November 2017

Wednesday, 11/1

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, 11/2

A conversation with David Daley

Applebaum Editors and Publishers program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Lorene Cary

David Daley is the author of the national best-seller Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count (Norton). He is the former editor-in-chief of Salon, a senior fellow at FairVote, and a digital media fellow at the University of Georgia. His work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, The Atlantic, New York magazine, USA Today, and many other prominent publications. He also ran the pioneering online fiction journal FiveChapters for nine years, helping launch the careers of many of today's top novelists and fiction writers. He lives in western Massachusetts.

Friday, 11/3

Saturday, 11/4

Homecoming Open House

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM throughout the first floor

rsvp: 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 or call (215) 746-POEM


Hartman Screenwriting Series

4:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: or call (215) 746-POEM
hosted by: Kathy DeMarco Van Cleve

The Hartman Family Screenwriting Series allows us to host an annual event with a successful professional screenwriter so that aspiring moviemakers in the Writers House community can get a taste of the writers’ room. Past events in the series have featured Scott Neustadter (500 Days of Summer, The Fault in our Stars) and John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Romeo + Juliet).

Alec Sokolow, nominated for an Academy Award (Toy Story) has worn many hats in his career as a professional writer. A career in Hollywood has taken him from writing late night TV comedy to having written some of the most memorable studio films of our time. His credited film work has topped one billion dollars in worldwide Box Office receipts and includes Toy Story, Cheaper by the Dozen, Garfield, Evan Almighty, Daddy Day Camp, and Money Talks. Alec hails from New York City and resides in Sagaponack, NY.

Sunday, 11/5

Monday, 11/6

a lunch talk with ben yagoda

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Dick Polman

Hub Meeting

5:00 PM


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, 11/7

On Elie Wiesel: Alan Rosen and Al Filreis in conversation

Wexler Program in Jewish Life and Literature

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: or call (215) 746-POEM

Dr. Avraham (Alan) Rosen is the author or editor of twelve books. He is most recently the author of The Wonder of Their Voices: The 1946 Holocaust Interviews of David Boder (Oxford UP, 2010; updated paper edition 2012), and Sounds of Defiance: The Holocaust, Multilingualism and the Problem of English (U of Nebraska P, paper 2008); and the editor of Elie Wiesel: Jewish, Literary, and Moral Perspectives (Indiana UP, 2013, finalist, National Jewish Book Awards) and Literature of the Holocaust (Cambridge UP, 2013, also a finalist, National Jewish Book Award). He has just completed his book, “Keeping Time Sacred, Making Time Holy: The Holocaust’s Jewish Calendars.” His current writing, including two books and a number of articles, focuses largely on the legacy of his teacher and mentor, Elie Wiesel.

Rosen was a research fellow of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah from 2006-2009. He has also held fellowships at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem; the Katz Center for Advanced Jewish Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and the Archives for the History of American Psychology, University of Akron. In 2013, he served as the Wilkenfeld Scholar in Holocaust Education in Sydney, Australia. He has taught at universities and colleges in Israel and the United States, and lectures regularly on Holocaust Literature at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies and other Holocaust study centers. Recent lecture venues include Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and a keynote address at a Leeds University conference on “Jewish Exile and the Arts.”

Holly Melgard, Amanda Silberling, and Orchid Tierney

Whenever We Feel Like It Series

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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.

Holly Melgard is the author of the Poems for Baby trilogy (Colors for Baby, Foods for Baby, and Shapes for Baby), The Making of The Americans, Black Friday, Reimbursement, Holly Melgard Reads Holly Melgard (Troll Thread), Cats Can’t Taste Sugar (Gauss PDF), and Catcall (Ugly Duckling Presse, October 2017). Along with Joey Yearous-Algozin, she’s co-authored Liquidation, White Trash (Troll Thread) and Holly Melgard’s Friends and Family (Bon Aire Projects). She is currently writing her PhD dissertation on “Poetics of Ubiquitization: Textual Conditions of/for the Ubiquitous Computing Age” in the Buffalo Poetics Program, designing and co-editing Troll Thread press, teaching writing at CUNY, and living in Brooklyn, NY.

Orchid Tierney is from New Zealand/Aotearoa/Philadelphia. Her chapbooks include Brachiation (Dunedin: GumTree Press, 2012) and The World in Small Parts (Chicago: Dancing Girl Press, 2012), and a full length sound translation of the Book of Margery Kempe, Earsay (TrollThread, 2016). Other work, poetry, photography, and reviews have appeared in Western Humanities Review, Empty Mirror, Journal of Modern Literature, among others. She co-edits Supplement, an annual anthology on Philadelphia writing.

Amanda Silberling is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying English and Fine Arts. Her poems and not-poems have appeared in The Rumpus, decomP, Reality Beach, Paper Magazine, Consequence of Sound, and others. Her first film "We're Here, We're Present: Women in Punk" debuted this summer on VICE. She still plays Pokémon Go.

Wednesday, 11/8

Artist Erica Baum in conversation with Al Filreis

Creative Ventures Program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Erica Baum (b. 1961, New York; lives and works in New York) received her BA from Barnard College and her MFA from Yale University. Current and recent museum exhibitions include Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, The Jewish Museum, New York; For the Love of Things: Still Life, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, 2016; Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, Kunsthalle Berlin and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2015; Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2015; After Dark, Mamco, Geneva, 2015; and the 30th Bienal de São Paulo: The Imminence of Poetics, São Paulo, Brazil, 2012. Recent solo exhibitions include The Following Information, Bureau, New York, 2016; Stanzas, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris, 2015; The Paper Nautilus, Bureau, New York, 2014; Erica Baum, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Langenhagen, Germany, 2013; and Naked Eye Anthology, Bureau, New York, 2012. Her work is held in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; FRAC Ile de France, Paris; and the Yale Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. 2017 two-person exhibitions include Until it Makes Sense with Ajit Chauhan at SVIT, Prague AAa:Quien Erica Baum and Libby Rothfeld Bureau, New York ; Strange Days, Le Plateau, Frac Île-de-France, Paris, Tuer La Marionette at CACBM, Paris France.

Thursday, 11/9

Lunch with Beth Kissileff

Wexler Family Series

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe


The Wexler Family Series presents projects and programs that focus on Jewish literature, life, culture, and literature, such as discussions of contemporary Hebrew novels, Holocaust remebrance events, and the occasional Yiddish poetry slam.

Beth Kissileff holds a PhD in comparative literature and literary theory from Penn and has taught at Carleton, the University of Minnesota, Smith and Mount Holyoke. Her novel Questioning Return was started when she finished her dissertation and decided to write the novel she had always wanted to. Of course, the novel turned out to be about... a graduate student writing her dissertation! Kissileff currently works as a freelance journalist; she has also edited and contributed to Reading Genesis a collection of essays by academics on the first book of the Bible. Her short story collection I'm Not Here for Myself is under review for publication and she is at work on a second novel. She is a third generation Penn graduate.

Friday, 11/10

Saturday, 11/11

Sunday, 11/12

Monday, 11/13

The Significance of Speculative Fiction

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponosored by: The Creative Writing Program
hosted by: Carmen Machado

In contemporary literature, “realism” is often used as shorthand for “literary.” The implication is that serious writing happens only within a faithful representation of reality. But this is a strictly modern idea—and a false one. Literature is historically filled with ghosts, gods, magic, talking animals, and the walking dead. Some of the most powerful and popular storytelling of our time has examined the nuances of the human condition in our own future, in alternate realities, and on other worlds. In this panel, four award-winning genre authors—Sam J. Miller (author of The Art of Starving), Lara Donnelly (author of Amberlough), Maria Dahvana Headley (author of Magonia), and Alice Sola Kim (winner of the Whiting Award)—will discuss how they use science fiction, fantasy, and horror to explore and examine fiction’s emotional questions.

Lara Elena Donnelly is the author of glam spy thriller Amberlough. Her other work has appeared in or is forthcoming from venues including Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Nightmare, and Uncanny. Lara is a graduate of the Alpha and Clarion workshops. You can find her online at

Alice Sola Kim is a writer living in New York. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's, Tin House, BuzzFeed Reader, Lightspeed, The Village Voice, Lenny, and other publications. She is a winner of the 2016 Whiting Award.

Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organizer. His debut novel The Art of Starving (YA/SF) was published by HarperCollins in 2017, and will be followed by Blackfish City from Ecco Press in 2018. His stories have been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, and have appeared in over a dozen "year's best" anthologies. He's a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop, and a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in New York City, and at

Maria Dahvana Headley is a #1 New York Times-bestselling author & editor, most recently of the novels Magonia, Aerie, Queen of Kings, and the internationally-bestselling memoir The Year of Yes. With Kat Howard she is the author of The End of the Sentence, and with Neil Gaiman, she is co-editor of Unnatural Creatures. Her short stories have been included in many year's best anthologies, including Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Karen Joy Fowler and John Joseph Adams, and have been finalists for the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards. Upcoming are The Mere Wife, a contemporary novel adaption of Beowulf from Farrar, Straus & Giroux; a short story collection from same; and The Combustible, a queer superhero novel from HarperCollins. Find her at @MARIADAHVANA on Twitter, or

City Planning Poetics 4: Urban Memory

Simone White and Randall Mason

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Sponsored by: Creative Ventures

Simone White is the author of Dear Angel of Death (coming later this year from Ugly Duckling Presse), Of Being Dispersed, and House of Envy of All the World, the poetry chapbook, Unrest, and the collaborative poem/painting chapbook, Dolly, with Kim Thomas. Her poetry and prose have been featured in NYTimes Book Review, Harper's Magazine, BOMB Magazine, Chicago Review, and Harriet: The Blog. She has been the recipient of the 2017 Whiting Award, Cave Canem Foundation fellowships, and recognition as a New American Poet for the Poetry Society of America, in 2013. She works as Program Director at The Poetry Project and teaches writing and American literature at Thew New School, Eugene Lang College.

Randall Mason plays several roles at Penn’s School of Design: Executive Director of PennPraxis; Associate Professor of City & Regional Planning; and Chair of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. His published work includes: The Once and Future New York, on the origins of historic preservation in New York City (University of Minnesota Press, 2009, winner of the Society of Architectural Historians’ Antoinette Forester Downing Award), and North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City (with photographer Christopher Payne, Fordham University Press, 2014). Mason’s professional practice includes projects at many scales, addressing planning, preservation and public space issues, commissioned by organizations including the Brookings Institution, Getty Conservation Institute, William Penn Foundation, the City of Philadelphia, and the National Park Service. His education includes a PhD from Columbia University (urban planning/urban history), MS from Pennsylvania State University (geography), and BA from Bucknell (geography). He worked previously at the Getty Conservation Institute, University of Maryland and Rhode Island School of Design, and was the recipient of the 2012-13 National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize.

Tuesday, 11/14

Adam Dickinson & Katie Price in conversation

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe


Wednesday, 11/15

Brodksy Gallery opening: Rachel Blau DuPlessis

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

The Brodsky Gallery is an art gallery integrated with the ground floor of the Writers House. Through exhibiting a diverse array of art media and cross-disciplinary programming, the Brodsky Gallery seeks to engage Penn students and the broader Philadelphia community with the interrelationships between literary and visual arts. Thanks to the generosity of Michael and Heidi Brodsky, whose support makes our gallery space possible, the Brodsky Gallery is a permanent project of Kelly Writers House.

Thursday, 11/16

Friday, 11/17

Saturday, 11/18

Sunday, 11/19

Monday, 11/20

Tuesday, 11/21

Wednesday, 11/22

Thursday, 11/23

Friday, 11/24

Saturday, 11/25

Sunday, 11/26

Monday, 11/27

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.

Tuesday, 11/28

Wednesday, 11/29

Thursday, 11/30

RealArts@Penn internships info session

Everything you need to know and more

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe


Have you been dreaming of the perfect summer internship? The one that will change your life forever? RealArts@Penn can help make that dream a reality! RealArts@Penn offers paid summer internships in publishing, TV and film, journalism, public relations, talent management, music, theater, and museums. Premier partner/host organizations have included Viacom, McSweeney’s, Downtown Bookworks, Pitchfork Media, 20th Century Fox and Principato-Young Entertainment. The project draws upon a vast network of creative alumni who help enable hands-on and face-to-face interactions between students and the people who make arts and culture their business. Join us for an informal conversation with past RealArts interns to learn more about the project and the application process.