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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.


join our free online open 10-week course on poetry

Kelly Writers House hosts "ModPo," a free and open online course that will run for a fifth year this fall—starting on September 10 and ending on November 21. It really is free. Join us. You will encounter poets and poems that are supposedly "difficulty" to understand but really are completely readable and enjoyable, especially the way we do it in ModPo—collaboratively. ModPo and KWH host weekly live interactive webcasts. Enroll here. Watch a 20-minute introductory video here. Watch here as ModPo'ers from around the world praise the course.

help KWH celebrate 20 years!

The Writers House is 20 years old this year. Hashtag #KWH20 and all that. We've been talking about it all year but now we're getting ready to celebrate. Join us for a party on Friday May 13th starting at 5 PM. And then again the next day, Penn's Alumni Day, for an open house from about 1 PM to 3 PM and then for our 20th Anniversary Program, from 3-5 PM. Call 215-746-POEM or email wh@writing.upenn.edu to make a reservation.

16 PennSound poems about spring

Spring comes to the home of PennSound & Kelly Writers House, and in honor of the vernal feeling the PennSound staffers have put together an anthology of poems from that vast archive about the return of warmth and green and, well, of love (ah, poetry). This selection is posted on the front page of Jacket2 magazine currently. Click here and scroll down until you see the PennSound box in the right column. To get you started, here's Paul Blackburn reading "It might as well be spring" and here's Writers House Fellow Eileen Myles performing her "April 5." The photo at right was taken by KWH Faculty Director Al Filreis on one of his springtime walks, just a block or so from 3805 Locust.

Lunch with Uzodinma Iweala - March 24 at noon

Join us on March 24, at noon, for lunch with Uzodinma Iweala. RSVP by writing wh@writing.upenn.edu or by calling 215-746-POEM. Uzodinma Iweala is a writer and medical doctor. His first book, Beasts of No Nation (HarperCollins, 2005), tells the story of a child soldier in West Africa. Beasts of No Nation won numerous awards, including the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize from Booktrust, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second book, Our Kind of People: Thoughts on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, was released in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States in the summer of 2012. He has also published numerous short stories and essays and has worked in international development on matters of health policy. Mr. Iweala is currently working on a novel titled Speak No Evil—a series of interlinked narratives set in Washington, DC—that explores the themes of choice, freedom, and what we must compromise to live in a secure society. The book follows six different characters as they interact with one another and the city in which they live.



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

#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.