Writers "feast" on literary works

"A Real Moveable Feast" was a corollary to the Reading Project

The Daily Pennsylvanian
September 13, 1996

College junior Josh Schuster reads aloud at Writers House Wednesday night

College junior Josh Schuster reads aloud at Writers House Wednesday night

Photo by Pelopidas Nicolaides/The Daily Pennsylvanian

Reading from James Joyce's Ulysses, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, students, faculty and staff gathered for "A Real Moveable Feast" at the Writers House Wednesday night.

English Professor Al Filreis said the evening was conceived as a corollary to this year's Penn Reading Project, which centered around Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. About 10 students and faculty read aloud from works of literature whose authors are mentioned in Hemingway'smemoir.

"Since the Writers House will always be offering a kind of real moveable feast, we thought it a perfect follow-up to this year's Penn Reading Project," Filreis explained. College senior Elliott Witney, a member of the Writers House planning committee, said the group wanted to show that the house is open to everyone at the University. "It's an entirely accessible community for people, before and after what they have to do for school," Witney said.

Writers House, located at 38th Street and Locust Walk, opened last year as a non-residential college house program. Throughout the year, it sponsors events such as poetry slams and open microphone nights, as well as writing workshops.

Writers House Residential Coordinator Shawn Walker said this event marked the beginning of the program's first full year.

"We'll be having something basically every night," she said. "We'll be open every day from noon to 11 p.m."

College junior Kathleen Hoffman, a resident advisor in King's Court, oversees the residence's humanities program and brought two students in the program with her to Wednesday's reading.

Hoffman said many of her freshman residents were looking for the avant-garde at the University and thought they might find it at the Writers House.

One of Hoffman's students, College freshman Hema Sarangapani, said she would "definitely come to more events."

Sarangapani added that she is interested in the Writers House's general readings.

Filreis said the Writers House exemplifies the goals laid out in the administration's 21st Century Project, which include the further development of an intellectual community at the University.

Filreis explained that the Writers House is a place where students can expand upon their academic curricula with a non-academic program.

"It's a place that feels very much like a loft or studio," he added.

Walker, a 1996 College graduate, runs the daily operations of the program and is aided by three work-study students and the house's planning committee. She emphasized that events are student-based and often connected to the University's English and creative writing programs.

Open mike nights will be held Saturday nights from 9-11 p.m., Filreis said.