October 2016

Saturday, 10/1

Sunday, 10/2

Monday, 10/3

Tuesday, 10/4

Wednesday, 10/5

Worst. President. Ever.

lunch with Robert Strauss

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Kauders Lunch Series

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

ROBERT STRAUSS, the author of Worst. President. Ever. is a former reporter for Sports Illustrated, feature writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and news and sports producer for KYW-TV in Philadelphia. He has also taught non-fiction writing at Penn since 1999 and has been a freelance writer since then, primarily for the New York Times.

Thursday, 10/6

Friday, 10/7

Saturday, 10/8

Sunday, 10/9

Monday, 10/10

Hub Meeting

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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.

Tuesday, 10/11

Wednesday, 10/12

Thursday, 10/13

Aleksandr Skidan Poetry Reading

Writers Without Borders

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
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ALEKSANDR SKIDAN was born in Leningrad in 1965. He is a poet, critic, essayist and translator. Skidan attended The Free University (1989–1992), while working as a stoker in the boiler house (1985–2002). His poetry collections include Delirium (1993), In the Re-Reading (1998), Red Shifting (2005) and most recently Dissolution (2010). He is also the author of three books of essays, Critical Mass (1995), The Resistance to/of Poetry (2001), Sum of Poetics (2013) and Theses Toward Politicization of Art (2014). He has translated contemporary American poetry and fiction into Russiаn, as well as theoretical works of Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, Jean-Luc Nancy, Paolo Virno, Gerald Raunig. In 1998 he received the Turgenev Award for short prose. He was winner of Andrey Bely Prize in poetry for the collection Red Shifting (2006) and the Most (“Bridge”) Award for the best critical text on poetry (2006). In 2008 his book Red Shifting was published in USA by Ugly Duckling Presse. He is a member of Chto Delat'? working group and a co-editor of the New Literary Observer magazine. He lives in Saint Petersburg.

Friday, 10/14

Saturday, 10/15

Sunday, 10/16

Monday, 10/17

Tuesday, 10/18

A reading by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Creative Writing Program reading

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
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NICOLE DENNIS-BENN's highly anticipated debut novel, Here Comes the Sun, debuted from W. W. Norton/Liveright in July 2016. Her writing has been awarded a Richard and Julie Logsdon Fiction Prize, and two of her stories have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in Fiction. She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, Lambda, Sewanee Writers Conference, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Writers, Hurston/Wright, and Kimbilio. Her work has appeared in Elle Magazine, Electric Literature, Red Rock Review, Kweli Literary Journal, Mosaic, Ebony.com, and the Feminist Wire. She's a graduate of Cornell University and has a MPH from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches writing. Nicole Dennis-Benn was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. Visit her website at www.nicoledennisbenn.com and follow her on twitter at @ndennis_benn.

Wednesday, 10/19

The Writer in Relation to Science

Sam Apple, Marcella Durand, Eli Kintisch, and Michelle Taransky

Creative Writing Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

What is the role of the writer with respect to science? Can writers, as scientific outsiders, provide meaningful critiques of the scientific process? Can writers act as scientific insiders, using the scientific method to shape their practices? Sam Apple, Marcella Durand, Eli Kintisch, and Michelle Taransky will discuss.

SAM APPLE is the author of Schlepping Through the Alps, American Parent, and The Saddest Toilet in the World. A graduate of the Columbia University MFA program, Apple has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Wired, The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times Magazine, The MIT Technology Review, and McSweeney's, among many other publications. Schlepping Through the Alps was a finalist for the PEN America Award for a first work of nonfiction. Apple is currently writing a book about the German scientist Otto Warburg.

As a correspondent for Science magazine, ELI KINTISCH covers climate change and sustainability, with a focus on the Arctic and oceans. In 2015, an article he wrote on how the thawing Arctic may impact global weather was included in the annual Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology. His work has also been published in other magazines including New Scientist, National Geographic, Slate, Nautilus and Hakai. Hack the Planet, a nonfiction book Kintisch published in 2010, revealed why respected scientists are exploring the frightening world of geoengineering the climate directly to reverse climate change. As part of a Knight fellowship at MIT in 2011, he created a juried art exhibition to encourage climate-art partnerships and create public art around climate change. In partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design the following year, he designed a prototype app that allows users to visualize local future sea level rise using three-dimensional augmented reality.

MICHELLE TARANSKY is the author of Sorry Was In the Woods (Omnidawn Publishing) and Barn Burned, Then (Omnidawn Publishing), selected by Marjorie Welish for the 2008 Omnidawn Poetry Prize. Taransky is on the faculty of the critical writing department at The University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches writing and was recently awarded the Beltran Family Award for Innovative Teaching & Mentoring. She is also reviews editor of Jacket2.

MARCELLA DURAND’s books include Deep Eco Pre, a collaboration with Tina Darragh (Little Red Leaves, 2009); AREA (Belladonna, 2008); and Traffic & Weather, a site-specific poem written during a residency at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in downtown Manhattan (Futurepoem, 2008). Her poetry and essays on the intersections of poetry and ecology have appeared in the (eco(lang)(uage (reader), Ecopoetics, Chain, Conjunctions, NYFA Current, HOW(2), Critiphoria, and other journals. She is currently working on a collection of alexandrines titled Rays of the Shadow.

Speakeasy Open Mic Night

7:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
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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, 10/20

A Conversation with Kara Swisher

Weber Symposium

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP REQUIRED to mingo@writing.upenn.edu
watch: a video recording of this event
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KARA SWISHER is the executive editor of Re/code, host of the Re/code Decode podcast and co-executive producer of the Code Conference.

Re/code and Code are wholly owned by Vox Media, a company with an audience of 170 million worldwide. It has eight distinct media brands: The Verge (Technology and Culture), Vox.com (News), SB Nation (Sports), Polygon (Gaming), Eater (Food and Nightlife), Racked (Shopping, Beauty and Fashion), Curbed (Real Estate and Home), as well as Re/code (Tech Business).

Swisher co-founded former Re/code and Code owner Revere Digital and, before that, co-produced and co-hosted The Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital,” with Mossberg. It was the major high-tech conference with interviewees such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many other leading players in the tech and media industries. The gathering was considered one of the leading conferences focused on the convergence of tech and media industries.

She and Mossberg were also the co-executive editors of a tech and media Web site, AllThingsD.com.

Swisher worked in The Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau. For many years, she wrote the column, “BoomTown,” which appeared on the front page of the Marketplace section and also on The Wall Street Journal Online at WSJ.com. Previously, Swisher covered breaking news about the Web’s major players and Internet policy issues and also wrote feature articles on technology for the paper. She has also written a weekly column for the Personal Journal on home issues called “Home Economics.”

Previously, Swisher worked as a reporter at the Washington Post and as an editor at the City Paper of Washington, D.C. She received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her graduate degree at Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Swisher is also the author of aol.com: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web, published by Times Business Books in July 1998. The sequel, There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future, was published in the fall of 2003 by Crown Business Books.

Friday, 10/21

Saturday, 10/22

Sunday, 10/23

Monday, 10/24

Rosalie Knecht and Marie-Helene Bertino

Cheryl J. Family Fiction program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
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ROSALIE KNECHT is the author of Relief Map (Tin House), an Indies Introduce selection, and translator of The Seamstress and the Wind (New Directions 2011, And Other Stories 2016). She has received a Fulbright grant and a Center for Fiction Emerging Writer Fellowship. She is a social worker and lives in New York City.


MARIE-HELENE BERTINO is the author of the novel 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas and the story collection Safe as Houses. Awards include the O. Henry Prize, The Pushcart Prize, and The Iowa Award for Short Fiction. She teaches at NYU and in the low-residency MFA program at Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and lives in Brooklyn, where she is an Editor at Large for Catapult Magazine.


Tuesday, 10/25

Lunch with poet Zhimin Li

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Charles Bernstein

rsvp: 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

LI ZHIMIN is a poet in both the English and Chinese languages. He has published numerous chapbooks of poem since 2001. His most recent collection is Zhongalish: Think and Feel Globally (August 2016). Currently, Li serves as Chief Professor of Western Literature Studies at the School of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou University, and is Director of both its Modern Poetry Studies Centre and Foreign Languages Training Centre. He is also a Fellow of the British and American Language and Literature Studies Institute of Sun Yat-sen University, and of the English Poetry Studies Institute (EPSI) at Sun Yat-sen University. He is Deputy President and Secretary-General of the English Language Poetry Studies Association of China, Board Member of Chinese / American Association for Poetry and Poetics (CAAP) and has been the prime mover of The Pearl River Poetry Conference, a gathering of Chinese and English poets held in Guangzhou in 2005 and 2008. Li Zhimin's publications reflect his broad interests in modern culture, philosophy, modernism and contemporary poetry and their interrelations, in pedagogy, and in poetic and translation theory. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2008. He was invited to give a lecture and a reading at Kelly Writers House in February of 2009.

Paradigm Shifting: Edwin Torres and Will Alexander In Conversation

Co-sponsored by: the Creative Writing Program and the Caroline Rothstein Oral Poetry Fund

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Will Alexander and Edwin Torres, both practitioners in the fields of poetry, art, and commitment to making the creative process visible, will read from their works and then engage in an open discussion of process, genesis, the way language evolves from within a poem, and how we allow ourselves to travel within a universe of our own making in parallel to humanity's continuous shift.

WILL ALEXANDER is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, aphorist, visual artist, and pianist. Writing in various genres he is approaching his 30th title. He is a Whiting Fellow, a California Arts Counsel Fellow, a PEN Oakland Award winner, and an American Book Award winner. In 2016 he received the Jackson Prize for poetry.

EDWIN TORRES is a 2016-2017 Poetry and Poetics Fellow at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press), Yes Thing No Thing (Roof Books), and The PoPedology of an Ambient Language (Atelos Books). A self-proclaimed ‘lingualisualist’ rooted in the languages of sight and sound, he has received fellowships from NYFA, The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, The DIA Arts Foundation and The Poetry Fund, among others. Anthologies include: Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing, Post-Modern American Poetry Vol. 2, Kindergarde: Avant Garde Poems, Plays and Songs For Children and Aloud; Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café. Most recently, he's created a series of site-specific text works called "Palympslips" which will be exhibited Oct. 7-Nov. 6 at The Drawing Center in New York as part of a two-year artist residency.

Wednesday, 10/26

Writing about TV: Home

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Featuring Tyler Burke, Molly Eichel, Jamie-Lee Josselyn, Syra Ortiz-Blanes, Brad Pettigrew, and Sameer Rao
watch: a video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

This year’s Writing about TV program will feature seven different TV fans/critics/watchers who will each select a show to discuss, using “home” as the driving theme or thread to guide their remarks. “Writing about TV: Home” will allow us to explore themes of origin, family, dwelling, space, comfort, and more, while promoting smart talk about TV. How do representations of home on television relate to real-world homes? How do ideas about home — metaphoric and literal — manifest in various eras or genres of TV? What can cultural representations of home tell us about ourselves?

Tyler Burke is an Emmy Award Watching senior studying Communications and History. He is assistant director of Penn's improv troupe Without a Net. He is currently working on a few video projects, including a documentary on professional matchmakers. He does not have cable, so feel free to share with him.

Molly Eichel has been an employee at Philadelphia Media Network in its various incarnations since 2010 when she was hired to work on a weekend section that was killed mere weeks after her first day (no, it was not her fault). Since then, she has been a GA features writer, a local gossip columnist, and a TV editor. She's currently the assistant features editor, digital for the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com. Molly is also a contributing freelancer at the AV Club where she writes about television.

Jamie-Lee Josselyn is the Associate Director for Recruitment and an instructor for the Penn’s Creative Writing Program and she is a Faculty Fellow at Penn’s College House at Sansom West. She has a B.A. from Penn, and an M.F.A. from Bennington College. Her work has been published in The New Republic, Literary Hub, The Sun, and elsewhere.

Syra Ortiz-Blanes is a senior from Puerto Rico studying History and English. She is the Events Chair for UPenn V-Day and a cofounder of the Penn art collective We are Watching. When she is not stress baking before midterms, she is procrastinating for midterms doing yoga, writing poetry, or binging on her newest TV addiction.

Brad Pettigrew accidentally majored in Math (with minors in History and English). A senior in the college, he is the editor-in-chief and founder of The Moviegoer, a student publication dedicated to film criticism and appreciation. He has also been know to dabble in various student film productions on campus, usually as an editor.

Sameer Rao is a reporter and blogger for Colorlines, focusing on culture news. As a freelance writer, Sameer's work has appeared in Stereogum, VICE's Noisey, Under the Radar, Splitsider, Philadelphia City Paper, WXPN's The Key, PhillyVoice, the Public School Notebook, and Independent Restaurateur. His writing primarily focuses on music, comedy, theatre, film, social entrepreneurship, race, media, gender, critical theory, pop culture, and where all of those things intersect. Sameer is a graduate of Haverford College and Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and he has also worked as a non-profit marketing coordinator, case worker, and community organizer.

Thursday, 10/27

Lunch with Kathleen Parker

Povich Journalism Program

11:45 AM in the Arts Cafe

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

KATHLEEN PARKER writes a twice-weekly column on politics and culture for The Washington Post. In 2010, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for “her perceptive, often witty columns on an array of political and moral issues, gracefully sharing the experiences and values that lead her to unpredictable conclusions.” A Florida native, Parker started her column in 1987 when she was a staff writer for the Orlando Sentinel. She joined the Washington Post Writers Group in 2006. She is the author of Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care (2008).

Friday, 10/28

Saturday, 10/29

Writers House Open House

2:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Renew your acquaintance or get to know this lively and innovative home for writers of all ages and genres as you join members of the Writers House community for informal conversation, coffee, and light refreshments. Advance registration is not required, but we'd love to hear from you. RSVP to whhomecoming@writing.upenn. edu or call (215) 746-POEM

The Presidential Election

Alumni Authors Series

4:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

In honor of Penn's Homecoming, join us for a discussion of the presidential election with political journalists JIM NEWELL (C'07) of Slate and EMILY SCHULTHEIS (C'11) of CBS Interactive, moderated by Penn faculty member DICK POLMAN, national political columnist at Newsworks. Before becoming a politics writer in the Washington bureau of Slate, Newell wrote for Salon and Wonkette. Until joining CBS Interactive, Schultheis served as the primary reporter covering Hillary Clinton and the 2016 Democratic primary for the National Journal. Polman covered the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 U. S. presidential campaigns for The Philadelphia Inquirer where he wrote for 22 years, most notably as the national political writer/columnist.Reception to follow. Advance registration is not required, but we'd love to hear from you. RSVP to whhomecoming@writing.upenn.edu or call (215) 746-POEM.

Sunday, 10/30

Monday, 10/31

Lunch with Tahneer Oksman

Women and Jewish American Identity in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs

Wexler Program in Jewish Literature and Culture

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Focusing on the visionary work of seven contemporary female Jewish cartoonists, Tahneer Oksman in her book How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses draws a remarkable connection between innovations in modes of graphic storytelling and the unstable, contradictory, and ambiguous figurations of the Jewish self in the postmodern era. American comics reflect the distinct sensibilities and experiences of the Jewish American men who played an outsized role in creating them, but what about the contributions of Jewish women?

TAHNEER OKSMAN is Assistant Professor and Director of the Academic Writing Program at Marymount Manhattan College. In addition to her recent book on Jewish women and comics, Oksman has written on visual culture, women's literature, and Jewish identity for academic publications such as a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, Studies in American Jewish Literature, and Studies in Comics. She also writes reviews and essays for publications and sites including the Forward, Lilith, Jewish Book Council, the Los Angeles Review of Books, BookTrib, and Cleaver, where she is graphic narratives reviews editor.

LIVE at the Writers House

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

LIVE at the Writers House is a long-standing collaboration of the people of the Kelly Writers House and of WXPN (88.5 FM). Six times annually between September and April, the Writers House airs a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, along with one musical guest -- from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN. "LIVE" is broadcast on WXPN. "LIVE" is made possible through the generous support of BigRoc and is produced by Alli Katz.