For alumni

Alumni attend hub meetings and help prepare for programs and events. They join and lead book groups. They mentor current students about the writing life. They visit us for happenings and readings, board meetings and screenings, mentor lunches and industry talks, and we simply can't imagine the House without the involvement of our talented and energetic alumni. Take a look around for ways you can get involved!

Image © Jacques-Jean Tiziou /

online book groups

Penn alumni and Penn families are welcome to join a Kelly Writers House online book group. All you need is an email account, and a willingness to engage in free and perhaps freewheeling discussion of an interesting book, led by a faculty member or Writers house regular. Going strong since 2000, the Online Book Groups program offers month-long discussions of longer works such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Writing on the Wall by Lynne Sharon Schwartz, as well as weeklong discussions of shorter works, such as Richard Ford's "Abyss" and Mina Loyís "Lunar Baedeker."

Frost Valley poetry retreat

Frost Valley poetry retreatEvery year, the Writers House teams up with Frost Valley, a 6,000-acre conference center in the Catskill Mountain Region of New York State, to offer a two-night, three-day workshop retreat on modern poetry. Led by Al Filreis, University of Pennsylvania's Kelly Professor of English and Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House, the poetry retreat offers an exceptional educational getaway.

alumni visitors series

A number of accomplished alumni — poets, fiction writers, editors, screenwriters, and journalists — generously lend their wisdom and experience to Penn's current students each semester. These illustrious graduates visit the Kelly Writers House as part of our Alumni Visitors Series to give readings, run workshops, and lead discussions about everything from children's books to contemporary screenwriting.

webcasts & podcasts

Stay in touch with the Kelly Writers House through our webcasts and other multimedia projects. KWH-TV allows you to take part in Writers House events from your home or workplace, and our digital archive allows you to view events after the fact. Dig around in our medialinks and PennSound files for your favorite authors and programming.

salon-style gatherings

Several times a year, we take the Writers House on the road for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and good literary conversation with affiliated alumni and friends. At these intimate gatherings, often held at the home of one of our supporters, we feature readings by current students, faculty and alumni, and Faculty Director Al Filreis leads a discussion of a gnarly-but-scintillating poem. Louis and Susan Meisel have been generous enough to host us in their SoHo gallery for our "Writers House New York" event each fall since 2002. We have also held other salons in New York, as well as in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Miami and San Francisco and weíre always thinking about where to go next.

alumni mentors program

The Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing is always seeking alumni mentors for current undergraduates. Mentors are alumni in writing-related fields who would like to meet with students to provide informal guidance, which will help the students identify and, indeed, achieve their own professional goals. Mentors and mentees gather occasionally at the Writers House, but correspondence is primarily by email and telephone. If you would like to find out more about how to become an alumni mentor, write to Mingo Reynolds.