Three's Company

The Pennsylvania Gazette
January/February 2003

Three's Company

During the spring semester, the Kelly Writers House Fellows Program will feature three well-known visiting Fellows: screenwriter Walter Bernstein (February 17-18), performance artist Laurie Anderson (March 24-25), and Susan Sontag, the art critic, novelist, essayist, and theorist (April 21-22).

Bernstein, who wrote the screenplays for Fail Safe, The Molly Maguires, The Magnificent Seven, and The Front, was blacklisted during the McCarthy era and could not work openly as a writer. His memoir, Inside Out, is an account of that experience.

Anderson has written and performed Stories from the Nerve Bible and the epic-length United States, though she is best known in some circles for her edgy tour with William Burroughs. (She also shared a stage with Cab Calloway.)

Sontag is the author of many essays and books, including On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, The Volcano Lover, and In America.

During each Fellow's visit, a public reading will take place on a Monday evening. The next morning, the Writers House will host a brunch, followed by a one-hour interview/conversation that will be Webcast worldwide. (To participate from a distance, write to wh@writing.upenn .edu.) Students will study the work of all three Fellows in the Writers House Fellows Seminar.

According to the Writers House Website, the idea behind the Fellows Program is to "make it possible for the youngest writers and writer-critics to have sustained contact with authors of great accomplishment in an informal atmosphere" -- and to "resist the time-honored distinction between working with eminent writers on the one hand and studying literature on the other."