The Kelly Writers House has hired a new director!

The Kelly Writers House Welcomes Our New Director,
Jennifer Snead The Kelly Writers House is proud to announce that as of July 1, 2003, the Director of the Kelly Writers House will be Dr. Jennifer Snead

Jennifer succeeds Dr. Kerry Sherin Wright in the directorship; Kerry joined the Writers House staff in 1997, and as of July 1, 2003, will continue as a member of the Writers House community, serving as Senior Advisor at the Writers House, Lecturer in Critical and Creative Writing, and Associate Fellow at the new Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing.

Jennifer Snead is a poet, scholar, and teacher. She has a Ph.D. in English from Duke University, where she taught writing and literature and trained teachers of writing. She has been a lecturer in Penn's English Department since 2000, teaching courses in poetry and poetics, the novel, and creative writing. Her areas of interest as a writer and scholar include 18th-century print culture, history and contemporary culture of the book, science fiction and fantasy writing, and poetry and poetics.

She is just completing a term as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Penn Humanities Forum. At Penn she has also been the Assistant Program Coordinator at the Kelly Writers House, and a Research Associate for the School of Arts & Sciences Office of External Affairs.

Jennifer is also an alumna of Penn's College of Arts & Sciences. When she took her BA in 1994 in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, she received the Haney Prize for the years' finest Senior Honors Thesis, and was twice awarded the College Alumni Society Prize for Penn's best undergraduate poet. (One year Jennifer took second in this contest; the winner was Shawn Lynn Walker, who then became a founder and the first Resident Coordinator of the Writers House.)

Since returning to Philadelphia in 2000, Jennifer has been closely affiliated with the House as a member of the Writers House volunteer collaborative planning committee (or "hub"). She has conceived and organized a variety of projects and programs, including "Fringing the Page," a one-day conference on Philadelphia poetry to coincide with the Philly Fringe Festival, and a recent Documentary Workshop featuring film-maker Greg Matkosky. She has also read her poems on "Live at the Writers House," the one-hour radio program broadcast in collaboration with WXPN.

When offered the Writers House directorship by a 10-person hiring committee of Writers House-affiliated students, faculty, Penn staff, and alumni, Jennifer said: "I'm thrilled and awed to have the opportunity to lead this extraordinary writing community. I found a home at the Writers House when I returned to Penn, and I can't wait to be able to take as good care of it as it has taken such good care of me."

Found in 1995-96 by a group of intrepid writers and teachers of writing, the Kelly Writers House is a fourteen-room Victorian cottage on Penn's campus that is run collaboratively by its members - a stand-alone project, unaffiliated with departments or with the for-credit curriculum, although regularly inhabited by eminent faculty in the arts and humanities and frequented by established writers who serve as teachers and mentors. It is a learning community for creative students; a reading and performance space for local artists; an intimate, informal salon for young writers seeking a place to gather; and a site for experimentation in the several arts related to writing.