January 2013

Tuesday, 1/1

Wednesday, 1/2

Thursday, 1/3

Friday, 1/4

Saturday, 1/5

Sunday, 1/6

Monday, 1/7

Tuesday, 1/8

Wednesday, 1/9

Thursday, 1/10

Friday, 1/11

Saturday, 1/12

Sunday, 1/13

Real Arts Discussion

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

Monday, 1/14

A meeting of the Writers House Planning Committee (the "Hub")

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: jalowent@writing.upenn.edu

From the time of its founding in 1995-1996, the Kelly Writers House has been run more or less collectively by members of its community. Our original team of intrepid founders—the group of students, faculty, alumni, and staff who wanted to create an independent haven for writers and supporters of contemporary writing in any genre—took for themselves the name "the hub." "Hub" was the generic term given by Penn's Provost, President, and other planners who hoped that something very innovative would be done at 3805 Locust Walk to prove the viability of the idea that students, working with others, could create an extracurricular learning community around common intellectual and creative passions. To this day, the Writers House Planning Committee refers to itself as "the hub"—the core of engaged faculty, student, staff, and alumni volunteers from whom the House's creative energy and vitality radiates.

Tuesday, 1/15

Bernheimer Symposium: Comics

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

Established in the memory of Comparative Literature teacher and scholar Charles Bernheimer by Writers House Advisory Board member Kate Levin (GAS'96), the Bernheimer Symposium is organized each year by the Writers House Program Coordinator, who takes the opportunity to think expansively about programming possibilities.

Organized by Program Coordinator Alli Katz, this year's Bernheimer Symposium features the brains behind Locust Moon Press, creators of the comics anthology Once Upon a Time Machine, a “compendium of future fairy tales” published by Dark Horse Books; and an upcoming collection of work inspired by Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland. They'll be sharing both their work and insight into the process of realizing large collaborative artistic projects.

Wednesday, 1/16

Speakeasy open mic night

Poetry, Prose, and Anything Goes!

7:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Rosa Escandon and Isa Oliveres
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Our Speakeasy Open Mic Night is held once a month. We invite writers to share their work, or the work of others, in our Arts Cafe. Speakeasy welcomes all kinds of readings, performances, spectacles, and happenings. Bring your poetry, your guitar, your dance troupe, your award-winning essay, or your stand up comedy to share. You should expect outrageous (and free!) raffles for things you didn't know you needed, occasional costumes, and, of course, community members who love writing.

Thursday, 1/17

Brodsky Gallery Opening

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

The Brodsky Gallery is an art gallery integrated with the ground floor of the Writers House. Up to six exhibitions take place during the academic year from September through May. Openings feature a reception for the artist and an accompanying program; examples include panel discussions, poetry readings, film screenings, and technique demonstrations by the artist. Through exhibiting a diverse array of art media and cross-disciplinary programming, the Brodsky Gallery at KWH seeks to engage Penn students and the broader Philadelphia community with the interrelationships between literary and visual arts. Thanks to the generosity of Michael and Heidi Brodsky, whose support makes our gallery space possible, the Brodsky Gallery is a permanent project of Kelly Writers House.

Mary Smull is an artist, writer, and curator living in Philadelphia. Recently, her work has been exhibited regionally at the Philadelphia International Airport, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Temple Contemporary, Philadelphia, PA, and nationally at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Public Fiction Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Cranbrook Museum of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Internationally, she has shown at the Korea National University of the Arts in Seoul, South Korea and Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her work has been featured in Fiberarts Magazine, American Craft Magazine, and will be featured in the upcoming publication The Unfinishables, funded by the Arts Council of England. Smull teaches in the Fiber Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD, and holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

Friday, 1/18

Saturday, 1/19

Sunday, 1/20

Monday, 1/21

Tuesday, 1/22

A fiction reading by Olympia Vernon

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: Africana Studies and the English Department
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Olympia Vernon grew up in a small town on the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, the fourth of seven children. She has a degree in criminal justice and received her MFA from Louisiana State University in the spring of 2002. Olympia has twice been granted the Matt Clark Memorial Scholarship and was nominated for the Robert O. Butler Award in Fiction in 2000. She is the author of A Killing in this Town, Logic and Eden, for which she won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award in 2004. In 2005 she won the Governor's Arts Award in the Professional Artist category in Louisiana. In 2008 A Killing in This Town won the first annual Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence award.

Wednesday, 1/23

Pattie McCarthy and Jena Osman

Whenever We Feel Like It Poetry Series

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via PennSound
listen: to an audio recording of this event on PennSound

The Whenever We Feel Like It Reading Series is put on by Committee of Vigilance members Michelle Taransky and Emily Pettit. The Committee of Vigilance is a subdivision of Sleepy Lemur Quality Enterprises, which is the production division of The Meeteetzee Institute.

Pattie McCarthy's most recent book is Marybones, published in December 2012 from Apogee Press. She is also the author of bk of (h)rs, Verso, and Table Alphabetical of Hard Words – all also from Apogee. Her chapbook L&O was published in 2011 by Little Red Leaves. Another chapbook, scenes from the lives of my parents, is forthcoming in 2013 from Bloof Books. A 2011 Pew Fellow in the Arts, she teaches literature and creative writing at Temple University.

Jena Osman's books of poems include Public Figures (Wesleyan University Press, 2012), The Network (Fence Books 2010, selected for the National Poetry Series in 2009), An Essay in Asterisks (Roof Books, 2004) and The Character (Beacon Press, winner of the 1998 Barnard New Women Poets Prize). Other publications include Jury (Meow Press), Amblyopia (Avenue B), and Twelve Parts of Her (Burning Deck Press). Osman was a 2006 Pew Fellow in the Arts, and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Howard Foundation, and the Fund for Poetry. She has been a writing fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, the Djerassi Foundation, and Chateau de la Napoule. She founded and edited the award-winning and internationally recognized literary magazine Chain with Juliana Spahr for twelve years; Osman and Spahr now edit the ChainLinks Book series together. She teaches in the MFA Creative Writing program at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Thursday, 1/24

Mind of Winter

5:30 in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
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, 1/25

Saturday, 1/26

Sunday, 1/27

Monday, 1/28

Live at the Writers House PRESENTS Philadelphia Love Notes

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Michaela Majoun

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).

Emma Fried-Cassorla was born in Germantown, then raised three blocks away from the Philly/Cheltenham boundary, so she likes to say that she was born and raised in Philly. She left for college and to follow her wanderlust all around the country from living in Glacier National Park in Montana, to working at a bagel shop in Flagstaff, Arizona.

She returned to Philadelphia seven years ago to begin her career as a neuroscientist, and stayed at a lab at UPENN researching the development of the visual system in fish. After getting a masters in Environmental Studies, she left her job this summer in search of the new -- new experiences new people, new careers. You could say that she is a reformed neuroscientist, and currently unemployed blogger, attempting to change the dialogue about Philadelphia.

Before leaving her job, she went through some major life changes which led her to search out a project and a way to meet new people. She had been obsessed with trying to find the "cool" things to do in Philly, so she decided she would just ask people what they loved. She assumed, correctly, that this would help her meet new people and experience tons of under the radar Philly places. It became a project dedicated to reminding Philly residents that there is too much in the city that is forgotten or overlooked. She is hoping to pick up on the positive momentum that is happening in the city and help to change how we talk about it.

Edith Mulhern graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, with a triple-major in French, History, and International Relations. Her theses focused on post-war immigration patterns in France and Germany, and on French films that explore hybrid identity and the immigrant experience. At Penn, she was an opinion columnist for the Daily Pennsylvanian and served on the editorial board of the Journal produced by Sigma Iota Rho, the International Relations Honor Society. After spending a year teaching in elementary schools in the depressed suburbs of Paris, she came home to Philadelphia. Outside of working at various culture-focused non-profits, she has maintained her interest in Francophone North and West Africa, through her own blog, “Machonneuse du Maghreb,” and by translating for the award-winning Tunisian current affairs blog, “Nawaat.” A proud resident of West Philadelphia, she is a firm believer in making both cultural production and consumption more inclusive and accessible.

Katie Sweeney is a freelance advertising copywriter and one half of a successful New York/Philadelphia long-distance relationship. She began her career at Barron’s Magazine where she quickly found her passion for writing headlines and taglines. Katie was the runner-up in a Smithsonian Magazine limerick contest and has appeared in McSweeney’s, Philly Style, and Skirt Magazine. When she’s not swimming, biking and running through Philadelphia, Katie mentors with Philadelphia Futures and maintains a blog of broken umbrella photography featuring contributors from around the world.

Andrew Thompson splits his time between navigating the normal world and living in a state of complete pathology. In the normal world, he goes to law school and works on projects and spends time with people he likes and people he doesn't like. In the pathos world, he mostly paces around a block in Northern Liberties trying to work out various unworkable puzzles and reverse time. However, he recently realized that the irreversibility of time is preferable to the power to reverse it, or else we would live in a recurring hellish loop of perfecting every flawed event and decision, and by living linearly, we are forced to find an unconditional acceptance of all events! He used to write lots of articles for City Paper and WHYY and various publications in the local news ecosystem but then decided to study law, because you might as well just do that, but really, it's a quite interesting field and he's much smarter now.

John Paul Titlow is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. He writes about the Internet, new media and music tech trends for ReadWrite, a popular technology news site. His work has also appeared in Billboard, Esquire, Philadelphia Weekly and other local publications. When he's not playing with music apps and reading white papers about the future of whatever, John is teaching journalism classes at Temple University and playing drums in a psychedelic rock band. He currently resides in Fishtown with his cat, Walter.

Gretchen Lohse is a native Philadelphia singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She comes from a family with deep music roots and was classically trained on violin, which is evident on her recordings. As the front woman of Philadelphia psychedelic folk rock band Yellow Humphrey, she dreams up rich, strange musical tapestries- part memoir and part tall tale- that are heavily influenced by folklore and silent films.

"Maybe it’s not nice to separate Gretchen Lohse from epically eerie/playful Philly band Yellow Humphrey...local cats and kittens like Steve Quaranta, Rick Flom and Naeemah Maddox wove oddly elegant instrumentation (flutes, melodica, xylophone, dulcimer) through slow grooves on last year’s Featherweights. But the smartly hurt lyrics and subtly contagious melodies of Yellow Humphrey’s heartbroken, heartwarming songs are Lohse’s, and her voice is a fragile and potent focus." -- A.D. Amorosi (City Paper)

Solo, she is barebones and delicate, her songs full of ghosts and unrequited love. Gretchen is currently recording an album, due out summer 2013.

Tuesday, 1/29

Edible Books Party

A Creative Ventures project

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Our Edible Book Party will celebrate works of art inspired by books and created in kitchens. All are welcome to join the festival, to browse the library of edible titles, or to contribute their own. Edible books could show up as depictions of literary characters or scenes, interpretations of titles or themes, or sculptures of actual books. Prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories.

Wednesday, 1/30

Ken Lum and Al Filreis: a conversation

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Help us welcome Ken Lum, the the new head of Penn's undergraduate program in Fine Arts (as of Fall 2012). Lum is an artist, curator, editor, writer, and teacher. He has published extensively, and a book of Lum's writings, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist, is forthcoming from Walter Koenig Books. In addition to holding faculty positions at University of British Columbia (Vancouver) and Bard College, he has realized several permanent public art commissions including for Vienna, St. Moritz, Leiden, Toronto, Vancouver and Utrecht. He is presently working on public art commissions for the cities of Seattle, St. Louis, and New Orleans. Joining Lum in conversation is Al Filreis, Faculty Director of Writers House, Director of the Center for Program in Contemporary Writing, and Kelly Family Professor of English at Penn.

UAB Winter Reading Project: The Stranger

Gerald Prince, Jean-Michel Rabaté, and others

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

sponsored by: the English Department
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

The Undergraduate Advisory Board (UAB) of Penn's English Department selected The Stranger by Albert Camus as its Winter Reading Project book. Read the book over the winter holidays and then join us for a discussion of the novel's themes led by Penn professors Jean-Michel Rabate, Gerald Prince, and others. A film screening will follow.

Thursday, 1/31


7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Alexa Bryn (C'13) invited seven students — campus personalities from Bloomers, Classless, Mask and Wig, and other comedic groups — to discuss lesser known, but really great funny writers they want you to know more about. Each presenter will speak for seven minutes and will share a short excerpt of their chosen writer's work.