September 2022

Thursday, 9/1

Friday, 9/2


1:00 PM - 3:30 PM throughout the first floor

REGISTER HERE to attend in person

Want to get involved with projects at the Kelly Writers House? Come to the Kelly Writers House Activities Fair to learn about student-led Writers House activities and initiatives, including magazines, podcasts, writing groups, community outreach, zine making, film production, and more. You can meet student leaders and representatives of Bent Button, Doublespeak, Equilibria, Excelano, F-Word, the Fiber Arts Collective, Penn Moviegoer, Penn Appetit, Penn Review, Punch Bowl, Q-ine, Quake, Wharton IBR, the zine library, and other magazines and groups. All are welcome! Questions? Please contact Writers House director Jessica at

Saturday, 9/3

Sunday, 9/4

Monday, 9/5

Tuesday, 9/6

We All Feel Like It

Whenver We Feel Like It Series

6:00 PM (ET) in the Arts Café and on YouTube

hosted by: Michelle Taransky
REGISTER HERE to attend in person
watch: here

Michelle Taransky's Whenever We Feel Like It series hosted its first "We All Feel Like It" event at the KWH in 2009, with a showcase of readers from the Kelly Writers House Hub. This semester's "We All Feel Like It" features undergraduate poets studying at Penn as well as other Philadelphia area colleges

Wednesday, 9/7


Poetry, prose, anything goes

7:30 PM (ET) in the Arts Cafe and on YouTube

REGISTER HERE to attend in person
Watch: here

Our student-run open mic night welcomes all kinds of readings, performances, spectacles, and happenings. You’ll have three minutes at the podium to perform. Bring your poetry, your guitar, your dance troupe, your award-winning essay, or your flash fiction to share.

Thursday, 9/8

A reading by Alyssa Songsiridej and Liza St. James

Cheryl J. Family Fiction Program

6:00 PM (ET) in the Arts Cafe and on YouTube

Hosted by Alli Katz

Watch: here

Alyssa Songsiridej is a writer from the Midwest who now lives on the East Coast. She is the author of Little Rabbit and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree. She is also the managing editor at Electric Literature.

Liza St. James is a writer and translator living in New York. Her work has appeared in Tin House, New York Tyrant, The Believer, Wigleaf, The Collagist, Paris Review Daily, and other publications. A former editor at Transit Books, she is a contributing editor at BOMB and a senior editor of the literary annual NOON. She teaches writing at Columbia University and The Cooper Union.

Friday, 9/9

Saturday, 9/10

Sunday, 9/11

Monday, 9/12

A conversation with Amit Chaudhuri

12:00 PM (ET) in the Arts Café and on YouTube

hosted by: Piyali Bhattacharya

Watch: here

Amit Chaudhuri is the author of eight novels, including, most recently, Sojourn. Among his other published works are collections of short stories, poetry, and essays, as well as the nonfiction Calcutta, a critical study of D. H. Lawrence’s poetry, and a work of memoir and criticism about Indian classical music, Finding the Raga. He has received the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Betty Trask Award, the Encore Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Sahitya Akademi Award, among other accolades. Chaudhuri is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and holds the titles of Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia in England and Professor of Creative Writing at Ashoka University in India. In addition, he is a singer in the North Indian classical tradition and a composer and performer in a project that brings together the raga, blues, and jazz with a variety of other musical traditions. In 2017 he received the Sangeet Samman from the government of West Bengal for his contribution to Indian classical music. Chaudhuri’s music has been regularly featured on radio and television; his version of “Summertime” was featured on the BBC 4 documentary Gershwin’s Summertime: The Song That Conquered the World.

A meeting of the writers house planning committee

5:00 PM in the Writers House Garden


The Kelly Writers House is run collectively by members of its community, especially students. The Writers House Planning Committee — also known as "the Hub" — meets monthly to discuss Writers House projects and programs. Join us at this first meeting of the year to find out about some of the things we will work on this year, including our annual marathon reading, and to find out how you can get involved with community-led events and projects.

Tuesday, 9/13

Rebecca Soffer: a conversation about Modern Loss

6:30 PM (ET) in the Arts Café and on YouTube

Hosted by: Jamie-Lee Josselyn

Sponsored by: the Povich Journalism Program Fund
Watch: here

Modern Loss is a community and movement all about eradicating the stigma and awkwardness around grief while also focusing on our capacity for resilience and finding meaning. In her new interactive guide, The Modern Loss Handbook, Modern Loss co-founder Rebecca Soffer offers candid, practical, and witty advice for confronting a future without your person, honoring their memory, dealing with trigger days, managing your professional life, and navigating new and existing relationships. You’ll find no worn-out platitudes or empty assurances here.

Rebecca Soffer is cofounder of Modern Loss, which offers creative, meaningful, and practical content and community addressing the long arc of grief. She is also coauthor of the book Modern Loss: Candid Conversation about Grief. Beginners Welcome. (Harper Wave, 2018) and an internationally recognized speaker on loss and resilience. She writes regularly across media, including the New York Times, Glamour, NBC, and CNN. She is a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumna and a former producer for the Peabody Award–winning The Colbert Report. She and her husband and sons split their time between New York City and The Berkshires.

Wednesday, 9/14

The Hellologue: meeting and welcome

Kerry Prize Program

6:00 PM (ET) in the Arts Café


Welcome to The Hellologue, a new KWH initiative to construct a fuller picture of everyday language use! We’ll focus especially on pleasantries, small talk, banter, etc.—in other words, all the types of speech that artists and scholars alike too often relegate to the side. We’ll ask questions like “What might it entail to think about communication without even considering meaning?” and “To what extent does our web of connectivity rely on maintaining conduits rather than transmitting substance?” So please come say hello, and enjoy hors d'oeuvres at our fall inaugural meeting, where we’ll start developing projects in line with this mission. Everyone is enthusiastically invited! Questions? Thoughts? Please contact Ted Davis at

Thursday, 9/15

A Reading by Piyali Bhattacharya

with Niki Donoughe (C'25)

6:00 PM (ET) in the Arts Café

Sponsored by: the Creative Writing Program
watch: here

Piyali Bhattacharya’s short stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and National Geographic, among other publications. She is the editor of the N.E.A. grant-winning anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion. She holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College, an M.A. from SOAS—University of London, and an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where she was winner of the Peter Straub Award for Fiction. She is the Abrams Artist-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, where she has won the Beltran Award for Innovative Teaching and Mentoring in Creative Writing.

Niki Donoughe (C'25) is a sophomore from Pittsburgh, studying English and political science. They enjoy exploring various genres of writing but favor both poetry and fictional short stories. They love finding the beauty in tragedy, and their work often focuses on that.

Friday, 9/16

Brodsky Gallery: Make Your Mark

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM in the Arts Café

REGISTER HERE to attend in person

Make Your Mark is a chance to experiment with physical media to convey a story. Starting from the idea of sequential narrative and comics (but not tied to it), participants will use many kinds of mark-making devices – pen, pencil, pastel, marker, charcoal – to create work for our Make Your Mark Brodsky Gallery show. Artists of all experience levels welcome, including people entirely new to drawing.

Saturday, 9/17

Sunday, 9/18

Monday, 9/19

LIVE at the Writers House

WXPN radio show

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

LIVE at the Writers House is a long-standing collaboration of the people of the Kelly Writers House and of WXPN (88.5 FM). Six times annually between September and April, the Writers House records a one-hour show of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art for broadcast by WXPN. “LIVE" is made possible through the generous support of BigRoc and is produced by Alli Katz.

Tuesday, 9/20

A Conversation with Ru Freeman

Hosted by Fayyaz Vellani

12:00 PM (ET) in the Arts Café and on YouTube

REGISTER HERE to attend in person
watch: here

Ru Freeman is a Sri Lankan and American writer, poet, and activist whose work appears internationally in English and in translation. She is the author of the forthcoming short-story collection, Sleeping Alone (Graywolf, 2022), and the essay collection, Bon Courage (Etruscan, 2023) and the novels A Disobedient Girl (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2009) and On Sal Mal Lane (Graywolf, 2013), a New York Times Editor's Choice Book. She is the editor of the anthology, Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers on Palestine (2015) and co-editor of Indivisible: Global Leaders on Shared Security (2018). She writes for the UK Guardian, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe and blogs for the Huffington Post on literature and politics. She is a winner of the Mariella Gable Award for Fiction, and the JH Kafka Prize for Fiction by an American Woman. She teaches creative writing in the US and abroad, and is the Director of the Artists Network at Narrative 4.

Zine Workshop

Hosted by the KWH Zine Library and The Soapbox

6:00 PM in the Arts Café

Seats limited. Email to reserve your seat.

Learn all about zines, independent DIY publications, at this hands-on workshop with The Soapbox, a West Philadelphia-based community print shop and zine library. Soapbox artist Dre Gregoropol will lead participants through zines as a medium, including hands-on activities and zines made from a single sheet of paper.

In addition to her work as an illustrator and workshop leader, Andrea “Dre” Grigoropol is an artist, printmaker, comics/zine author, risograph enthusiast, and event organizer. She serves on the board at The Soapbox: Community Print Shop & Zine Library which is also the location of her art studio. Her website is and her Instagram handle is @Dretime.

Wednesday, 9/21


Imagism with special guests

11:00 AM in the Arts Cafe and on YouTube

REGISTER HERE to attend in person

Please join us for this special webcast celebrating ten years of ModPo. Special in-person guests will include Herman Beavers, Julia Bloch, Mónica de la Torre, Tracie Morris, Ron Silliman, and Elizabeth Willis.


The Difference is Spreading: Fifty Contemporary Poets on Fifty Poems edited by Al Filreis and Anna Strong Safford

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe and on YouTube

REGISTER HERE to attend in person

Please join us for a special celebratory reading, hosted by Al Filreis and Anna Strong Safford, editors of The Difference is Spreading. An amazing line up of contributors to the book will read from their work to help us celebrate a decade of ModPo and our global community: Herman Beavers on Gwendolyn Brooks, Julia Bloch on William Carlos Williams, Mónica de la Torre on Erica Baum, Tracie Morris on Jayne Cortez, Ron Silliman on Gertrude Stein, and Elizabeth Willis on Rae Armantrout.

Since its inception in 2012, the hugely successful online introduction to modern poetry known as ModPo has engaged some 415,000 readers, listeners, teachers, and poets with its focus on a modern and contemporary American tradition that runs from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson up to some of today's freshest and most experimental written and spoken verse.

Thursday, 9/22


Nora Magid Mentorship Prize alumni panel

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe and on Youtube

Hosted by Stephen Fried
sponsored by: the Povich Journalism Program Fund

Hoping to work in journalism, media, or publishing after college? The annual Careers in Journalism and New Media alumni panel — co-sponsored by the Daily Pennsylvanianand the Nora Magid Mentorship Prize — focuses on how you can prepare for first jobs and careers in print, broadcast and online media, publishing, and related fields, as well as how to make decisions about extracurriculars, internships, and grad school in these areas. The conversation will feature past winners of the Nora Magid Mentorship Prize. For more info about the prize and a full list of winners, visit the Nora Magid Mentorship Prize page.

Matt Flegenheimer (C'11) is a correspondent at the New York Times, focused on long-form profiles of political figures and other subjects for the paper and the magazine. He has been at the Times since 2011.

Jessica Goodman (C'12) is the New York Times bestselling author of young adult thrillers They Wish They Were Us , They’ll Never Catch Us , and The Counselors. She is the former op-ed editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, and was part of the 2017 team that won a National Magazine Award in personal service. She has also held editorial positions at Entertainment Weekly and HuffPost , and her work has been published in outlets like Glamour, Condé Nast Traveler, The Cut, Elle, Bustle, and Marie Claire.

Joel Siegel (C'79) is the Managing Editor of the Spectrum News Washington bureau, supervising 10 reporters who cover Congress, the White House and breaking news in Washington for Spectrum News channels across the U.S. Before that he was the Managing Editor at NY1 News, the Managing Editor/Politics at the N.Y. Daily News and a Senior Editor, Head Writer and Producer on the ABC News programs “World News Tonight” and “Weekend World News.” He also worked as the Senior Political Correspondent of the N.Y. Daily News, and as a Reporter and Editor with The Associated Press in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Trenton. He has written for “New York” and other magazines, and is the recipient of one Edward R. Murrow, three Emmy and four Writers Guild of America awards.

Isabella Simonetti (C'21) is the David Carr fellow in business reporting at The New York Times. Previously, she was a media reporter at Observer where she covered technology and social media and launched her own newsletter on the business of the creator economy. She has interned at publications including Bloomberg News, Vox, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Post. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2021 and served as president of The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Stephen Fried (C'79) is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author who teaches at Penn and Columbia. He is the author of six nonfiction books, including the acclaimed biographies RUSH: Revolution, Madness and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father (a finalist for the 2019 George Washington Book Prize), Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West—One Meal at a Time, and Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia, and co-author with Patrick Kennedy of A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction. A two-time winner of the National Magazine Award, Fried has been a staff writer at Vanity Fair, GQ, Glamour, and Philadelphia Magazine.

Friday, 9/23

Saturday, 9/24

Sunday, 9/25

Monday, 9/26

Tuesday, 9/27

Wednesday, 9/28

A Conversation with Adrian Tomine

Bernheimer Symposium

6:00 PM (ET) in the Arts Café and on YouTube

Hosted by: J. C. Cloutier
Co-sponsored by: the Asian American Studies Program, the Creative Writing Program, the Department of English, and the Emily and Jerry Spiegel Fund to Support Contemporary Culture and Visual Arts and the Lise and Jeffrey Wilks Family Foundation Artist Residency
REGISTER HERE to attend in person

Adrian Tomine was born in 1974 in Sacramento, California. He began self-publishing his comic book series Optic Nerve when he was sixteen, and in 1994 he received an offer to publish from Drawn & Quarterly. His comics have been anthologized in publications such as McSweeney’s, Best American Comics, and Best American Nonrequired Reading. His 2007 graphic novel Shortcomings and 2020 graphic memoir The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist were both named New York Times Notable Books of the year, and his short story collection Killing and Dying was a New York Times graphic bestseller. Since 1999, Tomine has been a regular contributor to the New Yorker. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughters.

Thursday, 9/29

A Poetry Reading by Jerome Rothenberg

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe and on YouTube

REGISTER HERE to attend in person
watch: here

Jerome Rothenberg is an internationally celebrated poet, translator, anthologist, and performer with over ninety books of poetry and twelve assemblages of traditional and avant-garde poetry such as Technicians of the Sacred, Shaking the Pumpkin, (traditional American Indian poetry), Exiled in the Word (a.k.a. A Big Jewish Book), and, with Pierre Joris and Jeffrey Robinson, Poems for the Millennium, volumes 1-3. Recent books of poetry include A Field on Mars (in English and French), The President of Desolation, The Mystery of False Attachments, A Book of Infernos, and Eye of Witness: A Jerome Rothenberg Reader; and he is currently assembling a transnational anthology of North and South American poetry “from origins to present,” scheduled for publication by the University of California Press. His own selected poetry has appeared in French, Spanish, Swedish, German and Flemish editions, and he has been translated extensively into Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Serbian, Chinese, Polish, Lithuanian, Georgian, Russian, Japanese, Finnish. and Persian. His most recent book of poems, In the Shadow of a Mad King, will be published in fall 2022 by Granary Books in New York

Friday, 9/30