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Kelly Writers House
at the University of Pennsylvania
3805 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
tel: 215-746-POEM
fax: 215-573-9750
email: wh@writing.upenn.edu
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Hear a message about upcoming special events from Faculty Director Al Filreis.

Elizabeth Willis will read her poetry on Tuesday, February 23

We at KWH are all thrilled to host a poetry reading by Elizabeth Willis on February 23 starting at 6 PM. Her newest book is Alive: New and Selected Poems (2015). From 1998-2002 she was Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Mills College. Since 2002 she has taught at Wesleyan University, where she is Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing. To get ready for her visit we are all listening to recordings of her previous performances at her PennSound author page. We especially recommend this recording of the title poem of the new book, "Alive": listen here.

when the old house was renovated #KWH20

The Kelly Writers House​ is 20 years old this year. We started in 1995-96. During 1997 the 1851 Tudor-style cottage was renovated entirely—although the original design was untouched, it needed totally new wiring, plumbing, roof, re-supporting, HVAC, etc. A gift from the amazing Paul Kelly enabled all this. In late 1997, when it was all done & we opened up again, we had a huge celebration. Here are Shawn Walker​, the first director, and Kerry Sherin Wright​, Shawn's successor, showing Paul the plaque that honors his gift in memory of his parents. The plaque includes the text of Dickinson's "I dwell in possbility," which includes the KWH unofficial mantra: "Of visitors, the fairest. / For occupation--this." #KWH20


This year the Writers House is 20 years old! We're going to have a big gathering/party during Alumni Weekend/Graduation Weekend, May 14-15, 2016. Please plan to join us. Watch as here and there we feature audio, video and photographs from our two decades of event hosting and community building. Here are Eric Karlan and Kristen Martin, preparing a Writers House Fellows brunch in 2009. If you have photos please post them and use the hashtag #KWH20.

Walt Whitman video added to ModPo

Recently we made five new videos for ModPo. Zach Carduner is now uploading them to the ModPo '15 site. Here's a sneak preview of one of them—on canto 47 of Whitman's "Song of Myself," which will be added to the main ModPo syllabus for week 1. And....here's your link to the video. ModPo, hosted by the Kelly Writers House, is an open online 10-week course/symposium on modern and contemporary U.S. poetry. ModPo '15 begins on 9/12/15. Enroll (free) here.

Sam Apple is a rocket boy

In the New Yorker you can find Sam Apple's essay on growing up with the Houston Rockets and Max Apple. Max, of course, is Sam's father. Both of them teach Creative Writing at Penn and are regulars at the Kelly Writers House. Here is a link to the essay.

Kelly Writers House Fellow

The amazing novelist, poet, and playwright Jessica Hagedorn visits Writers House tonight (April 27) at 6:30 PM. Hagedorn is best known for her hip, funky, surreal epic novel about Manila, Dogeaters, and for editing the anthology Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction. But she's also the author of many other poems, novels, and plays -- and is currently writing a musical adaptation of Lysley Tenorio's acclaimed short story "Felix Starro." There are a few seats left. Email whfellow@writing.upenn.edu to reserve your seat.

Camara and Nadia!

Camara Brown and Nadia Laher after their fabulously good readings/performances the other day for a group of Trustee Council of Penn Women members gathered at Kelly Writers House.

great poet eyebrows

Great poet eyebrows belonging to two poets beloved by KWH'ers—Bob Perelman and Greg Djanikian. During our 4/9/15 celebration of Bob (who is retiring after this semester), Greg rose to toast him and remarked that one reason he (Greg) likes him (Bob) is his fabulous eyebrows. Later, during the reception, two posed for eyebrowish comparison.

leonard cohen celebration - video

The video recording of our recent Leonard Cohen festival is now available here. Here is a link to a preview of the event.

getting medieval - a new podcast

Episode #32 in the "Kelly Writers House podcast" series features a 20-minute excerpt from a program led by David Wallace and students in his medieval literature seminar in December 2013 - called "Getting Medieval": CLICK HERE TO LISTEN. You can also watch the video recording of the entire program by clicking here.