Annual programs

Writers House New York

Once a year since 2002, Susan and Louis Meisel have sponsored a benefit at the Louis K. Meisel Gallery at 141 Prince St. in SoHo to raise money in support of the Kelly Writers House Young and Emerging Writers Fund. Because of the generosity of Louis and Susan, who have donated the use of their gallery and the costs of a delicious reception, 100% of the receipts from this annual benefit go directly toward the Kelly Writers House young writers fund.

We wish to thank the Meisels for their inspiring support of this annual event, for their support of the Kelly Writers House Art Gallery, and for their generous contributions to our furniture budget, which has allowed us to purchase bookcases and a beautiful leather couch.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

LORENE CARY

Lorene Cary’s non-fiction includes magazine articles and blogs as well as her memoir Black Ice, and a collection of stories for young readers, Free! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad. Novels include The Price of a Child, chosen as the first One Book One Philadelphia offering; Pride; and her most recent, If Sons, Then Heirs. Cary has also written scripts for videos at The President's House exhibit on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. For 20 years Cary has taught fiction and non-fiction at UPenn; now she invites her students to publish on SafeKidsStories on Medium.com, which she began to focus on children’s safety and wholeness. In 1998 Cary founded Art Sanctuary to enrich urban Philadelphia with the excellence of black arts. To create an intentional transition, she stepped down as director in 2012. Cary was president of the Union Benevolent Association; and from 2011-2013 she served as a member of Philadelphia's School Reform Commission. Honors include: UPenn’s Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching, The Philadelphia Award, and honorary doctorates from Swarthmore, Muhlenberg, Colby, and Keene State Colleges, and Arcadia and Gwynedd Mercy Universities.

EDWIN TORRES

Edwin Torres is a self-proclaimed “lingualisualist” rooted in the languages of sight and sound. He is a poet whose highly acclaimed performances and live shows combine vocal and physical improvisation and theater. He is the author of several collections including Ameriscopia (2014) and One Night: Poems For The Sleepy (2012); chapbooks including Lung Poetry (1994), with photographs by Luigi Cazzaniga; and recordings like Oceano Rise, Novo, and Holy Kid. His work has been widely anthologized, and his visual poetics have been exhibited at Exit Art, EFA Gallery in NYC, and a graphic retrospective “Poesís: The Visual Language of Edwin Torres” at the Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago. A longtime member of Real Live Poetry (formerly Nuyorican Poets Café Live), he has collaborated in a variety of media, and created and conducted a series of structured improvisations called Poets Neurotica. Torres has received fellowships from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, the New York State Foundation for the Arts, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. He is co-editor of the journal/app Rattapallax.

NINA FRIEND

Nina Friend (C’16) majored in English and minored in Theater Arts at Penn, and is currently working toward a masters degree at Columbia Journalism School. Nina received honors in creative writing for her narrative nonfiction thesis about restaurant servers, called The Other Side of the Table, which was advised by Beth Kephart. When she isn’t Instagramming doughnuts, Nina can be found rapping the Hamilton soundtrack and re-reading Harry Potter. Her personal heroes include Primo Levi, Buzz Bissinger, and whoever invented cookie butter.

DAVID MARCHINO

David Marchino (C'16) is a nonfiction writer and memoirist born and raised in Philadelphia. His work has appeared in The Penn Review and The Daily Pennsylvanian. He received his BA in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed his honor's memoir project He Will Be Remembered: A Father's Crowded Life under the guidance of Beth Kephart. A Kelly Writers House affiliate by day, a pizza delivery boy by night, his best days are those filled with new books, red sneakers, and a car that ignites on the first key turn.

BECCA LAMBRIGHT

Becca Lambright (C’19) is a sophomore from Cleveland, Ohio studying English and Creative Writing. She was a recipient of the 2015 Norman Maclean Nonfiction Award and was a national finalist in the Norman Mailer Writing Awards. Her work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Cleaver Magazine, Textploit, Polyphany HS, Aerie International, and plain china’s Best Undergraduate Writing. In her free time she performs as a member of an all-female comedy troupe and plays violin at the local campus bar.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

BUZZ BISSINGER

Buzz Bissinger (C’76) is a non-fiction writer celebrated for his career in investigative journalism and sports writing. Though perhaps best known for his first book, Friday Night Lights (1990), Bissinger first met critical acclaim in 1987 when his investigative report on the Philadelphia court system for the Inquirer won him a Pulitzer Prize, shared with two colleagues. Bissinger is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, where his 1998 piece "Shattered Glass," an expose on New Republic journalist Steven Glass, revealed that more than half of the pieces he wrote for that magazine had been entirely fabricated. He is the author of six books, and his journalistic work has been published in Sports Illustrated, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. Bissinger and his family split their time between Philadelphia and the Pacific Northwest.

ELLEN UMANSKY

Ellen Umansky (C’91) has published fiction, essays, and articles in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Salon, Tablet, Playboy, and the short-story anthologies Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge and Sleepaway. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia and has been awarded a residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her first novel will be published by William Morrow in 2017.

JAMES LA MARRE

James La Marre (C’11) has published poetry and criticism with DIS Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, and How to Sleep Faster (Arcadia Missa Publications, London). He’s the author of Daydreams (Snacks Press, 2015) and Somewhere Out West (Robinson Press, 2011) as well as the director and producer of One on One, a podcast and audio database of conversations with writers and artists working with and around digital distribution. He talks and writes on media, materiality, and obsessions in Brooklyn, New York.

ALINA GRABOWSKI

Alina Grabowski (C'16) is from the most Irish town in America: Scituate, Massachusetts. She has received the creative writing department's undergraduate fiction prize twice, been published in Peregrine and Cleaver Magazine, and was awarded the inaugural Clearman Cottage Residency this past spring. She also serves as a coordinator for Write On, an after-school creative writing program for West Philly middle schoolers. This summer she spent 8 days on a road trip from San Diego to Portland and back, where she stranded the car in the middle of Crater Lake National Park with a flat tire. She is currently at work on a novel.

CARLOS PRICE-SANCHEZ

Carlos Price-Sanchez (C'19) is a Philadelphia-raised poet in his first year at Penn. His work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Awards, and the Pegasus Poetry Foundation. His poems have also appeared in the PostScript Journal, Winter Tangerine Review, Iowa Young Writers Anthology, and elsewhere. Carlos currently works as a community TA for Al Filreis' Modern Poetry Course (ModPo) at the Kelly Writers House. He has previously held jobs as a Whole Foods dishwasher, a lawn technician, and a hostel janitor. He hopes Questlove sees this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

KENNETH GOLDSMITH

Kenneth Goldsmith is the author of eleven books of poetry, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb (ubu.com), and the editor of "I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews," which was the basis for an opera, "Trans-Warhol," that premiered in Geneva in March of 2007. He teaches writing at The University of Pennsylvania, where he is a senior editor of PennSound, an online poetry archive. In May 2011, he was invited to read at President Obama's "A Celebration of American Poetry" at The White House, where he also held a poetry workshop with First Lady Michelle Obama. In 2011, he co-edited Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing and published a book of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age, which won the 2011 Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Book Award. In 2013, he was named as the inaugural Poet Laureate of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. More about Goldsmith can be found here and here.

JULIA BLOCH

Julia Bloch (G’11) is the author of Letters to Kelly Clarkson, a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Recent poems and translations also appear in Fence, 1913: A Journal of Forms, and Manor House Quarterly. From 2005 to 2011, she curated the Emergency reading series at KWH. She holds an MFA from Mills College, a PhD from Penn, is an editor at Jacket2 and recently relocated from Los Angeles back to Philadelphia to work as associate director of the Kelly Writers House.

CAROLINE ROTHSTEIN

Caroline Rothstein (C’06) is a New York City-based writer, performer, body empowerment advocate, and educator. She has performed spoken word poetry and facilitated workshops at colleges, schools, and performance venues around the United States for more than a decade. She hosts the YouTube series “Body Empowerment” sharing her own journey as a means to promote positive body image worldwide. Her award-winning one-woman play “faith” received Outstanding Overall Production of a Solo Show in the 2012 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. A former member of and championship coach for The Excelano Project, Penn’s nationally-acclaimed spoken word poetry organization, she was the 2004 and 2006 UPenn Grand Slam Champion. She has a B.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, xoJane, The Jewish Daily Forward, Narratively, Big Think, Poetica Magazine, and elsewhere.

VICTORIA FORD

Victoria Ford (C'15) is from Greenville, South Carolina and her love for literature is equally entwined with a love for barbecued foods, 90s black sitcoms, and her own (yes, her own) amateur, stand-up comedy. At Penn, she is a member of The Excelano Project, a spoken word collective on campus, and she is participating for the first time in Penn's annual show, The Vagina Monologues, as the director. She has been writing poetry since she was a middle school bus rider and since that time she has had the fortune to be published in quite a few publications at Penn and elsewhere.

DYLAN LEAHY

Dylan Leahy (C’16) is from a small town you haven't heard of in Central Pennsylvania. He has been working at the Kelly Writers House since his freshman year. When he was in preschool and asked what his career of choice would be, he wrote down "movie maker"—and now, he is majoring in Cinema Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. Dylan used to write reality television recaps for 34th Street Magazine and is currently spending most of his free time working on one of two screenplays…

Thursday, November 7, 2013

ANTHONY DECURTIS

Anthony DeCurtis is a Distinguished Lecturer in the creative writing program at Penn as well as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, where his work has appeared for more than thirty years. He is the author of In Other Words: Artists Talk About Life and Work and Rocking My Life Away: Writing About Music and Other Matters. Most recently he collaborated with Clive Davis on Davis's autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life, a New York Times best-seller. He won a Grammy for his essay accompanying the Eric Clapton box set Crossroads, and he holds a Ph.D. in American literature.

STEPHEN METCALF

Stephen Metcalf is a contributor to Slate Magazine and host of the Slate Culture Gabfest. His work has appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic and The Nation. He is currently writing a book about the 1980s.

MARIA POPOVA

Maria Popova (C’07) is the founder and editor of Brain Pickings, an inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more. She has written for Wired UK, The Atlantic, Nieman Journalism Lab, The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, and Design Observer, among others, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. She is on Twitter as @brainpicker.

MADELEINE WATTENBARGER

Madeleine Wattenbarger (C'16) hails from Philly and hasn't lived more than two blocks from a Wawa since age three. In addition to her work-study position at Kelly Writers House, where she eats most of her meals, she's contributed poetry and longform criticism to Filament Magazine and works as arts editor for 34th Street Magazine. She recently co-founded TwitCrit (twitcrit.wordpress.com), a blog and program considering Twitter writing through the light of literary criticism and poetics. Madeleine currently is telling people she studies English, creative writing, gender studies and art history, in some as-yet-unknown configuration of majors, minors and dabblings.

ELIE SOKOLOFF

Elie Sokoloff (C’17) is a freshman in the College at Penn. She graduated from Riverdale Country School where she wrote for the Riverdale Review, her school newspaper, and Riverdale Without Subtitles, the school's language magazine. She has also blogged for several community service organizations, including Pencils of Promise, Power of Pink, and Educational Alliance. At Penn, she writes for 34th Street Magazine and The WALK. Elie likes piña coladas but prefers not to get caught in the rain or any other inclement weather.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

GREGORY DJANIKIAN

Gregory Djanikian (C'71) is Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published five collections of poetry: The Man in the Middle, Falling Deeply into America, About Distance, Years Later, and most recently, So I Will Till the Ground, all with Carnegie Mellon University Press. His poems have appeared in such publications as The American Scholar, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The Nation, Poetry, and in many anthologies and textbooks. His awards include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Eunice Tietjens Prize and Friends of Literature Award from Poetry magazine, and the Anahid Literary Award from the Armenian Center of Columbia University.

ROLF POTTS

Rolf Potts was the 2011-12 ArtsEdge Writer-in-Residence at Penn, and he has taught at the Paris American Academy creative writing workshop since 2005. His essays and reportage have appeared in venues such as the New Yorker, The Atlantic, National Geographic Traveler, Salon, Slate, the New York Times Magazine, National Public Radio, and the Travel Channel. He is the author of two books, Vagabonding and Marco Polo Didn't Go There, and his essays have been anthologized in more than twenty writing collections, including Best American Travel Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction. More information available at his author website, www.RolfPotts.com.

GRACE AMBROSE

Grace Ambrose (C’11) is a writer, curator, and art historian, and the current Spiegel Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from Penn with a degree in the History of Art and a minor in Creative Writing, she went on to complete her master’s degree in curatorial studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where she was a Thouron Scholar. Her research interests include the relationships between subcultures and institutions, and the role of the installation photograph in the construction of a history of exhibitions. She was the recipient of the Kerry Sherin Wright Prize and is this year's Writers House Junior Fellow. Ongoing projects include co-organizing Philadelphia's Ladyfest (June 2013), and publishing an artist's book that uses postcards from the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a point of departure. She lives and works in Philadelphia, the greatest city in America.

JESS BERGMAN

Jess Bergman (C’14) is an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing and an unofficial minor in marathoning-cult-TV-shows-on-Netflix. In addition to her job as Program Assistant at the Kelly Writers House (where her dishwashing prowess is unparalleled), Jess is an Arts and Entertainment Intern at Philadelphia City Paper and the Creative Director of Filament, a magazine publishing long-form journalism and culture-writing that she helped to found last year with three other Penn undergrads. Sometimes, she even sleeps.

NICK DEFINA

Nick Defina (C’16) has been writing poems since second grade. Since then, he has enjoyed ten wonderful years of support, inspiration and creativity at Friends School Haverford and Friends’ Central School. Currently a freshman undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, Nick intends on majoring in English (as if he would choose anything else) and, while at Penn, reviving his passion for vinyasa yoga. A self-admitted Dickinsonian at heart, with a love for snow, vibrant autumns and picturesque college towns, he hopes to eventually move to rural Massachusetts and live in a small house near the coast. He greatly appreciates all that the Kelly Writers House has done for him, and hopes to one day reciprocate the generosity, patience and humor he has found there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Susan Cheever

Susan Cheever has published five novels and seven works of nonfiction ranging from memoir to literary history to psychological investigation. Her most recent book, Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography, is a vivid, humane examination of a working writer, civic intellectual and headstrong daughter whose communal and familial struggles inform choices many young women face today. A Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the Authors Guild Council, the winner of an Associated Press Award and a director of the Yaddo Corporation, Cheever has earned a reputation as one of America's most respected nonfiction writers for the emotional intensity and compassion evident in her work. Cheever has taught at Yale, Hunter College, and the New School, and she is on the faculty at the Bennington Writing Seminars. Kelly McMasters of Newsday has said that Cheever "puts herself under the microscope here because no one else was willing, and she does so with grace."

Jay Kirk

Jay Kirk is the author of Kingdom Under Glass (Henry Holt), which was named one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2010 by the Washington Post. His stories have been published in Harper's, GQ, Nerve, and the Chicago Reader, and have been widely anthologized. He is now writing a book about his recent and sordid travels to Transylvania and the Arctic Circle.

Trisha Low

Trisha Low (C'11) understands the difference between restraint and restraints and she's talking about poetry, okay? She is the author of Confessions [of a variety] (Gauss PDF), and her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing (Northwestern University Press, edited by Craig Dworkin and Kenneth Goldsmith), Artifice, and HEAT MAP magazine, amongst others. Activist essays have appeared on the Where Is Your Line blog as well as Carnal Nation. She is a graduate student in Performance Studies at the Tisch School of Arts at NYU, and she co-curates the fall season of the Segue Reading Series with fellow Writers House grad Kaegan Sparks.

Sanaë Lemoine

Sanaë Lemoine (C'11) was born in Paris and moved to Melbourne, Australia, when she was four. She returned to France when she was twelve where she completed her high schooling. She majored in English, with a concentration in creative writing, and has just begun her MFA in fiction writing at Columbia. For two years she was a research assistant for New York Times journalist Elaine Sciolino, working on "La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life" (published June 2011 by Holt, Henry & Company, Inc). In her spare time, Sanaë likes to cook, eat, discover new restaurants, and write about food.

Nina Wolpow

Nina Wolpow (C'14) scoffed at her father's suggestion that she look at Penn; then she found the Kelly Writers House, which gave her good reason to stay on the better side of the 38th Street Bridge. Thanks in part to Al's liberal advising techniques, she has no idea what she's majoring in and hopes to remain happily undeclared for as long as possible. Nina is the Food & Drink Editor for 34th Street Magazine, one of Stephen Fried's two student interns, a sometimes contributor to DP Sports, and a big fan of KWH's journalistic writing program. In the future, she'd like to win a Pulitzer, but probably would settle for a job.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Paul Hendrickson

Paul Hendrickson's most recent book, Sons of Mississippi (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003), a study of the legacy of racism in the families of seven Mississippi sheriffs of the 1960s, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in general nonfiction and the Heartland Prize presented annually by the Chicago Tribune. In addition, it was named by many newspapers to their "Top 10" lists for books published in 2003. Before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2005, Hendrickson worked for thirty years in daily journalism. He was a staff feature writer at the Washington Post from 1977 to 2001. His other books are: Seminary: A Search; Looking for the Light: The Hidden Life and Art of Marion Post Wolcott (a finalist for the 1992 National Book Critics Circle Award); and The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War (finalist for the National Book Award in 1996). Hendrickson is deep into his next nonfiction book, which has to do with Ernest Hemingway.

Julia Bloch

Julia Bloch teaches contemporary literature and poetry at Penn, where she is finishing her PhD in English literature, and has been a Writers House Hub member since 2005. At the Writers House she also co-curates the Emergency reading series and works as a co-editor of the poetics journal Jacket2. Julia grew up in Northern California and Sydney, Australia, and holds an M.F.A. from Mills College. She has published poetry recently in Sidebrow, Aufgabe, P-Queue, and the chapbooks The Selfist (Katalanché Press) and Letters to Kelly Clarkson (Mifflin Street Press).

Lee Huttner

Lee Huttner (C'10) majored in English at Penn, and is currently studying Humanities and Social Thought at NYU. His undergraduate research concentrated on the medieval and early modern periods, and he is particularly interested in history, sexuality, and performance in literature, as well as theories of censorship and translation. He worked at the Kelly Writers House between his sophomore and senior years, planning and organizing events such as the Media Res program on medieval literature, the EII reading series on the legacy of Marlowe, and Speakeasy open-mic nights.

Kristen Martin

Kristen Martin (C'11) has been working, studying, and eating (sometimes baking, but mostly eating) at the Kelly Writers House for the past three years. An English major focusing in Creative Writing, she is mostly interested in narrative nonfiction. She will write a creative thesis memoir about her family this spring. This past summer, Kristen was the food intern at Philadelphia Magazine—a job which provided her with a near encyclopedic knowledge of Philly-area restaurants. Her work has also been published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, Penn Appetit, and the Daily Pennsylvanian. She tutors writing at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and is the current recipient of the Douglas W. Caterfino scholarship for a Young Writer.

Allyson Even

Allyson Even (C'13) serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Kelly Writers House, overseeing our literacy programs for community schoolchildren and initiatives to reach underserved populations, like book drives for Books Through Bars. She networks with area writing groups like Spells Writing Lab and Mighty Writers, and helped to launch The Blacktop, an online literary journal for Philadelphia students.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Charles Bernstein

Charles Bernstein is the Donald T. Regan Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of 40 books, ranging from large-scale collections of poetry and essays to pamphlets, libretti, translations, and collaborations. Among his more than twenty books of poetry are "Girly Man," "With Strings," "Rough Trades," "The Nude Formalism," "Legend" (with Bruce Andrews, Steve McCaffery, Ron Silliman, and Ray DiPalma), and "Parsing." He is the co-founder and co-editor, with Al Filreis, of PennSound; and editor, and co-founder, with Loss Pequenno Glazier, of The Electronic Poetry Center. In the 1970s, Bernstein co-founded the influential journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. His honors and awards include the Roy Harvey Pearce/Archive for New Poetry Prize and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His new book "All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems" is due March 2010 from Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

Elizabeth Van Doren

Elizabeth Van Doren has worked as a children's book editor for more than twenty years. She has published a wide variety of books in all genres, from picture books to middle grade novels to young adult fiction. She has worked with many highly-lauded writers and has nurtured the careers of successful new writers, most notable among them Deborah Wiles, whose second novel, "Each Little Bird that Sings," was a finalist for the National Book Award. Other books Van Doren has edited have been named Book Sense Children's Pick, ALA Notable Book, Child Magazine Best Book of the Year, Coretta Scott King Honor Book, New York Times Top Ten Books of the Year, among many other awards and honors. In addition to acquiring, editing, and publishing books, Van Doren has also spoken frequently at writers' conferences and has led writing workshops. As a former high school teacher and a parent, she is very attuned to children's interests and what sparks their imagination, and looks for manuscripts that are emotionally resonant for children.

Tracie Morris

Tracie Morris is a multi-disciplinary poet who emerged as a performer through the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe in New York, and has since worked theater, dance, music, and film. She is the author of two poetry collections, "Intermission" and "Chap-T-her Woman." Primarily known a "musical poet," she has worked with an extensive range of internationally recognized musicians and artists. Her sound poetry was featured in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. She is the recipient of numerous awards for poetry, including the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and the Creative Capital Fellowship. Her poetry has been widely anthologized and often featured in commissioned works for organizations including the International Festival for the Arts and Aaron Davis Hall. She was the 2007-2008 Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Molly Johnsen

Molly Johnsen (C'10) has been taking writing workshops at Penn for three years and was thrilled and indeed, a bit intimidated, to get to meet Joan Didion when she was a member of the Writers House Fellows Seminar last spring. Although she has dabbled in fiction, Molly most enjoys writing about herself. Her work has been published in The Green Couch and in the SAS Frontiers online magazine. She won an honorable mention in the Creative Writing Program's nonfiction Contest in 2009 and she was selected to read a piece at the Teen Girls Speak Out event through the First Person Arts Festival in 2007. Molly also spent one delightful year as a work study staffer at the Kelly Writers House and has been a member the planning committee since.

Lily Applebaum

Lily Applebaum (C'12) is new to poetry-writing and uses zeugma whenever possible, and works judiciously as a research assistant for Al Filreis and on her poetry in a secret Word document (yes, the journal is a red herring). She has also been a student of Writers House Director Jessica Lowenthal and of Charles Bernstein. Lily is hoping to declare a double major in English and Environmental studies, and spent the summer working as a nature teacher to many elementary school children and five leopard frogs. She is interested in repetition, nouns of direct address, demonstrative pronouns, and transition words. You there, don't be surprised that this is her next sentence. Conclusively, she is interested in repetition.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lynne Sharon Schwartz

Lynne Sharon Schwartz is the author of nineteen books of fiction, nonfiction, translation and poetry. New York Magazine selected Schwartz's novel about September 11, 2001, The Writing on the Wall for its Best Literary Fiction Award in 2005. Her novel Rough Strife, about the vicissitudes of a long marriage, was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway First Novel Award and a National Book Award. Leaving Brooklyn (1989), a coming-of-age novel, was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award. Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Essays. Schwartz has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Foundation for the Arts. She is currently on the faculty of the Bennington Writing Seminars and at Columbia University. She was one of our 2008 Kelly Writers House Fellows.

Gregory Djanikian

Gregory Djanikian (C'71) is Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published five collections of poetry The Man in the Middle, Falling Deeply into America, About Distance, Years Later, and most recently, So I Will Till the Ground, all with Carnegie Mellon University Press. His poems have appeared in such publications as The American Scholar, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The Nation, Poetry, and in many anthologies and textbooks. His awards include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Eunice Tietjens Prize and Friends of Literature Award from Poetry magazine, and the Anahid Literary Award from the Armenian Center of Columbia University.

Randi Hutter Epstein

Randy Hutter Epstein, MD (C'84) is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, as well as a medical journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Daily Telegraph and several national magazines. She is currently working on a book to be published by W.W. Norton about the medical and cultural history of childbirth. Previously, she worked as a medical reporter for the London bureau of the Associated Press, and was the London bureau chief for Physician's Weekly. In 1996, she was a Reuter Foundation Fellow for Medical Journalists at the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University. She received her M.D. from Yale University, her M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and her B.A. from Penn.

Adrian Khactu

Adrian Khactu's work has been published or is forthcoming in the Atlantic Monthly, Carve, Heritage, and In/Vision. He has won the Richard Moyer Prize in Fiction, the Ezra Pound Prize in Literary Translation, and the William Carlos Williams Prize from the American Academy of Poets, as well as fellowships from Clarion West and Vermont Studio Center. Adrian is currently a PhD candidate in the English department at Penn, teaches in the Critical Writing Program, and is an active member of the Writers House Planning Committee. He holds creative writing degrees from Stanford and Temple Universities.

Danny Goldstein

Danny Goldstein (C'08) is a fiction writer and former beloved staff member of both the Kelly Writers House and the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing. During his undergraduate career, his work appeared in the Penn Review and he was both a first and third place winner of the Phi Kappa Sigma Fiction Prize. Danny also received honors in creative writing for his collection of six short stories, called Break, which was advised by Max Apple. Since graduating this spring, Danny has moved to New York, where he currently works in public relations.

Alex Goldstein

Alex Goldstein (C'11) spent too much money on cabs last summer while investigating the state of New York City writing and publishing for her blog, the blog of a blogger who doesn't get blogging. Continuing her work in the world of online publications, she is currently the editor-in-chief of a blog about Penn on the website CollegeOTR.com. Her writing has been published in Teen Ink, The Walk, Kedma, and Penn Review. She is also a member of the Writers House Planning committee.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lee Eisenberg

Lee Eisenberg (C'68) spent seventeen years at Esquire, where he served as editor-in-chief through the 1980s. In 1995, Eisenberg was hired to oversee creative development at Time magazine. He helped launch Time for Kids, a newsmagazine for children, and was involved with many of Time's initial online activities. He also worked on a number of special issues and projects, including a two-year Time-CBS News collaboration known as The TIME 100, which culminated with the selection of Time's Person of the Century. In 1999, Eisenberg was appointed Executive Vice President and Creative Director at Lands' End, where he oversaw all creative and marketing activities. In 2003, he was promoted to the company's Office of the President, and served as Chief Creative and Administrative Officer. He resigned in March 2004 to begin work on The Number (Free Press), a New York Times bestseller about secure financial planning. Eisenberg has written numerous magazine articles and columns, as well as several other books. Titles include The Ultimate Fishing Book (Houghton Mifflin), Atlantic City: 100 Years of Ocean Madness (Clarkson Potter,) and Breaking Eighty (Hyperion Press). His work has appeared in Fortune, Money, and The New York Times, among many other publications.

Max Apple

Max Apple, beloved Penn writing professor and member of the Writers House community, has published three collections of stories, The Oranging of America, Free Agents and most recently, The Jew of Home Depot. He is the author of two novels, Zip and Propheteers, and two books of nonfiction, Roommates and I Love Gootie. Roommates was made into a film as were two other screenplays, Smokey Bites the Dust and The Air Up There. Five of his books have been New York Times Notable Books. His stories and essays are widely anthologized and have appeared in Atlantic, Harper's, Esquire, and many literary magazines and in Best American Stories and Best Spiritual Writing. His essay "The American Bakery" was selected by The New York Times as one of the best to appear in the first 100 years of the Book Review. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. His Ph.D. is in 17th century literature. He has given readings at many universities and taught at Michigan, Stanford, NYU, Columbia, and Rice University, where he held the Fox Chair in English.

Kristen Gallagher

Kristen Gallagher (C'91, CGS'99), a Northeast Philadelphia native, has been a member of the Writers House community since the Spring of 1996. She received a Ph.D. from the Buffalo Poetics Program and is now Assistant Professor of English Literature at Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College in New York. She recently won third prize in the "Reinventing Paul Friere" Essay Contest at the Paulo Friere Institute at UCLA. Her extended poetic work, No Goal, is available in several chapbooks. She is a member of the collective "Cheap Art for Freedom," a group that gives away cheap art and teaches the making of cheap art.

Moira Moody

Moira Moody (C'06) is the current Writers House Junior Fellow. A lifelong Philadelphian, she came to Penn via the Mayor's Scholarship Program and majored in English. After graduating, she spent the last year as an AmeriCorps member at YouthBuild, a high school for dropouts. In 10 months she completed 1,700 hours of community service and 5,000 push-ups. Moira worked as an undergraduate staffer at the Writers House, and continues to participate in a house-sponsored fiction group and in the Writers House Planning Committee. Her writing has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Pennsylvania Gazette, and The Philadelphia Public School Notebook.

Gabe Oppenheim

Gabe Oppenheim (C'09) is a nonfiction writer currently working on a project about the history of Philadelphia boxers. He worked for several semesters as a weekly columnist at The Daily Pennsylvanian and has won a Columbia Scholastic Press Association award for writing about on-campus issues. Gabe won first place in the Creative Writing Program's 2007 prize in nonfiction. His writing has also appeared in Peregrine.

Pia Aliperti

Pia Aliperti (C'07) is a poet currently working as an editorial assistant at Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group in Philadelphia. At Penn, she won several poetry prizes from the College Alumni Society and graduated with honors in creative writing. She worked at the Kelly Writers House as a project assistant during her senior year. Pia's work has recently appeared in The Penn Review, The F-Word, and Peregrine.

Gabe Crane

Gabe Crane (C'08) spent last summer paddling and blogging down the Mississippi River in a canoe. His blog, called The Mississippi Project, was sponsored by the Kelly Writers House and the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing. Gabe is an editor at 34th Street Magazine and has written for The Next American City and other publications. He was a 2006-2007 recipient of the CPCW's Eisenberg Literary Journalism Fellowship.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Paul Hendrickson

Paul Hendrickson was the 2005 recipient of the Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. His most recent book, Sons of Mississippi, won the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award in general nonfiction, among numerous other accolades. The book is a study of the legacy of racism in the families of seven Mississippi sheriffs of the 1960s. Before Penn, Hendrickson worked for thirty years in daily journalism. He was a staff feature writer at the Washington Post from 1977 to 2001. Eventually, he needed to try to find a place--a home--where he could continue to work on books and the occasional magazine article and to be involved with gifted, creative people. So now, luck beyond dream, he finds himself conducting writing workshops at Penn in advanced nonfiction. His other books, in addition to Sons are: Seminary: A Search, Looking for the Light: The Hidden Life and Art of Marion Post Wolcott; and The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War. Paul is deep into his next book, which has to do with Ernest Hemingway.

Charles Bernstein

Charles Bernstein is the Donald T. Regan Professor of English at Penn and is a member of the Writers House hub, or planning committee. He has published three collections of essays - My Way: Speeches and Poems, A Poetics, and Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984 and is the author of over twenty collections of poetry, including With Strings, Republics of Reality: 1975-1995, Dark City, Islets/Irritations; and Controlling Interests. Bernstein is the editor of several collections: Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word, 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium, and The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy, the audio CD Live at the Ear, and the poetics magazine L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, whose first issue was published in 1978. Bernstein is executive editor of the Electronic Poetry Center and co-director (with Al Filreis) of PennSound.

Alice Elliott Dark

Alice Elliott Dark (C'76) is a short story author and novelist. She is the author of two story collections, Naked to the Waist and In the Gloaming, and one novel Think of England. Her short story "In the Gloaming" was selected by John Updike for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories of the Century and was made into a film by HBO. She has been awarded an O. Henry Award and her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Dark has led workshops at the Writer's Voice in New York City, Bard College, Manhattanville College, and Rutgers University.

Nate Chinen

Nate Chinen (C'97), who has a background in jazz drumming, has written music criticism and reviews for JazzTimes, the Village Voice, and Weekend America, a syndicated public radio program. He has co-authored Myself Among Others: A Memoir, the autobiography of jazz impresario and Newport Jazz Festival founder, George Wein. Nate is an alumnus of the Creative Writing Program (his specialty was poetry) and he is a former Writers House Assistant Coordinator, member of the Writers House "Hub" and was the co-founder of the Virgin House Band, which played regularly at the Writers House during his undergraduate days.

Phil Sandick

Phil Sandick (C'03) comes to "Writers House New York 2006" all the way from Madison, where he is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing and is teaching an undergraduate writing seminar at the University of Wisconsin. A beloved member of the Writers House community, Phil worked as an Assistant Program Coordinator, the Assistant to the Faculty Director, and the Assistant Director for Development, in addition to having been a member of the hub, co-coordinator of Radium (the fiction writing workshop), and a coach in the "Write On!" program for Philadelphia middle school students. In 2004-2005, Phil was awarded the Hub's Kerry Sherin Wright Prize for his proposal to bring poet Hal Sirowitz to the Writers House.

Tahneer Oksman

Tahneer Oksman (C'01) is a Brooklyn-based poet and fiction writer with an M.A. from the University of Chicago's Program in the Humanities, where she wrote a thesis entitled "Behind the Veil: The Poetics of Depression." A longtime member of the Writers House community, Tahneer worked at 3805 Locust Walk as the Assistant to the Faculty Director in 2001-2002. Her writing has appeared in Xconnect, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and elsewhere -- and she graced us with her presence and a wonderful speech at our recent 10th anniversary celebration, where she said that it was the memory of her powerful experience at the Writers House that brought her back to Penn after five years away.

Aichlee Bushnell

Aichlee Bushnell is the current recipient of the Behrman Family Scholarship for a Young Writer. A sophomore Creative Writing and Comparative Lit major, Aichlee is a member of the Writers House staff and planning committee. Also a Mayor's Scholar, she is an alumna of the Alliance and Understanding program and is currently the corresponding secretary of the United Minorities Council. Aichlee has performed in Penn's benefit production of The Vagina Monologues, and last spring was awarded honorable mention in the Phi Kappa Sigma fiction contest. Aichlee has read her poetry at the October Gallery in Philadelphia and has performed with poets Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka.

Cecilia Corrigan

Cecilia Corrigan, a poet, is a sophomore Creative Writing and Religious Studies major from Narberth, PA. An assistant editor at Xconnect magazine, Cecilia's writing has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer and 34th Street Magazine. She is a member of the Writers House Planning Committee, the Philomathean Society, iNtuitions Experimental Theatre, and Amnesty International, and has co-hosted a poetry-based radio show on Penn's WQHS entitled "Shrimp Cracker Valentine." Cecilia is currently writing a play under the mentorship of Charles Bernstein which will be produced in Philadelphia this winter.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Anthony DeCurtis

Anthony DeCurtis, a member of Penn's Creative Writing faculty and Writers House regular, and contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he has written for more than twenty years, and worked on staff for nine years (1986-1995) as a writer and senior editor. His Rolling Stone cover subjects include U2, R.E.M., Janet Jackson, Sting, the Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Garth Brooks, Jerry Garcia, Whitney Houston, Steve Winwood and Billy Joel. He has written or produced several shows for television as well. Every fall term, Anthony teaches his writing seminar, "The Arts & Popular Culture," at the Writers House. His newest book is In Other Words : Artists Talk About Life and Work.

Jennifer Egan

Brilliant novelist, short-story writer, and essayist Jennifer Egan (C'85) is author of The Invisible Circus and Emerald City, was a Thouron Fellow and has been a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her stories and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, Mademoiselle, Ploughshares, and The New York Times Magazine. She lives in New York City. Her novel, Look at Me (2002), is about the modern tyranny of image over substance. She has read from her work at the Writers House several times.

Hank Herman

Hank Herman (C'71 and Penn parent) is the author of Super Hoops, a prize-winning series of 15 basketball novels for kids published by Bantam Doubleday Dell. "The Home Team," his column in the Westport News, has taken several top honors. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Outside, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Family Fun, Parenting, Ladies' Home Journal, and McCall's. Hank's newest book is ACCEPT MY KID, PLEASE! A Dad's Descent into College Application Hell.

Kenneth Goldsmith

Kenneth Goldsmith has taken Penn's writing community by storm. He is teaching a new year-long undergraduate seminar that is a collaboration of the Writers House, the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, and the ICA (Penn's Institute for Contemporary Art). A BFA in sculpture, a visual artist of great range, Kenny publishes as an innovative poet and has created and edits what is by far the most comprehensive web site of visual, concrete and sound poetry (UbuWeb). Among Goldsmith's books and compact discs include Tizzy Boost, No. 111 2.7.96-19.20.96, and Fidget. Fidget is Goldsmith's transcription of every movement made by his body during thirteen hours on Bloomsday (June 16), 1997. Recent works include Day, which consists of a retyping of one day's New York Times. Kenny's writing has been called some of the "most exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry" by Publishers Weekly. He is also the host of a weekly radio show on New York City's WFMU. At Penn, he is a senior editor of PennSound, our new online poetry archive. Kenny's dad, Ted, graduated from Penn in 1959.

Lorene Cary

Lorene Cary (C'78, G'78) is one of the most distinguished of all Penn alumni writers. She has been affiliated with the Writers House project since its founding in 1995-96. And she is the founder and currently the director of Art Sanctuary, a North Philadelphia-based project that promotes, supports and celebrates urban black arts. As a member of Penn's Creative Writing faculty, she has taught a series of fiction and creative non-fiction workshops, and special seminars in which students study contemporary writing and teach that writing in community schools and churches. Her novel The Price of a Child was chosen as Philadelphia's "One Book, One City" text for 2003. Black Ice is her best-selling memoir. She has just completed a new novel for young adults which her readerly daughter Zoe calls "a report book."

Janine Catalano

Janine Catalano, in Penn's senior class ('06), is a member of the Writers House staff and a two-time veteran of the Writers House Fellows Seminar. She is currently the Food & Drink editor at 34th Street magazine, treasurer of Penn for Choice, and a Ben Franklin Scholar. Janine has also been awarded a 2005-06 Penn Humanities Forum Fellowship for a project investigating the relationship between word and image in the poetry of Ferlinghetti and Eliot.

Yona Silverman

Yona Silverman, a native Manhattanite, is also a Penn senior ('06). A writer of fiction and nonfiction, she is currently Editor-in-Chief of Penn's 34th Street magazine, where she previously served as Managing Editor. Her journalistic writing, for which she won a 2004 Gold Circle Award, has also appeard in Philadelphia Weekly. A 2003 Penn fellowship enabled her to complete a project titled "Daddy, I Have to Kill You," about Sylvia Plath and parenthood. She has been hailed by Penn's Max Apple as one of the finest writers among our current students.

Sam Donsky

One of Penn's most talented young poets, Sam Donsky, currently a junior (C'07), has taken every poetry writing workshop and poetics course Penn offers. As a sophomore, he took second prize in the College Alumni Society Poetry Contest for 2004-05, and of his poems judge Lawrence Raab remarked that they "are headlong dives into a rich accumulative syntax. They generate a lively sense of a voice leaping from one consideration to another." Sam is a member of the Writers House "hub" (or Planning Committee).

October 27, 2004

For pictures from this event, please click here.

Dan Fishback

Dan Fishback (C '03) is a politically charged songwriter and performance artist, now living in Astoria, Queens. Dan spent much of his undergraduate life at Writers House: as a member of the 2002 and 2003 Fellows Seminars, as a performer with his band Cheese On Bread, and as an active member of the Writers House Planning Committee. Additionally, Dan was one of the most popular and engaging columnists at The Daily Pennsylvanian. In spite of his passion for music, Dan continues to ghost-write memoirs and work on a play. We're glad to say that Dan regularly performs in Philadelphia and the Writers House.

Jamie-Lee Josselyn

A Writers House regular and member of the Hub, Jamie-Lee Josselyn (C '05) is a nonfiction writer and senior at Penn. In addition to writing for 34th Street Magazine and The Pennsylvania Gazette, she studies French and is working as Project Assistant to Al Filreis this semester. She is currently working on a prose documentary project on the life of her mother.

Beth Kephart

Beth Kephart (C'82) is the author of A Slant of Sun: One Child's Courage, Into The Tangle of Friendship, Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World, and other books. A recent National Book Award Finalist and National Endowment for the Arts Recipient, Beth has written for many journals, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic , Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post Book World. She has had her work anthologized, both shorts stories and nonfiction in Best American Sports Writing 2003 and 2001, Salon.com, and New York Times Writers on Writing among others.

Nicole Tabolt

Nicole Tabolt (C '06), is the first recipient of The Douglas W. Caterfino Endowed Scholarship Fund for a Young Writer. Her poetry which has appeared in The Rising Times, Teen Voices, and the Penn Review, often addresses city life and current political issues. After graduating, Nicole plans to return to her hometown of Boston to enter the field of education.

Edwin Torres

Edwin Torres is a spoken-word poet known for his affiliation with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (his art is said to be somewhere between Finnegans Wake and I Love Lucy). Edwin is the author of Fractured Humorous, I Hear Things People Haven't Really Said, and the CD Holy Kid. New York Press pronounced him the Best Performing Poet, saying: "His bent for soul bending language play is without equal." Edwin's diverse influences range from avant-garde visual artists to the poetry of Wallace Stevens to modern sound experiments. Ethan Petitt of Nose Magazine writes that in Torres' poems, "words and meaning go ka-plunk like soft percussion." It is our honor to have Edwin speak on behalf of the Writers House at this event.

Suzanne Maynard Miller

Suzanne Maynard Miller (C'89) is a playwright whose work has been produced in Seattle, Los Angeles, New Haven, Providence and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is now working full-time on her writing in Brooklyn, having earlier taught playwriting at Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design. She was a member of the Andy Wolk Screenwriting Lab at the Writers House last winter.

November 13, 2003

This event was the second annual program at Meisel Gallery, a benefit for the Writers House "Young and Emerging Writers Fund." 120 friends of the Writers House, including many Penn alumni based in New York, attended. The event featured readings by Max Apple, Tom Devaney, Jessica Lowenthal, Jessica Ginsberg, Charles Bernstein, Ellen Umansky, and Kathleen DeMarco and was co-hosted by Al Filreis, Jennifer Snead and Blake Martin.

November 7, 2002

Greg Djanikian

On November 7, 2002, the Meisel Gallery in Soho hosted the first "Writers House New York" event, featuring remarks and readings by Blake Martin, Greg Djankian (in the photo on the right), Kathy Lou Schultz, Paul Hendrickson, Kerry Sherin Wright, Herman Beavers, Al Filreis, and Lauren Rile Smith. One hundred and twenty New York-based friends of the Writers House, many of them Penn alumni, attended.