vexed by the Victorians: 21st-Century Reverberations of 19th-Century British Fiction (UVA Press).

Josey Foo is the writer of Endou and Tomie’s Chair, both mixed genre books of poetry, prose and pictures, with Endou containing a fully realized story in pictures about death and absence embodied in a 3-legged traveling beagle, and Tomie's Chair focused on decisions on absence pivoted on a chair. A former undocumented alien working in carpentry, food service and retail, she has an MFA in writing from Brown and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. For the last 11 years, she has worked for the Navajo Nation in Arizona and New Mexico. Her most recent book is A Lily Lilies, a cross-genre work of poetry, photography and dance written with Leah Stein, artistic director of the Leah Stein Dance Company in Philadelphia well-known for staging dance performances to words, music and silence, often using community members, in vacant lots, parking lots, gardens, an abandoned prison, and other unexpected venues.

Lonely Christopher is an American poet, fiction writer, dramatist, and filmmaker. He is the author of the poetry volume Into (with Christopher Sweeney and Robert Snyderman) and the fiction collection The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse. Currently he is directing his first feature length film, MOM, which he also wrote. His latest chapbook, Poems in June, is forthcoming from The Corresponding Society.

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

Wednesday, 10/5

Creative Ventures presents an Edible Book Party

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

The Kelly Writers House hosts an Edible Book Party celebrating works of art inspired by books and created in kitchens. All are welcome to join the festival to browse the library of edible titles or to contribute their own. Edible books could show up as depictions of literary characters or scenes, interpretations of titles or themes, or sculptures of actual books. Prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories, including "most punny" and "most literal" and the "creative spirit award." Come hungry, come curious, and apply to Erin Gautsche (gautsche@writing.upenn.edu) for grocery funds to create and display your favorite story as an Edible Book.

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

Thursday, 10/6

A lunch talk with Mara Hvistendahl

supported by the Maury Povich Fund for Journalism Programs

11:30 AM in the Arts Cafe

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

Mara Hvistendahl is a Beijing-based correspondent for Science. Her first book, Unnatural Selection, is a captivating and at turns sinister technological history that examines not only the consequences of the misbegotten policies underlying sex selection but also the West's role in creating them. Her award-winning writing has also appeared in Harper's, Scientific American, Popular Science, The Financial Times, and Foreign Policy. Proficient in both Spanish and Chinese, she has spent half of the past decade in China, where she has reported on everything from archaeology to the space program. A former contributing editor at Seed magazine and journalism professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, Hvistendahl sits on the advisory board of Round Earth Media, an organization founded to promote international journalism.

Bulgarian noir: a reading from Zift

featuring Vladislav Todorov and translator Joseph Benatov

presented by Writers Without Borders

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

December 21, 1963: Having served 20 years for a murder he didn't commit, "Moth" exits Central Sofia Prison anticipating his first night of freedom. Instead he steps into a new and alien world—the nightmarish totalitarianism of Communist Bulgaria. In his first hours of freedom he traverses the map of a diabolical city, full of decaying neighborhoods, gloomy streets, and a bizarre parade of characters.

A novel of grave wit, Zift unfolds in the course of a single, frenetic night, offering a fast-paced, ghoulish, even grotesque—but also enchanting—tour of shadowy, socialist Sofia. To achieve his depiction of totalitarian absurdity, Vladislav Todorov combines the methods of hardboiled American crime fiction and film noir with socialist symbols and communist ideological clichés.

Zift reviews:

"Pulp fiction by a historian of ideas."—Literary Weekly (Sofia)

"...stalking its genre with the meticulousness of an assassin, while simultaneously parodying it. A novel that unfolds over a single night, in a single breath—and also reads that way... a black-and-white cinematographic vision of early-1960s Sofia by Night."—Georgi Gospodinov, author of Natural Novel

"Tongue flambé."—Kultura

"Potent stuff distilled from ugly memories, already a cult movie in Bulgaria, Zift is like a flaming shot of rotgut smuggled in from the old country."—Citypaper

Vladislav Todorov is the author of several scholarly books on modernism, political aesthetics, performing and visual arts, terrorism and global governance, including Chaotic Pendulum: Inquiries in Terrorism and Governmentality (2005), Short Paradox for the Theater and Other Figures of Life (1997), Red Square, Black Square: Organon for Revolutionary Imagination (1995) and The Adam Complex: Essays in Politics and Culture (1991). He has contributed articles and essays to journals such as The Yale Journal of Criticism, College Literature, L'infini, Neue Literatur, Likovne Besede, and elsewhere. He has served as a columnist and regular commentator for a number of major Bulgarian weekly and daily papers. His work has been translated in French, German, Russian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovenian. Zift – a Bulgarian noir – is his first novel.

Joseph Benatov holds a doctorate in comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation is entitled "Looking in the Iron Mirror: Eastern Europe in the American Imaginary, 1958-2001." He has also written on Jewish identity politics in Philip Roth's early fiction; the sensationalism of U.S. representations of life behind the Iron Curtain; and competing national narratives of the saving of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II. Dr. Benatov has taught literature and Hebrew for a number of years and has also translated Israeli poetry and drama, including two plays by Hanoch Levin, staged to wide acclaim in Sofia, Bulgaria. Most recently, he translated Martin McDonagh's latest play, "A Behanding in Spokane," set to premiere at the Bulgarian National Theater this fall.

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

Friday, 10/7

Saturday, 10/8

Sunday, 10/9

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

Monday, 10/10

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

Tuesday, 10/11

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

Wednesday, 10/12

Lunch and poetry with Jerry Rothenberg and Amish Trivedi

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP to: wh@writing.upenn.edu
watch: a video recording of this event.
listen: to an audio recording of this event on PennSound.

Amish Trivedi's chapbooks include Museum of Vandals, The Ink Sessions and The Breakers. His poems are in Cross-Cultural Poetics and Mandorla. He has a piece on Joseph Ceravolo's Transmigration Solo in Octopus #8 as well. He lives in Providence, RI, where he recently completed a poetry MFA in Brown's Program of Literary Arts. Visit: www.amishtrivedi.com.

Jerome Rothenberg is the author of over seventy books of poetry including That Dada Strain (1983), New Selected Poems 1970-1985 (1986), Khurbn (1989), The Case for Memory (2001) and A Book of Witness (2003). Describing his poetry career as "an ongoing attempt to reinterpret the poetic past from the point of view of the present," he has also edited seven major assemblages of traditional and contemporary poetry, including Technicians of the Sacred (1985), comprised of tribal and oral poetry from Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania; Revolution of the Word (1974), a collection of American experimental poetry between the two world wars; and two volumes of Poems for the Millennium (1995, 1998), which won the Josephine Miles Award in 1996. In 1999 and again in 2001 he was a co-organizer of the People's Poetry Gathering, a three-day festival, under joint sponsorship by City Lore and Poet's House in New York City. Rothenberg was elected to the World Academy of Poetry (UNESCO) in 2001.

Whenever We Feel Like It presents

Rusty Morrison and Elizabeth Robinson

8:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event.
listen: to an audio recording of this event on PennSound.

The Whenever We Feel Like It Reading Series is put on by Committee of Vigilance members Michelle Taransky and Emily Pettit. The Committee of Vigilance is a subdivision of Sleepy Lemur Quality Enterprises, which is the production division of The Meeteetzee Institute.

Rusty Morrison's -After Urgency- won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize (forthcoming 2012), -the true keeps calm biding its story- won Academy of American Poet’s James Laughlin Award, Northern California Book Award, Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize, the DiCastagnola Award from Poetry Society of America. -Whethering- won the Colorado Prize for Poetry. Book of the Given, has just been published by Noemi Press. Her essays and/or long reviews were (or soon will be) published in Colorado Review, Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Evening Will Come, Poetry Flash, Verse, and in the anthologies One Word: Contemporary Writers on the Words They Love or Loathe (Sarabande 2010), Beauty is a Verb (Cinco Punto 2011). She’s Omnidawn’s co-publisher.

Elizabeth Robinson is the author of eleven books of poetry, most recently: Three Novels (Omnidawn 2011). Her other recent books are The Orphan & its Relations (Fence Books) and Also Known As (Apogee Press). Robinson was educated at Bard College, Brown University, and the Pacific School of Religion. She has been a winner of the National Poetry Series for Pure Descent and the Fence Modern Poets Prize for Apprehend. The recipient of grants from the Fund for Poetry and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Robinson has also been a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Her work has been anthologized in the Best American Poetry (2002) and American Hybrid, along with many other anthologies. Robinson has taught at the University of San Francisco, the University of Colorado, Boulder, Naropa University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She co-edits EtherDome Chapbooks with Colleen Lookingbill and Instance Press with Beth Anderson and Laura Sims.

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

Thursday, 10/13

celebration of legendary theatre critic GERALD WEALES

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

Five of Gerald’s admirers (colleagues, former students, and long time friends Joel Conarroe, Stephen Fried, Irwyn Applebaum, Writers House Faculty Director Al Filreis, and Stephen Corey of the Georgia Review) will sing Gerald's praises before a lavish reception open to all.

Gerald Weales taught at Penn for thirty years. He held a permanent spot as a reviewer at The Reporter from 1964-1968 and at Commonweal from 1968-1993, and published the annual "American Theater Watch" in the Georgia Review from 1978-2010. He is revered throughout Philadelphia (and beyond) for his essays, articles, reviews, and other writings, which have appeared in dozens of periodicals, including The Atlantic, Harper’s, the Los Angeles Times, Life Magazine, the New York Times, the Village Voice, and the Nation. Gerald's numerous books include important historical surveys of modern American and English drama -- but also children's books and a novel. His awards include a George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Grant, and extended stays at Yaddo. Gerald generously supports editors and editorial work through the PEN/Nora Magid Award, named in memory of his partner, a beloved writing teacher at Penn. Since 1993, the PEN/Nora Magid Award has recognized magazine editors who have contributed significantly to the excellence of their publications.

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

Friday, 10/14

Saturday, 10/15

Re:Activism in Philadelphia

11:30AM - 5:30 PM in Philadelphia

co-sponsored by: the ICA, the Urban Studies Program, and the Office of the Provost

We are pleased to announce the first round of play of Re:Activism in Philadelphia, brought about through the collaboration of the Kelly Writers House's Creative Ventures program, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and the University of Pennsylvania's Urban Studies department.

Created by Colleen Macklin, Associate Professor of Design and Technology at Parsons and Design Director of PETLab, Re:Activism is a big urban game designed to involve its participants in their city's history of activism and public protest. The game requires its players to move about the city performing challenges at sites relevant to the history of activism, highlighting the continued significance of protest sites through conducting interviews with passersby, staging reenactments of past protests, and making creative use of protest tactics (e.g. creation of protest signs, distribution of literature) in order to gather points.

Originally designed for play in New York City, Re:Activism Philadelphia will take its players on a unique journey through Philadelphia's rich history of activism, celebrating the legacy of protest while educating its players with instances of historical activist causes, such as the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society (formed in 1833), as well as engaging them in more familiar contemporary issues, such as the school budget protests at the Criminal Justice Center in March of 2011.

The event will begin at 11:30 AM at the ICA (118 S. 36th St.) and end at the Kelly Writers House. Accept the challenge and join us for Re:Activism Philadelphia!" To RSVP, go to www.icaphila.org.

Re:Activism is a game that explores a city's history of protests, riots, and other forms of political unrest. Players competitively navigate sitesof local struggle and resistance, documenting activism-based challenges with cellphones and using SMS. This interactive game allows participants to "play their city," drawing parallels between struggles, unearth moments of local radical history, and theatrically subvert business-as-usual. Re:Activism is a collaboration between ICA, Kelly Writers House and the Department of Urban Studies, and is supported by the Office of the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania. RSVP required, visit www.icaphila.org for more details.

Sunday, 10/16

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

Monday, 10/17

a lunch talk with Karen Heller

a Povich Journalism Program

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
hosted by: Dick Polman

Karen Heller is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has been a staff writer since 1986. Her column, which appears on page A2 Wednesday and Sunday, is known for its arch and incisive analysis. She frequently reports on the circus that passes for Pennsylvania politics, the ongoing fiscal crisis in the city and region, and the consequences of diminishing funding for social programs. Prior to becoming a columnist, Heller reported on politics, popular culture and social issues, while contributing many profiles of celebrities and the unsung. Her articles have appeared in several national magazines, including Gentlemans Quarterly, American Photo, Self, Mademoiselle, and Vogue, where, having failed to land an interview with the first lady of Russia, she delivered, instead, a 500-word opus on "scarf dressing." Heller has been on the staff of USA Today, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Chicago magazine and two defunct newspapers. She professes to have had little to do with hastening their demise. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., she graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in history, a decision that may have seemed foolhardy at the time but turned out to be of considerable use in her career. Heller has won national, national, state and local awards in criticism, feature writing and investigative reporting, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary.

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.

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

Tuesday, 10/18

a poetry reading by Jane Hirshfield

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
co-sponsored by: the Creative Writing Program
introduced by: Greg Djanikian

Jane Hirshfield was born in New York City in 1953. After receiving her B.A. from Princeton University in their first graduating class to include women, she went on to study at the San Francisco Zen Center. Her books of poetry include After (HarperCollins, 2006); Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Lives of the Heart (1997), The October Palace (1994), Of Gravity & Angels (1988), and Alaya (1982). She is also the author of Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (1997) and has edited and translated The Ink Dark Moon: Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan (1990) with Mariko Aratani and Women in Praise of the Sacred: Forty-Three Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women (1994). In addition to her work as a freelance writer and translator, Hirshfield has taught at UC Berkeley, University of San Francisco, and been Elliston Visiting Poet at the University of Cincinnati. She is currently on the faculty of the Bennington MFA Writing Seminars.

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

Wednesday, 10/19

Speakeasy: Poetry, Prose, and Anything Goes!

8:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Our Speakeasy Open Mic Night is held once a month. We invite writers to share their work, or the work of others, in our Arts Cafe. Speakeasy 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. You should expect outrageous (and free!) raffles for things you didn't know you needed, occasional costumes, and, of course, community members who love writing.

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

Thursday, 10/20

Dylan Song Symposium

Nine Dylanologists on Bob Dylan at 70

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

To honor Bob Dylan at the beginning of his eighth decade of life, three Dylanologist members of the Writers House community - Al Filreis, Greg Djanikian, and Anthony DeCurtis - will host a Dylan Song Symposium. Nine presenters will each present for 6 minutes, each commenting on a single song by Dylan, preceded by a 1-minute excerpt from the song itself.


  • Cecelia Corrigan on "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat"
  • Anthony DeCurtis on "The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar"
  • Greg Djanikian on "Señor"
  • Al Filreis on "Series of Dreams"
  • John Giannotti on "Bob Dylan's Dream"
  • Jessy Ginsberg on "Up to Me"
  • Alan Light on "Where Are You Tonight"
  • Ralph Rosen on "Idiot Wind"
  • Nina Wolpow on "Don't Think Twice"
  • Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

    Friday, 10/21

    Saturday, 10/22

    Sunday, 10/23

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

    Monday, 10/24

    Lunch with Kathleen Volk Miller, editor of Painted Bride Quarterly

    Applebaum Editors and Publishers Series

    12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

    RSVP: email 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

    Come for lunch and an informal discussion with Kathleen Volk Miller, editor of Painted Bride Quarterly, one of the nation's longest-running and highly respected literary magazines. A longtime editor and fiction writer, Kathleen Volk Miller will answer your questions about life on both sides of the editorial desk.

    Kathleen Volk Miller is co-editor of Painted Bride Quarterly, co-director of the Drexel Publishing Group, and an Associate Teaching Professor at Drexel University. She is a weekly blogger (Thursdays) for Philadelphia Magazine's Philly Post. Volk Miller writes fiction and essays, with work in publications such as Opium, thesmartset.org, the New York Times Motherlode and with upcoming work in Drunken Boat. She is currently working on My Gratitude, a collection of essays.

    LIVE at the Writers House

    First Person Festival Preview

    7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

    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).

    Real life comes in all shapes and sizes at The First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art — our biggest event of the year and the only festival of its kind in the world! We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary with our biggest festival yet — this fall at Christ Church Neighborhood House from November 10-20. Expect theatrical premieres, film screenings, workshops with award winning writers, and special anniversary programming. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.firstpersonarts.org/programs2/first-person-festival/.

    R. Erik Thomas is a playwright and storyteller. He has won Best Presentation at two First Person Arts Grand Slams and hosted Slam Nation at the Kimmel Center for PIFA. Erik has read and performed for QueerIgnite, Second Stories at the Dive, Rant-o-Wheel, New York's Queer Memoir and Live at Kelly Writers House on WXPN. He teaches writing and storytelling workshops to high school students and adults for First Person Arts. In his First Person Festival show, R. Erik Thomas weaves together intimate revelations with pithy observations, Thomas tells a universal tale about making connections and making mistakes.

    Inspired by the raw and intimate power of spoken word poetry, Michelle Myers takes audience members on an unforgettable journey with The SHE Project, directed by writer/cinematographer Gary San Angel. Employing multiple poetic forms and delivery styles—including storytelling, hip-hop-influenced rhyme, and song—Myers celebrates the female "I" as invincible and uncompromising in the face of countless struggles. Among folk artist/poet Kao Kue, dancer Minh Nguyen, and and hip-hop artist Native Son join Myers for an empowering exploration of woman's infinite possibilities. Myers will donate a portion of ticket sales from The SHE Project to Odanadi, an anti-trafficking organization, and the Write the World project, an artistic outreach endeavor co-founded by Myers that seeks to connect children around the world to one another through the arts and letter-writing.

    First Person Arts was founded in 2000 as Blue Sky by Vicki Solot, in response to the burgeoning interest in memoir and documentary art forms. Solot appreciated the resonance of real stories and recognized their value as a means of bridging cultural and ethnic divides. With the involvement of a visionary board, First Person Arts set out to support the development of new memoir and documentary work and to create opportunities for it to be seen and appreciated. First Person Arts reaches across cultures and communities to attract a broad and diverse audience; and have played an important role in exploring and celebrating the richness of the mixed heritage and shared history of everyday Americans.

    Also featuring Hillary Rae, Jack Drummond, and Michaela Majoun.

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

    Tuesday, 10/25

    James Hoff

    EDIT: Processing Improvisatory Writing Technologies

    hosted by Danny Snelson

    6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

    watch: a video recording of this event.
    listen: to an audio recording of this event on PennSound.

    James Hoff presents "The Ah Oh My God," a media-saturated lecture on minor history as primary information, or rather, secondary information as primary history. Challenging dominant modes of dispersion, the lecture is an attempt to question and circumvent the prevailing traditions. Over the last few years, I have developed a series of performative lectures under the title Inventory Arousal, which utilize two projectors—one playing video loops curated by other artists and one projecting slide images taken at random from a 4-terabyte archive of artists' writings, artists' books, sound art, and video art all obtained through social networking and peer-to-peer file sharing networks—and an improvised speech that links the two simultaneous projections anecdotally. This performance takes Vito Acconci's notion that words are the "perfect multiple" as its guiding principle and seeks to create art out of "thin air" by using the digital objects that archive art history as a series of cues or plants. What is created through the performance is a constantly shifting narrative of dematerialization in the guise of a neo-academic lecture on post-war art. Both the anecdotes I share, and the infinite variety of possible connections made by the audience become the multiples that the audience carries away with them.

    James Hoff is an artist, editor, and art curator living in New York City. He works in a variety of mediums including painting, sound, and performance. He is the recent author of Topten (No Input Books), Memoires (No Input Books), and co-author of Endless Nameless (No Input Books). He is also the co-founder and editor of Primary Information, a non-profit publisher devoted to printing artists' books and multiples by artists. With Primary Information he has edited publications and multiples by John Cage, the Art Workers' Coalition, DISBAND, Dan Graham, Robert Filliou, Al Hansen, Dick Higgins, Allan Kaprow, Lee Lozano, Dieter Roth, Aram Saroyan, Seth Siegelaub, and Emmett Williams, among many others.

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

    Wednesday, 10/26

    A reading by Aharon Appelfeld

    Writers Without Borders

    5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

    co-sponsored by: Jewish Studies Program, Middle East Center, University Research Foundation, School of Arts and Sciences Conference Support, Cinema Studies, Department of English, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, History Department, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and The Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region.

    Aharon Appelfeld’s work is recognized worldwide as among the most profound literature revolving around the Holocaust. His Modernist works do not offer a realistic depiction of the events – instead, they evoke the Holocaust metaphorically without relating to it directly. Appelfeld was born in 1932 near Czernowitz, Romania (now in Ukraine). When he was eight years old, his mother was killed by the Nazis, and he and his father were deported to a concentration camp. Appelfeld escaped and spent three years in hiding in the forests before joining the Soviet Army and eventually finding his way to a displaced persons camp in Italy, and then to Palestine in 1946. He is now one of the last living survivors of the Holocaust

    One of the world’s most important and influential writers, Appelfeld has been a candidate for the Nobel Prize. Together with Amos Oz and A. B. Yehoshua, he was one of the literary pillars who created Israeli Hebrew literature in the aftermath of Israel’s War of Independence, and for this was awarded the Israel Prize in 1983. Appelfeld belongs to the pioneering generation of Israeli writers who created a thriving Hebrew literature that gave voice to the Jewish and Israeli experience in the turbulent years of the early Israeli state. He has published twenty-five novels, novellas, and books of essays and short stories in Hebrew, and his fiction has been translated into over twenty-eight languages. Philip Roth’s interviews of Appelfeld in the New York Times were also published in Beyond Despair. Later, Roth made him a character in one of his novels. Appelfeld received the Brenner Prize, the Bialik Prize (1979), the Prix M!dicis Etranger (2004) and the Nelly Sachs Prize (2005). He has been visiting Professor at Boston, Brandeis and Yale Universities and a visiting Scholar at Oxford and Harvard.

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

    Thursday, 10/27

    RealArts@Penn informational lunch

    12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

    Do you dream of spending your summer in New York, at the headquarters of Rolling Stone or MTV? Then come to the RealArts@Penn informational lunch to learn about the (paid!) internship opportunities RealArts offers Penn undergrads in everything from media to publishing to filmmaking. Hosted by Penn writing prof and RealArts guru Anthony DeCurtis, this information session will feature a casual buffet style lunch and a discussion with last summer’s seven interns.

    2011 RealArts@Penn Interns:
    MTV Networks—Jared McDonald
    Rolling Stone Magazine—Jessica Goodman
    Brooklyn Films—Jamie Napoli
    Philadelphia Magazine—Katie Siegel
    Granary Books—Jessica Sutro
    David Stern and Stuart Gibbs, Writers—Jessica Penzias
    Philadelphia Inquirer—Victor Gamez

    Flash Fiction Flash Mob

    6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

    hosted by: Thomson Guster
    co-sponsored by: Creative Ventures

    Inspiration comes in a flash. So do floods, and so do mobs. Immortality, too, in flashes photographic or cryogenic. Grins & knives flash, and a frowned-upon kind of trench-coated person, and loud bits of jewelry and expensive fashions. Flashes can illuminate or blind, solidify or disintegrate, define or erase, overflow or disappear.

    And what is the relationship between writing & time? How much time does it take to write? How much time do we get back by reading? Or is it the other way around?

    Whether you think of yourself as a "writer" or not, we're sure that you've got some creative urges you're dying to indulge. So come one and come all! Join us for an evening of group writing exercises that will explore some unconventional ways of approaching writing, exercises that will push you a little outside your usual frame of mind and free you up for some exciting creative possibilities. It'll definitely be more than a little silly, but you can't look dignified while having fun, y'know?

    A series of three writers' workshops-in-miniature, each run by a different leader, each lasting about half an hour, will give you the opportunity to create short works in a short time alongside a group of other busy scribblers as we test different angles of approach to the page & each other. These extemporaneous writings will be later collected into a small anthology and made available over the web—and perhaps even a small chapbook! Participants will receive copies to commemorate the event.

    There'll be tea & cookies & other munchable things, too. It'll be cozy!

    Our inaugural Flash Fiction Flash Mob exercise leaders are Sam Allingham, Timothy Leonido, and Thomson Guster.

    Sam Allingham has been on a roll lately with short stories appearing or forthcoming in N+1, Conjunctions, Midwestern Gothic, and Epoch. He's currently shopping around his first novel, keeping busy in his first year of Temple's MFA program for fiction, and co-operating Cha'Cha-Razzi, a show and events space in South Philadelphia.

    Timothy Leonido is a writer, editor, and sound artist. You can find an assortment of his sonic experiments online at foxedandgrimed.wordpress.com and catch him performing live as Mora. Timothy has scattered an eclectic and intriguing trail of writings all across the web, including criticism for the poetry magazine Jacket 2, and is currently in his first year at Temple's MFA program for poetry.

    Thomson Guster is a writer and the editor of Heat Map, a magazine of fictional music writing. His first published work is forthcoming in Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities. Devoted to loosening up the concept of fiction and exploring the territory between game design and conceptually-driven process writing, Thomson is excited to see what comes out of Flash Fiction Flash Mob.

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

    Friday, 10/28

    Saturday, 10/29

    Sunday, 10/30

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

    Monday, 10/31

    We All Feel Like Halloween

    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

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