September 2014

Monday, 9/1

Tuesday, 9/2

Wednesday, 9/3

Thursday, 9/4

Friday, 9/5

Writers House Open House

1:00 PM throughout the House

The Kelly Writers House Open House is an opportunity for new and old students to explore the House. We'll have book giveaways, a t-shirt-embellishment table (bring a shirt you'd like to decorate), poem-making stations, and plenty of ways for you to meet community members and student leaders and learn about ways to get involved here. All are welcome.

Saturday, 9/6

Sunday, 9/7

Monday, 9/8

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Turn Your Big Idea into a Book

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

Former ArtsEdge resident Cristin OKeefe Aptowicz will join us to speak about the lessons she learned during her residency — and how to turn a big idea into a book.

Cristin OKeefe Aptowicz is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Year of No Mistakes (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013), and two books of nonfiction, most notably Dr Mütter's Marvels: A True Tale of Innovation and Intrigue at the Dawn of Modern Medicine, which will be released by Penguin / Gotham Books in September 2014. Recent awards including the University of Pennsylvania's ArtsEdge Writer-in-Residency (2010-2011), a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship (2011) and the Amy Clampitt Residency (2013). She currently lives in Austin, TX, with her two eccentric rescue dachshunds. For more information, please visit her website at

Tuesday, 9/9

Writing about Mental Health

Junior Fellows Program

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

As this years recipient of the Kelly Writers House Junior Fellows Prize, Hannah White has undertaken a project to make the Writers House a space where we can talk about issues of mental health and illness from a writers perspective. The first event, WRITING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, will be held on Tuesday, September 9, at 6pm. In traditional "7–Up" style, seven different people (students, professors, community members) will each select and then write/speak about an important novel, short story, or poem dealing with issues of mental (in)stability. "Important" can mean anything here: personally important, culturally important, historically important, obscure but interesting, challenging to the traditional ideas of illness and wellness, etc. We hope that a wide range of perspectives and literary works will bring together seemingly disparate subsets of the wider community—and will also reveal plenty of interesting ideas about health, culture, relationships, and what is "normal."

Katie Antonsson is a current senior English major at Penn, a second-year transfer from Vassar College. Originally from Los Angeles, she is an avid reader and writer who has written three novels and several short stories to date. She is currently the managing editor of Philadelphia website Rock On Philly and hopes to continue editing for music-oriented publications after graduation.

  • Work: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Max Cavitch (Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 19104-6273) is the author of American Elegy: The Poetry of Mourning from the Puritans to Whitman and of numerous articles on American literature and material culture, poetry and poetics, cinema, and psychoanalysis. He is co-editor of the book series, Early American Studies, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press and by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, wehre he is also a member of the Executive Council.

  • Work: "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Brianna Krejci is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying sociology and philosophy. She has gone through various struggles in mental health related to depression and eating disorders and this subject is something that she believes should be discussed openly within a campus community. She helped to co-found a group on campus called "Penn Poised", a group for body image positivity. Through this outlet, Brianna has been able to reach many people and help them find peace with themselves. She is also the Co-President of the Penn Vegan Society and on the boards of Penn Running Club and the Penn Consortium of Undergraduate Women. Through these involvements, she shapes her identity and finds a place to structure her mental health.

  • Work: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Ilya Vinitsky is Professor and Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. His main field of expertise is nineteenth- century intellectual, emotional and spiritual history of Russia. His books include Ghostly Paradoxes: Modern Spiritualism and Russian Culture in the Age of Realism (University of Toronto Press, 2009; A Cultural History of Russian Literature (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2009; together with Andrew Wachtel), and Madness and the Mad in Russian Culture (Toronto University Press 2007; co-edited with Angela Brintlinger). He teaches courses on various aspects of Russian intellectual and emotional history, including "Russian Nights: Ghosts in Russian Culture," "From the Other Shore: Russia and the West," and "Madness and Madmen in Russian Culture." In 2010, Vinitsky received SAS Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching.

  • Work: "God Grant That I Not Lose My Mind" by Alexander Pushkin

Phoebe Wang is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, and studies Psychology and Fine Arts. She currently works as a trauma interviewer for Penn Medicine, and a research assistant for the Positive Psychology Center. In her free time, Phoebe enjoys racing bikes and drawing old fruit in her house. She also recently learned (and confirmed) that eating chia seeds does not result in looking like a chia pet.

  • Work: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Sara Jaffee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. She studies how children are affected by abuse and neglect. When she is not working, she hangs out with her family, tries to keep up with her New Yorker subscription, and occasionally binge watches Netflix original programming.

  • Work: The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

Annie Persons is a senior English major and creative writing minor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She is passionate about reading, writing, and discussing poetry.

  • Work: "The Worm" by Hilda Doolittle

Jamie-Lee Josselyn is the Associate Director for Recruitment at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, an instructor of nonfiction writing at Penn, and a College House Fellow at Hill House on campus. She received her B.A. from Penn and her M.F.A. from Bennington College. She has also taught writing at the New England Young Writers Conference, at St. Paul's School's Advanced Studies Program, in Philadelphia public schools, and elsewhere. She has published writing on topics ranging from cat shows to bicycling across the country to her mother's life and death. She lives with her gentleman-friend, her 2 cats, and her dog.

  • Work: The Suicide Index by Joan Wickersham

Wednesday, 9/10

Speakeasy open mic night

7:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Rosa Escandon
watch: Part 1 and Part 2 of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to Part 1 and Part 2 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, 9/11

African Voices: TJ Dema and Gabeba Baderoon

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Tsitsi Jaji
co-sponsored by: Writers Without Borders, Provost's Interdisciplinary Arts Fund and The Center for Africana Studies
watch: the Introduction and Q+A of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to the Introduction and Q+A of this event

Where can you find new African writing today? On a Beyoncé single, in a feature length film crammed with a-list actors, on the Man-Booker and PEN prize lists, inner publishers' series like the African Poetry Book Fund, on TED-Talks, and right here at Penn. Join us for African Voices, a new series celebrating vibrant writing by women of the African continent. This Fall we welcome poets Gabeba Baderoon (a pioneering voice of the Muslim experience in South Africa) and TJ Dema (who established the spoken-word scene in Botswana). And in the Spring we welcome NoViolet Bulawayo (author of the award-winning novel We Need New Names, set in Zimbabwe and Michigan). This series is supported by the Provost's Interdisciplinary Arts and Culture Fund, Kelly Writers House Writers Across Borders, and Africana Studies and curated by Tsitsi Jaji. All readings are free, open to the public, and followed by discussion with the authors.

TJ Dema is poet and arts administrator living in Gaborone, Botswana. She is an honorary fellow of the University of Iowas International Writing Program (2012), former chairperson of the Writers Association of Botswana and runs Sauti A&PM, a Botswana-based arts administration organization. For her work within Botswanas literary community she was named an Arise Magazine African Changemaker (2013) and a St. Louis Top 40 under 40 Catalyst (2014). Her chapbook Mandible (2014) was published by Slapering Hol Press for the African Poetry Book Fund as part of the Seven New Generation African Poets box set.

Gabeba Baderoon is a South African poet and the author of three poetry collections, The Dream in the Next Body (2005), The Museum of Ordinary Life (2005) and A Hundred Silences (2006). The Silence Before Speaking, a selected volume of her poetry translated into Swedish, was published in 2008. The Dream in the Next Body was named a Notable Book of 2005 by the Sunday Independent and was a Sunday Times Recommended Book. A hundred silences was a finalist for the 2007 University of Johannesburg Prize and the 2007 Olive Schreiner Award. In 2005, Baderoon received the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Poetry and held the Guest Writer Fellowship at the Nordic Africa Institute in Sweden In 2008, she held a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Italy and a Writer's Residency at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. She teaches Women's Studies and African Studies at Pennsylvania State University, and is a member of the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund. See for further details about her work.

Friday, 9/12

Saturday, 9/13

Sunday, 9/14

Monday, 9/15

Writers House Planning Committee Meeting

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe


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, 9/16

On Cid Corman: A Panel Discussion

Featuring Thomas Devaney, Gregory Dunne, Al Filreis, and Frank Sherlock

4:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Join us for an open-ended conversation about the life and legacy of Cid Corman, a key figure in the history of American poetry in the second half of the 20th century.

On Cid Corman: A Celebratory Reading

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

We have invited eight poets, scholars, and fans of Cid Corman—Al Filreis, Laynie Browne, Thomas Devaney, Gregory Dunne, Pattie McCarthy, Jenn McCreary, Joshua Moses, and Frank Sherlock—to read and comment upon selected Corman poems, one poem per person.

Wednesday, 9/17

A celebration of 3808: A Journal of Critical Writing

5:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Each semester, instructors teaching Critical Writing seminars across a wide range of disciplines at Penn nominate the best essays written by undergraduates in their classes. A faculty editorial board selects essays from among the nominees to publish in 3808: A Journal of Critical Writing. A student editorial board selects the best essay in the collection as the winner of the Henry LaBarre Jayne Essay Prize.

Thursday, 9/18

A Concert Reading of Shelley's Prometheus Unbound

5:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

Organized by: Marcia Hepps, Jim Schlatter, and Peter Schwarz
Sponsored by: Creative Ventures
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Eight actors will perform a concert reading of excerpts from British Romantic poet and political radical Percy Bysshe Shelley's lyrical drama Prometheus Unbound.

This concert reading is the kick off event for Unbinding Prometheus, a multi-strand arts and humanities project which includes a series of Shelley seminars hosted and moderated by Eric Alan Weinstein, The Great Poems Series: Unbinding Prometheus MOOC on OpenLearning, a digital humanities platform for Shelley scholarship, and a day conference at the University of Pennsylvania in Spring 2015.

Mel Bentley is pursuing an MFA in poetry at Temple University. Work has appeared in several locations including Boog City, Tinge and Fact-Simile. Chapbooks &parts and Stub Wilderness were released from Damask Press and Well Greased Press, respectively.

Anthony Adair is a recent graduate of the University of the Arts' Acting Program. A Colorado native, Anthony moved from Littleton, CO to Philadelphia four years ago to pursue an education and an acting career. He is currently understudying the part of Prince Conti in La Bête at the Arden Theatre, and was last seen this spring in a production of J.C. Lee's Into the Clear Blue Sky (dir. Rae Labadie).

Hannah Gold has performed with the Wilma Theatre (The Real Thing and Don Juan Comes Home From Iraq), Shakespeare in Clark Park (The Tempest), InVersion Theatre (Shepard/Beckett) and InterAct Theatre (Microcrisis). Hannah graduated from Vassar College with a degree in English and has studied with the National Theatre Institute.

Marcia Hepps received her BFA in theatre from Barnard College and her MFA from Brandeis University. She studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and has acted, directed and taught theatre from the Sundance Institute in Utah to Bread and Puppet Theatre in Vermont. Most recently, Marcia has worked as dialect teacher at The University of the Arts, and in performance she has played Julia in Lend Me a Tenor at Delaware Theatre Co. and in her solo show Voices along the Pathway at the ArtsBank in Philadelphia.

Bi Jean Ngo graduated from The Actor's Studio Drama School with an MFA in acting. She also has a Bachelor of Science from Boston University's College of Communication. She has appeared onstage in Philadelphia at the Arden Theatre, Interact Theatre, 1812 Productions, Theatre Horizon, and also does on camera work. She also teaches acting and is a public speaker at the National Constitution Center.

Clare O'Malley is a Philadelphia-based actor who was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. A graduate of The University of the Arts, Clare continues to work on both sides of the Atlantic at such theatres as The Abbey, The Gate (Dublin), The Pleasance Theatre (Edinburgh), and regionally at The Arden, PTC, and Theatre Horizon. Clare will be appearing in Grease: The Musical in Dublin and in Private Lives at The Walnut Street Theatre later this season.

A proud native of Minnesota, Jim Schlatter has been a member of the Theatre Arts faculty at Penn since 1989. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota, his M.A. from Villanova University, and his PhD from the City University of New York. He wrote his dissertation on the life and work of the renowned Polish theatre director, Kazimierz Braun. In addition to teaching courses in acting, directing, advanced acting and directing, and theatre history, Jim directs productions for the Theatre Arts Program, many of which have served as the research site for the Senior Honors Thesis Project in acting. Jim has a special interest in modern and contemporary American theatre and drama and has published articles and delivered numerous conference papers on major American playwrights. He served as Director of the Theatre Arts Program from 2004 to 2007, and in the 2007-2008 academic year Jim received an award for Distinguished Teaching by Affiliated Faculty. A member of Actors Equity Association since 1984, Jim has performed in over sixty stage productions.

Jahzeer Terrell is a recent graduate of the University of the Arts and was last seen as James Smith in New Freedom Theater's and the Cliveden House production of Liberty to Go to See. He is deeply grateful for the opportunity to lend his voice and talent to Shelley's spirited language.

Friday, 9/19

Saturday, 9/20

Sunday, 9/21

Monday, 9/22

A Lunch Talk with Matt Flegenheimer

From University City to the city desk of The New York Times

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

sponsored by: The Povich Journalism Program
hosted by: Dick Polman
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Matt Flegenheimer (C'11) is a metro reporter for The New York Times. He will soon begin covering City Hall, after two years writing about transportation in and around New York. He has also covered Occupy Wall Street, breaking crime news, and—as is the blessing and curse of many new metro reporters—quite a few animal stories. At Penn, he majored in economics.

Feminism/s: What is feminism?

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

Presented by the Feminism/s series. Hosted by Virginia Seymour (C16). Ask nine people "what is feminism?" and youll get nine different answers. Join us for a night of feminist story telling and explorations of personal feminisms, with short talks by community members Melanie Adley, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Victoria Ford, Sabrina Gill, Allison Harris, Joanna Kamhi, Sam Shrivastava, Liz Park, and Lance Wahlert. Sponsored by the Fund for Feminist Projects.

Tuesday, 9/23

Careers in Journalism and New Media

Sabrina Rubin Erdely (C'94), Maria Popova (C'07), and Melody Joy Kramer (C'06), with moderator Stephen Fried (C'79)

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: The Daily Pennsylvanian, The Nora Magid Mentorship Prize, and The Povich Journalism Program
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen: to an audio recording of this event

A star-studded alumni panel of journalists and media experts reveals what you need to know to get a job in print or broadcast journalism, book publishing, new media, and beyond. Panelists include Sabrina Rubin Erdely (C'94) an award-winning feature writer, investigative journalist, and contributing editor at Rolling Stone; Maria Popova (C07), an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curator of the culture blog; Melody Joy Kramer (C'06), digital strategist and associate editor at NPR; and moderator Stephen Fried (C'79), award-winning investigative journalist, essayist, and teacher.

Wednesday, 9/24

Thursday, 9/25

Friday, 9/26

Saturday, 9/27

Sunday, 9/28

Monday, 9/29

LIVE at the Writers House

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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 (88.5 FM). Six times annually, Michaela Majoun hosts a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, all from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN. This month's LIVE features Leeway-grant awardee Debra Powell-Wright and For Women Collective presenting "From Womb to Womanhood — Black Girls Matter." For more information, contact Producer Alli Katz ( LIVE is made possible by generous support from BigRoc.

Tuesday, 9/30

Out of One Dream Another Is Born

Melissa Buzzeo, Julie Patton, Samantha Giles

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

In "Choralizing Cultures," Eileen Myles says that "one by one, as artists, you carry a notion of us-ness when you create." Poets will read from their work and discuss poetrys potential for sculpting new social environments in our ever-evolving political moment. Hosted by Frank Sherlock, poet laureate of Philadelphia.