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January 2010

Friday, 1/1

Saturday, 1/2

Sunday, 1/3

Monday, 1/4

Tuesday, 1/5

Wednesday, 1/6

Thursday, 1/7

Friday, 1/8

Saturday, 1/9

Sunday, 1/10

Monday, 1/11

Tuesday, 1/12

Wednesday, 1/13

Thursday, 1/14

Friday, 1/15

Saturday, 1/16

Sunday, 1/17

Monday, 1/18

KWH closed for Dr. Martin Luther King Day

Tuesday, 1/19

A lunch talk with Emma Morgenstern

"Judeo-Spanish in Greece: The Dying Language of a Survivor Community"

Terry B. Heled Travel Grant Presentation

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: to wh@writing.upenn.edu
listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Funded by the Heled Travel & Research Grant, Emma Morgenstern traveled to Rhodes and Thessaloniki, Greece, to learn about their Jewish communities. This program will explore the stories of different Jewish people in these communities and how their language, Judeo-Spanish, has shaped and been shaped by their history.

Emma Morgenstern is a senior majoring in linguistics, with minors in creative writing and cognitive science. She edits the food magazine Penn Appetit and is a member of Penn's Underground Shakespeare Company. She hopes to pursue a career in writing, education, and/or museum studies.

KWH Art opening

"Uncommonly Selected: Rorschach Drawings by Jessica Nissen"

with a talk about Rorschach-derived poetry by Diana Sue Hamilton

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Jessica Nissen splits her time between NYC, where she works as a scenic artist for the entertainment industry and Vermont, where she keeps a studio and occasionally teaches in the Art Dept. of Middlebury College. Nissen received an MFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art in 1998, a BA from Middlebury College in 1990 and earned undergraduate credits from the Rhode Island School of Design and Tyler. She has been a fellow at The Corporation of Yaddo and the Chautauqua Institution. Since 1991 she has exhibited extensively and has participated both as an artist and as an organizer/curator in several large-scale interdisciplinary art events.

Diana Sue Hamilton's poetry has appeared in mid(rib, Nap, Foursquare 3.1, and The Boog Reader 3, and is forthcoming in The Physical Poets Vol 3. Her essay on Kim Rosenfield's re: evolution appeared in the book (Les Figues Press, 2009). More of Hamilton's work can be found at http://sites.google.com/site/dianahamilton/. Hamilton's talk on Dan Farrell's The Inkblot Record is based off a chapter from her undergraduate thesis, "Borrowing Authority: Appropriated Sciences in Contemporary Poetries." The Inkblot Record compiles one-sentence responses to inkblots to reveal the problems and the poetry made possible by the invitation to overread that the Rorsach represents. Hamilton will talk about Farrell's own invitations to and warnings against interpretation within the context of the motivation for appropriations of the sciences in poetry.

Wednesday, 1/20

A reading and discussion with Tad Friend

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

introduced by: Paul Hendrickson
listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Tad Friend is the author of the memoir Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor (2009, Little, Brown and Company), which came out in September, and Lost in Mongolia: Travels in Hollywood and Other Foreign Lands (2001, AtRandom), a collection of his articles.

He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998, and writes the magazine's "Letter from California." Mr Friend's recent pieces have included articles about Hollywood's marketing tricks, the electric-car and rocket-ship entrepreneur Elon Musk, the man in charge of executions at San Quentin, and the man who hopes to introduce "green burial" to American cemeteries. He has also written profiles of William Morris agent David Wirtschafter, screenwriter Ron Bass, and San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. His article on suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge, "Jumpers," inspired the song "Jumpers" by the band Sleater-Kinney, and was turned into a documentary film, "The Bridge."

His work has also appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, The Best American Sports Writing, and The Best American Crime Reporting.

Mr. Friend is married to the New York Times food columnist Amanda Hesser. They live in Brooklyn with their young twins.

Thursday, 1/21

A poetry reading by Tonya Foster and Jen Scappettone

presented by the Emergency Poetry Series

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event at the Emergency Series' PennSound page

Emergency addresses North American poetic practice as it is centered around close-knit communities, long-distance mentorships, new media, and chapbook exchange, asking how theoretical stances and aesthetic practices are transmitted among poets at different stages in their careers. The series was launched in 2006 with support from the Kerry Sherin Wright Prize for programming at Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia, an award designed to support a project that demonstrates aesthetic capaciousness and literary communitarianism. All readings are held at the Writers House and are available online at PennSound.

Tonya Foster is the author of A Swarm of Bees in High Court, forthcoming from Belladonna and Futurepoem in 2010. She is currently completing A Mathematics of Chaos, a cross-genre, multi-media piece on New Orleans, and Monkey Talk, an inter-genre piece about race, paranoia, and surveillance, and A History of the Bitch, a collection of poems. A native of New Orleans, she resides and writes in Harlem.

Jennifer Scappettone is the author of From Dame Quickly (Litmus, 2009), and of several chapbooks, including Thing Ode/ode oggettuale (La Camera Verde, 2008), translated into Italian in dialogue with Marco Giovenale. Exit 43--an archaeology of Superfund sites interrupted by an opera of pop-ups--is in progress for . She edited Belladonna Elders Series #5: Poetry, Landscape, Apocalypse, featuring her pop-ups and prose and new writing by Etel Adnan and Lyn Hejinian (Belladonna, 2009). Pop-up scores are now being adapted for performance at Dance Theater Workshop, the Center for Performance Research, and elsewhere in collaboration with choreographer Kathy Westwater as PARK. She guest-edited the feature of Aufgabe 7, devoted to contemporary Italian "poetry of research." A selection of Neosuprematist Webtexts, filmed verse stills, was installed at the Infusoria exhibit of visual poetry, and more are coming to Speechless. She is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago.

Friday, 1/22

A discussion of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"

presented by the UAB Reading Series

3:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

The English Undergraduate Advisory Board Presents the 2009-2010 Winter Reading Project, featuring Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Each year, the UAB chooses a text to be read over the winter break, then hosts a panel discussion and celebration of the book at the start of the spring term. Join us this afternoon for a discussion of the novel with Penn English professors Roman de la Campa, Tsitsi Jaji, Suvir Kaul, and Yolanda Padilla. A reception will follow.

Saturday, 1/23

Sunday, 1/24

Monday, 1/25

LIVE at the Writers House presents the authors of Philly Fiction 2

a live taping featuring John Carroll, Christine Flanagan, Elise Juska, Benjamin Matvey, Kelly McQuain

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Michaela Majoun
produced by: Erin Gautsche
listen: to an audio recording of this event

LIVE at the Writers House is a long-standing collaboration between the Kelly Writers House and WXPN FM (88.5). Six times annually between September and April, Michaela Majoun hosts a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, along with one musical guest, all from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN. LIVE is made possible by generous support from BigRoc. For more information, contact Producer Erin Gautsche (gautsche@writing.upenn.edu).

John Carroll
John Carroll
Elise Juska
Elise Juska
Kelly McQuain
Kelly McQuain

John Carroll was born and raised in Philadelphia. He now lives just outside D.C. and is completing an MFA at American University. John's work has appeared in the Battered Suitcase, 34th Street Magazine, and Dragonfire, as well as the websites Phillyist and CHUD. In 2006 John won the Kelly Writers House Junior Fellows Award, which funded his yearlong experimental mail project, A Place to Stand Productions.

Christine Flanagan's recent work has appeared in Philadelphia Stories, The Pisgah Review, and Burning Leaf. "Return to Ithaca" was nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. Writing awards include the James D. Bartolomeo Prize from the Drexel Online Journal, Kumu Kahua Theatre Award, Chameleon Theatre Circle New Play Prize, and South Florida Writer's Contest (drama) First Prize. Her fiction and plays have been produced at InterAct Theatre's Writing Aloud, the Riant Theatre, the Actor's Center, and the Northwest Playwright's Guild. She teaches writing and literature at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Elise Juska is the author of the novels One for Sorrow, Two for Joy (2007, Pocket); The Hazards of Sleeping Alone (2004, Downtown Press); and Getting Over Jack Wagner (2003, Downtown Press). Her short stories and essays have appeared in many publications including the Hudson Review, The Missouri Review, American Literary Review, Harvard Review, the Carolina Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, the Seattle Review, American Literary Review, Esquire.com, and the first Philly Fiction . She teaches fiction writing at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Benjamin Matvey's ("Piece of Mind") fiction has been featured in Sunday Salon, Generation X Journal, and twice in InterAct Theatre's Writing Aloud series. His story "Big Secrets" was named one of Cynic Magazine's "Best of 2008." His play Brie! The Musical Dissertation was produced in Philadelphia in the summer of 2005 and he hopes to bring it back for an extended run. He is currently working with a producer to bring his first screenplay, No Regrets, to the big screen, and has completed his first novel.

Kelly McQuain, a native of West Virginia, has lived in Philadelphia more than half his life. He holds an MFA from the University of New Orleans and an MA from Temple University. He has twice won fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, as well as Philadelphia City Paper writing awards in both fiction and poetry. His stories have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rough Trade, Obsessed, the James White Review, Skin & Ink, the Harrington Gay Men's Fiction Quarterly, Wilma Loves Betty, Best Gay Erotica, and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of creative writing at Community College of Philadelphia.


"A bunch of great short stories from local talent."
—Victor Fiorillo

"Philly Fiction 2 is as varied as the city it's set in."
—Monica Weymouth, Metro

"This collection does a wonderful job of gathering some of the area's finest writers to conjure a vision of Philadelphia that is both realistic and touching.... The end result is a highly engaging collection that paints a moving picture of the City of Brotherly Love."
—Marc Schuster, Small Press Reviews

"What I love about all of these stories is that they could be happening to anyone, anywhere. But there is also something uniquely Philadelphia about them and the fact that their stories take place here make them that much richer."
—Autumn Konopka, Philly2Philly.com

"Each story represents how the people, the buildings, and the spirit of Philadelphia have aroused the creative energy in all kinds of storytellers—but the reader does not have to be familiar with the city in order to enjoy the stories in Philly Fiction 2."
—John Drain, Philadelphia Stories

Tuesday, 1/26

A reading by fiction writer Jess Row

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

introduced by: Max Apple
listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Jess Row is the acclaimed author of Train to Lo Wu (2005, Dell), a collection of short stories set in Hong Kong, which was shortlisted for the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Award. Row's short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Ploughshares, Granta, American Short Fiction, The Atlantic, Threepenny Review, Five Chapters, Ontario Review and the Harvard Review . His stories have been twice anthologized in the Best American Short Stories series, and his non-fiction writing has appeared in Slate, Kyoto Journal and The New York Times Book Review. Row currently holds a position as an assistant professor of English at the College of New Jersey.

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Wednesday, 1/27

Speakeasy: Poetry, Prose, and Anything Goes!

8:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen: to an audio recording of this event
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

Speakeasy is an open mic night held at the Kelly Writers House every other Wednesday evening. It's an opportunity for writers to share their work, or the work of others, in a friendly setting. Speakeasy was founded in 1997 and continues to be an important part of the regular Writers House programming series. We welcome poets, storytellers, singers, musicians, and anything in between to share their voices with us in the Arts Cafe twice a month. As always: Poetry, prose, anything goes!

Meetings and classes (may require registration or permission; email for more info)

Thursday, 1/28

Mind of Winter

featuring Lily Applebaum, Zoe Dare-Attanasio, Kelly Diamond, James LaMarre, Litty Paxton, Michelle Taransky, Fayyaz Vellani, and Al Filreis

5:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen: to an audio recording of this event

In January of every year, the Writers House Planning Committee embraces the post-holiday doldrums with a celebration of winter's comforts, inspired by Wallace Stevens's chilly poem, "The Snow Man." We gather here at the Writers House, stoke a big fire in the parlor, simmer several big pots of soups and stews, and share our favorite winter-themed readings with one another. Let it snow! Please RSVP to wh@writing.upenn.edu or call 215-746-POEM.

Friday, 1/29

PubCo Coffeehouse

3:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Interested in joining a student-run publication? Come out to PubCo's Coffee House event to explore 20 publications founded on a diverse array of interests! Stop by after a long week of classes to expand your literary interests, and indulge in warm beverages and delicious pastries!

Saturday, 1/30

Sunday, 1/31