January's Visitors

The author of The Dramatist's Toolkit (now in its fourth printing), Jeffrey Sweet's scripts for TV movies, primetime drama and comedy and daytime have been broadcast on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and A&E, in the process winning him a Writers Guild of America Award and an Emmy nomination. His plays have won the Outer Critics Circle Award, a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, and an American Theatre Critics Association playwriting award (and two other nominations). He currently teaches writing for the Actors Studio. He will be giving an intensive weekend workship in playwrighting and screenwriting on January 25th and 26th. Contact Laura Dave for more information.

February's Visitors

Barbara Dafoe Whitehead

The author of The Divorce Culture, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead was born in Rochester, Minnesota. She received her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Amercian social history at the University of Chicago. She writes extensively on issues of family, and child well-being for many publications, including the Atlantic Monthly, Amercian Enterprise, Commonweal, Woodrow Wilson Quarterly, Times Literary Supplement, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe. Her widely discussedcover story in April 1993 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, "Dan Quayle Was Right," was nominated for the National Magazine Award and won an Exceptional Merit in Media award for magazine commentary and news analysis from the National Women's Political caucus and Radcliffe College. Most recently she has been a Guest Scholar at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. She lives in Amherst, Massachussettes.

She will be giving a reading on Tuesday, February 4th

Link to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Review

Gerald Stein

Born in 1925, Gerald Stern published his first book of poems at age 46. Since then, he has written 8 more collections, the latest of which are Bread Without Sugar(1992) and Mercy (1995). He has won the Academy of American Poets' Lamont Poetry Prize for Lucky Life, the Bess Hoskin Award from Poetry magazine, The Paterson Poetry Prize, The Mellville Caine Award, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
" Gerald Stern has a night personality: I'd say about a quarter to twelve. The joy of his work is the joy of looking back on a long day and knowing there has been some craziness in it."
--Robert Bly

Gerald Stern will be reading at Writers House on Monday, February 24th, 4:30 Pm.

March's Visitors

Tom Raworth

Tom Raworth has been the most visible and important innovative poet in England since the sixties. His numerous books include Eternal Sections, Tottering State, Moving, Relation Ship, Catacoustics, and Writing. His poems have provided jolts of quickened perception and connection for decades.

Tom Raworth will be reading on Wednesday, March 5th, 4:30 PM.

Paul Hoover

Paul Hoover, born in Harrisburg, Va., is the author of Letters to Eistein Beginning Dear Albert (1979), Somebody Talks a Lot (1983), Nervous Songs (1986), Idea (1987), and the long poem The Novel (1991). It examines the dilemma of postmodern authorship by means of found texts, parodies of detectyive, adventure, and romance novels, and comments on authorship's "invented self."

His early work was strongly influenced by surrealist poetry, especially that of Henri Michaux and Robert Desnos, and by John Ashberry's The Tennis Court Oath. The poems from the 80's are more in the New York School vein of personability and eccentric artifice. He speaks against "a preordained pose of seiousness" in the writing of poems, favoring instead music, abstraction, structure, and what he calls "the generosity of inorganic form."

In the early to middle 1980s, Hoover was at the center of an experimental poetry revival in Chicago that included Maxine Chernoff and Elaine Equi, poets whose work is sardonic, urban, and imagist in the manner of the Chicago Imagist school of painters. Hoover's poem "Desire" is about both authorship and the political realities of Tiananmen Square. With Maxine Chernoff, Hoover edits the magazine New American Writing.

Paul Hoover will be reading Tuesday, March 18th, 5pm

Spalding Gray

Spalding Gray at the Annenberg Center on March 5 & 6, with his latest performance, It's a Slippery Slope, a Hilarious Monologue about his Life Philadelphia: A compelling storyteller with a spectacular way with words, Spalding Gray has become famous by talking about himself. Spalding Gray returns to perform his latest monologue, "It's a Slippery Slope," at the Annenberg Center on March 5 and 6, 1997. A chronicler with a wry, satiric edge, Spalding Gray's obsessions and experiences form the basis for his wildly funny and confessional monologues. The Washington Post described Gray's unique brand of performance, saying, "Gray fishes up much of theglory and chaos of our times....Talking about himself--with candor, humor, imagination and the unfailingly bizarre image--he ends up talking about all of us." It s a Slippery Slope recounts Gray's efforts learning to ski late in life, and also works in accounts of his struggle to keep his balance during the major turbulence in his personal life of late.

Spalding Gray gives only two performances, both at 8 PM. Tickets are $12 for students. For more information or to order tix, please call the box office at 898-6791.

Spalding Gray brown bags his lunch on Thursday, March 6, noon-1:30pm

Alan Wald

Alan Wald, a professor of English and American Culture at the University of Michigan, is a specialist in 20th-century U.S. literary radicalism. He has published five books on aspects of radicalism, with special emphasis on the influence of Marxist ideas, the role of Jewish intellectuals, and the centrality of anti-racism. His best-known books are The New York Intellectuals (1987) and Writing from the Left (1994). Wald is also editor of a series of paperback reprints, The Radical Novel Reconsidered.

Paul Hoover will be reading on Tuesday, March 18, 5 PM.

Melba Joyce Boyd

Melba Joyce Boyd, Chair of the Department of Africana Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, is the author of four books of poetry (most recently, Letters to Che, 1996). She is also the writer, producer and director of the documentary film, "The Black Unicorn: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press." Through the lens of Dudley Randall, poet laureate of Detroit, the film touches upon civil rights, race riots, the Black Arts Movement, the labor movement, and the changing face of the Detroit cityscape.

Melba Joyce Boyd will be reading on Friday, March 28, 3 PM.

Bob Schultz

Bob Schultz from Madhouse Nudes has taught at Cornell, Virginia, and now at Luther College in Iowa. He is a prolific poet, novelist, essayist and critic.

Bob Schultz will read on monday, March 24th, 5:30 pm

April's Visitors

Michael Jennings and Jay Rogoff

Michael Jennings and Jay Rogoff both graduated from Penn in the 1970's as English majors, and both, coincidentally, went to Syracuse University for graduate work in creative writing. Michael Jennings' book is Totems, a collection of poems about animals based on the photographs of Scott Ian Barry whose work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, and in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Jennings' interest in animals began in southwestern Iran where he broke and trained horses, owned gazelles, a mongoose, and numerous dogs. He is an internationally recognized breeder of Siberian huskies. He teaches at Cayuga Community College in Upstate N.Y.

Jay Rogoff's first book is called The Cutoff, a sequence of poems about minor league baseball. It won the 1994 Word Works Washington Prize ($1000 and publication). He has most recently worked for Skidmore College as an administrator and teacher in the college's Inmate Higher Education Program, having also taught at Syracuse University and Lemone College. His work has been published in such magazines as The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, Mademoiselle, The New Republic, and The Yale Review.