KWH staff

Kelly Writers House Staff 2018-2019

The staff is an integral part of the House, coming together with the Planning Committee to generate ideas, as well as ensuring that readings, musical performances, screenings, publicity, and fundraising plans go off without a hitch. We are open to ideas, questions and comments you may have, so drop us a line.

Faculty Director: Al Filreis

Al Filreis

Al is Kelly Professor of English and Director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and is one of the founders of the Writers House, along with an intrepid group of students, faculty and staff whom he led into the cottage at 3805 Locust back in October of 1995. He has been the Faculty Director of the Writers House ever since. He has taught the Writers House Fellows seminar since 2000, and created the Writers House Book Groups among other projects; he has won the Lindback Award and the Meyer Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching and was chosen as the Pennsylvania Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in 1999. He has published books on modern poetry and has written extensively on poetry and politics and radical literary generations. Here is Al's web site.


Director: Jessica Lowenthal

Jessica has been the Director of Kelly Writers House since 2005, and an active member of its Planning Committee since 2003. As of 2010 she's the associate publisher of Jacket2. In 2009, Jessica's daughter Alice (pictured, reading spreadsheets) joined the KWH community. Jessica holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop, an MA in English from Penn, and an AB in English from Brown -- and she's putting her education to work daily, directing the activities of this vibrant and experimental literary community. Jessica's reading interests are eclectic: she loves experimental poetry, trashy novels, cookbooks, and the Philly weeklies. Visit Jessica in room 109 (all the way in the back of the house) and you'll find her eager to talk about ways you can get involved in the Writers House community.


Program Coordinator: Alli Katz

Alli Katz is the Program Coordinator for the Kelly Writers House. She's lived in West Philly since she graduated from Oberlin College in 2006, but she still introduces herself as "being from Chicago." In her sort-of-free time, she's taught comic book workshops to the cool kids at Mighty Writers, pretends to be Ernest Hemingway for City Paper, and is good at etch-a-sketching. You can find Alli all the way at the back of the house in 109 to talk about the internet, graphic novels, the 1989 NBC primetime lineup, scheduling rooms for group meetings, and working for KWH.


Associate Director of Development and Finance: Andrew Beal

Andrew Beal

Andrew Beal has a BA from Miami University in Theater, a graduate certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and took some classes at Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania. He has previously worked at a few theaters up and down the east coast, helped keep historic Plays and Players Theater alive, and briefly operated a probably illegal performing arts space in an empty restaurant on South Street. He is along for the ride with his three-year-old Rory and wife Rachel.


Development and Finance Coordinator: Sean Collins

Sean has been the Development & Finance Coordinator at KWH since October 2018. His first bio, when he was 5, included the line “I like my bike,” which is still true. He’s lived in Amherst, Salem, Seattle, and Oakland. In Philadelphia, he co-organizes a reading series called Charmed Instruments and bakes too much.


Heidi Kalloo: Assistant Program Coordinator

Heidi is the one in the pink hat. She graduated in 2018 from Swarthmore College with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Japanese. She lives in South Philly with her two cats and spends her time writing cybertext and playing video games. She will definitely be your friend if you want.


Associate Director for Recruitment: Jamie-Lee Josselyn

Jamie-Lee Josselyn is from Epping, New Hampshire, and has lived in Philadelphia since 2001. She directs KWH’s student recruitment efforts and our Summer Workshop for Young Writers, serves as an advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and teaches in the Creative Writing Program. She is also the host of the podcast Dead Parents Society. Jamie-Lee received a BA from Penn in English and French and an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College. She has published personal essays on topics ranging from her mother's life and death to her experience attending cat shows. When not on campus, Jamie-Lee may be performing some feat of endurance: running a long way, biking an even longer way, or consuming a massive quantity of food. Jamie-Lee lives in South Philadelphia with her gentlemanfriend, her dog, and her two cats.



Assistant to the Faculty Director: Lily Applebaum

Lily has lived in Philadelphia since 2008, when she started as a freshman at Penn and first became involved in the Writers House community. At the KWH she is the coordinator of many things, including but not limited to: the Fellows Program, online discussion groups, and the Brodsky Gallery. She is also a teaching assistant for the Coursera course ModPo, and has appeared in two episodes of Poem Talk. Lily graduated from Penn in 2012 with a B.A. in English and Environmental Studies. Outside of work, her interests are wide-ranging and all over the place, but this week's weather forecast and ongoing weather trends are always a good bet. Maura Reilly-Ulmanek took this picture of Lily in the Brodsky Gallery with the ladder that she has to use to do everything because she is only five feet tall.


Wexler Studio Coordinator: Zach Carduner

ZAch work for Kelly Writer's house. zach write gud. he from philladell phladeli philly. he like record in studio. he work for kelly's writer house.


Jacket2 Managing Editor: Kenna O’Rourke

Kenna O'Rourke lives in the attic.


Night Manager: Peter Schwarz

Peter Schwarz

Peter dreams of moving to Corsica where he would own a 1966 Shelby Cobra, eat civet de sanglier (wild boar) but obviously not every day, write a novel about something and learn Turkish. He'll settle for a Doberman puppy for now.



Assistant to the Assistant Director: Zoe Braccia

It's 2017, and she's almost a fifth of a century old, and Zoe is still obsessed with Justin Bieber. Not even for his beautiful, crooning voice, but just for the person he is deep down. His true character is most represented through one of her favorite quotes of his: "I used to freak out at arcades, but now I'm like, whatever." Amazing. Provocative, raw, sensitive, nostalgic.


Program Assistant: Perren Carrillo

Perren loves dogs, staying hydrated and eating other people's food.


Press Assistant: Alyson Del Pino

Alyson is a speck of dust among a lot of other specks of dust, but a very cute one at that.


Web Master: Kaliyah Dorsey

Kaliyah is a freshman in the College. She likes to write and is figuring out everything else.


Web Assistant: Sophia DuRose

Sophia is a sophomore at Penn who loves poetry, reading, writing, and making people laugh. With or at her- either way works. You can find her drinking coffee or doing homework while fantasizing about coffee. She loves dogs, specifically pugs, so if you have a pug and would like to make a certain writer very happy, feel free to let her pet your dog.


Wexler Studio Assistant: Annie Fang

Annie Fang

Annie likes fragrance free lotion, catbug, and the way her dad once pronounced the word broccoli in a Macaroni Grill.


Purchasing Librarian: Heather Finnegan

Heather Finnegan

Heather is the sophomore star of the books team and the coolest Russian-speaking vegan you'll ever meet. She was born in 1998 but has the soul of a 70s rocker queen/dad.


Program Assistant: James Fisher

James Fisher

James Fisher is in his third year at Penn. He enjoys performance poetry and making people laugh.


Program Assistant: Amleset Girmay

Amleset Girmay is a junior who holds down the fort on the books team. Even when she's eating Qdoba and faking it 'til she makes it. Which is often. I missed her when she was in France. It felt like she was gone so long that I thought she was a senior.


Program Assistant: Tasha Hutnick

Might be a sophomore. Might be wearing a tiny hat. Might be quoting / singing something from a musical. Might be rehearsing / quoting Shakespeare. Might be making really obscure references. Also, might not exist.


Editorial Assistant for Jacket2: Meerie Jesuthasan

Meerie Jesuthasan

Meerie is in the College studying History. She's from a lot of places but has not looked back since discovering the pure joy of online shopping in the United States of America. She is probably just joking about being a communist.


Assistant to Lily Applebaum: Jacob Kind

lily's assistant

asmr champion

tRuTh SaYeR


Web Master: Becca Lambright

Becca Lambright

Becca is from Cleveland and likes unsweetened iced tea. She is the bassist for Bloomers Band where they call her Yung Bec. If you were interested in knowing, she is a Capricorn. This is her dog, Bear.


Program Assistant: Eva Lewis

Eva Maria Lewis is an activist, advocate, and artist from the Southside of Chicago, currently studying God knows what at the University of Pennsylvania's College of Arts and Sciences. She has seen every single episode of Supernatural.


Jacket2 Editorial Assistant: Kelly Liu

Kelly is Kelly is Kelly.


Web Master: Lisa Liu

Lisa has fallen down zero flights of stairs this year.


Assistant to Jamie-Lee Josselyn: Ian McCormack

Ian doesn't believe awkwardness exists.


Program Assistant: Shayna O’Reilly

Shayna O'Reilly

Shayna is a junior who rarely knows what’s going on and is way too calm about it. She hails from northern Jersey and plans to major in Political Science. Her pastimes include watching obscure foreign films, having existential crises, dancing at inappropriate times, and baking cookies. Talk to her about feminism or Mediterranean food.


Editorial Assistant for Jacket 2: Nicholas Plante

Shares a cajón with three friends in different states. (Maybe he’ll let the next guy use it some day)


Wexler Studio Assistant: Adelaide Powell

Adelaide Powell is a sophomore studying communications and film. Prior to coming to Philadelphia, she lived in Copenhagen, Denmark and has moved around frequently. Besides traveling, Adelaide enjoys reading, writing, eating good food, and watching movies.


Program Assistant: Allison Ricks

Allison is asofidnewoigmos, loves AHHHHHH, and only takes ghghghghghhg in her coffee. On any given day you can find her trtoignsknfffffffff, or snuggling up with her aHHHAAHAH. If you see her around the house, don't hesitate to say "hdhshhdeeeeeeeeeereeeeerreeeee!"


Wexler Studio Assistant: Emily Rush

Emily Rush lives in Philadelphia with her daughter, a black and white bunny named Bunny. Bunny has floppy ears and has never been to the Writers House, but Emily feels certain that she would benefit from a visit.


Wexler Studio Assistant: Nick Seymour

Nick Seymour

Nick Seymour hails from the far off land of Columbia, South Carolina. He is a junior studying communication. He claims to be working as a Wexler Staffer because of his interest in digital media secretly, he is only working at the Writers House for tea, cookies, and the joy of sweeping.


Wexler Studio Assistant: DuBois Stewart

DuBois is a sophomore working as a Wexler Student. DuBois enjoys laughing and cats. Bring me your funniest memes, or your cutest cats, and I'll be your friend for life.


Program Assistant: Autumn Wynde

Autumn Wynde

Autumn is a junior in the College. She likes scavenger hunts, mobiles, and hanging out with her cactus, Fernando.


Wexler Studio Assistant: Chelsey Zhu

Chelsey is a freshman who loves English and Classics. Her interests include watching The Good Place, binging pumpkin-flavored things, and reminding everyone she's from Tennessee.