September 2023

Friday, 9/1


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

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, 9/2

Sunday, 9/3

Monday, 9/4

Tuesday, 9/5

Wednesday, 9/6


Poetry, prose, anything goes

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

rsvp: register here to attend in person

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, 9/7

Prompt Battle-Off with GPT Joust

5:15 PM in person

Co-hosted by: Penn Libraries Research Data & Digital Scholarship team

rsvp: register here to attend this meeting in person

Who will claim the title of Prompt Champion? Do you have what it takes to turn out the best creative work with ChatGPT? Enter our Prompt Battle-off with GPT Joust to show off your lightning-fast wit and unleash fascinating storytelling possibilities from Large Language Models. We’ll have a console set up ready for the joust. You're also welcome to come just to hang, learn more about ChatGPT, and check out the event.

The event is co-hosted by the Penn Libraries Research Data and Digital Scholarship team. Join the AI User Group to connect with a vibrant community of mindful practitioners, stay informed about the latest AI news, and explore responsible use-cases of AI in the real world. Monthly meetups center on practical applications of Artificial Intelligence for research, fostering collaborative learning and meaningful discussions.

Friday, 9/8

Saturday, 9/9

Sunday, 9/10

Monday, 9/11

A meeting of the writers house planning committee

5:00 PM in person

rsvp: register here to attend this meeting in person

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, 9/12

A Conversation with Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Bernheimer Symposium

With Support from the Brodsky Gallery

6:00 PM in person and on YouTube

rsvp: register here to attend in person

Jillian Tamaki is a cartoonist, illustrator, and educator raised in Calgary, Alberta. She is the author of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novels SuperMutant Magic Academy and Boundless, and the author-illustrator of two picture books, including most recently Our Little Kitchen. With her cousin Mariko Tamaki, she is the co-creator of the young adult graphic novels SKIM and This One Summer, which won a Governor General’s Award and Caldecott Honor. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Mariko Tamaki is a Canadian writer living in California. She is the co-creator of the graphic novels SKIM and This One Summer with Jillian Tamaki, and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me with Rosemary Valero-O'Connell. She writes superhero comics for DC Comics, Darkhorse and Marvel. Mariko was the recipient of the Eisner for Best Writer in 2020. Collectively, her works have received Printz Honors, Eisner, Ignatz, Ringo and Prism awards. She is the curator of the Abrams LGBTQ imprint, Surely Books.

Wednesday, 9/13

KWH Book Swap

5:00 - 7:00 PM in person

rsvp: register here to attend in person

Join us for our first ever Kelly Writers House Book Swap. Bring some of your favorite books to share, get some new reads, and enjoy the chill beats of DJ Falcon (Jake Falconer). We'll have some bookish snacks and fun word games, too!

Thursday, 9/14

Samuel Freedman in conversation with Dick Polman

Into the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in person and on YouTube

rsvp: register here to attend in person

Into the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights celebrates one of the overlooked landmarks of civil rights history and illuminates the early life and enduring legacy of the man who helped bring it about. Join us for a conversation with author Samuel Freedman, one of the country's most distinguished journalists, about his revisionist and riveting look Hubert Humphrey, civil rights, and the 1948 Democratic convention.

Samuel G. Freedman is an award-winning author, journalist, and educator. He has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and has won the National Jewish Book Award and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Award. His columns for the New York Times about education and religion have received national prizes. He is a professor at Columbia University, and has been named the nation’s Outstanding Journalism Educator by the Society of Professional Journalists. Freedman’s previous books include Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students and Their High School (1990); Upon This Rock: The Miracles of a Black Church (1993); The Inheritance: How Three Families and America Moved from Roosevelt to Reagan and Beyond (1996); Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry(2000); Who She Was: My Search for My Mother’s Life (2005); Letters To A Young Journalist(2006); and Breaking The Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Game and Changed the Course of Civil Rights(2013).

Friday, 9/15

Saturday, 9/16

Sunday, 9/17

Monday, 9/18

LIVE at the Writers House

a monthly radio show produced in collaboration with WXPN

6:30 PM in person

rsvp: register here to attend in person

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 at the Writers House is edited by Zach Carduner and produced by Alli Katz. The show is made possible through the generous support of BigRoc.

Tuesday, 9/19


Sophie Young and Al Filreis in conversation

12:00 PM in person and on YouTube

rsvp: register here to attend in person

Supported by a grant from the Faculty Director’s Discretionary Fund at the Writers House, Sophie Young worked at The Roger C. Peace Outpatient Brain Injury and Young Stroke Program in South Carolina, where she explored how creativity factors into the rehabilitation process for post-traumatic brain injury, including concrete uses of art-making by patients for self-expression and self-discovery, and more conceptual use of creativity by therapists who adapt treatments for individual patient needs. Across the project, she was able to speak directly with patients, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and more about how they see creativity and rehabilitation in action. In this conversation, Sophie and Al will chat about Sophie’s summer work. Lunch will be served!

Sophie Young (C '25) is a Carolina-born third-year student at Penn studying psychology and creative writing. Her work is published in The Interlochen Review, Crashtest, Fish Barrel Review, and Hot Knife, and her first co-authored book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Puberty―and Shouldn't Learn on TikTok: For Curious Girls is available everywhere books are sold. She also works as a research assistant studying implementation science at the Penn Center for Mental Health and, of course, as a web assistant for the illustrious Kelly Writers House.

Zine workshop: Origin stories

led by Carolyn Chernoff

5:30 - 8:30 PM in person

Co-sponsored by: The Soapbox

rsvp: email; spots are limited

Welcome yourself and others back to Penn by sharing your origin story and journey! Superheroes have origin stories, and so do you. In this three-hour workshop, we will explore our origin stories and answer the question "how did you get here" literally and figuratively, and share our journeys via zines. Participants will make one-sheet minizines and have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative zine.

Carolyn Chernoff is a public sociologist who studies everyday culture and conflict. In addition to teaching and writing, she is an accomplished zinester and artist who sits on the board of Philadelphia's Leeway Foundation and Vox Populi.

Wednesday, 9/20

Rachel Blau DuPlessis: a poetry reading

6:00 PM (ET) in person and on YouTube

rsvp: register here to attend in person

The work of Rachel Blau DuPlessis includes the notable long poem Drafts (1986- 2012), and the collage poems Graphic Novella (2015), NUMBERS (2018) and Life in Handkerchiefs (2023). Her Selected Poems, 1980-2020 was published by CHAX Press in 2022. Books from Traces, with Days include Late Work, 2020; Around the Day in 80 Worlds, 2018; and Poetic Realism, 2021. Her most recent critical book is A Long Essay on the Long Poem from the University of Alabama Press, 2023. In addition, she has written extensively on gender, poetry and poetics including The Pink Guitar (1990, 2006), Blue Studios (2006) and Purple Passages (2012), and on objectivist poetry and poetics, as well as editing The Selected Letters of George Oppen.

Thursday, 9/21

A Poetry Reading

The world as Palestine

6:00 PM in person

rsvp: register here to attend in person

Among the questions being posed by these writers is this one: When the entire world becomes remnants and memories of a lost homeland, how does one reconstruct the self and its language(s) in poetry? Join us for a poetry reading by two Palestinian poets of the diaspora who write in French and English. They will be joined by translators to read Palestine across languages and translation. This event is part of a campus-wide literature festival, Palestine Writes.

Friday, 9/22

Saturday, 9/23

Sunday, 9/24

Monday, 9/25

Tuesday, 9/26

Anthony Cody and Jena Osman: A Reading

hosted by Syd Zolf

Creative Writing Program

6:00 PM in person and on YouTube

rsvp: register here to attend in person

Anthony Cody is the author of The Rendering (Omnidawn, 2023), and Borderland Apocrypha (Omnidawn, 2020), winner of the 2018 Omnidawn Open Book Prize. His debut has been recognized as a winner of a 2022 Whiting Award, a 2021 American Book Award, a 2020 Southwest Book Award, and a Poets & Writers 2020 Debut Poet. Anthony was a finalist for the National Book Award, PEN America / Jean Stein Award, L.A. Times Book Award, among others. He is a CantoMundo fellow from Fresno, CA with lineage in the Bracero Program and Dust Bowl. He collaborates with Juan Felipe Herrera’s Laureate Lab Visual Wordist Studio, serves as a poetry editor for Omnidawn, and is co-publisher of Noemi Press. Anthony teaches in the low-residency MFA at Randolph College.

Jena Osman's books of poems include Motion Studies (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019), Corporate Relations (Burning Deck, 2014), 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). A Very Large Array: Selected Poems is forthcoming from DABA Press, October 2023. 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 co-founded and co-edited the literary journal Chain with Juliana Spahr for twelve years. She teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Temple University, in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, 9/27

Thursday, 9/28

An Interview About the Interview

Victor Bockris and Al Filreis

6:00 PM in the Arts Café and on YouTube

watch: part one and part two of the event here
rsvp: register here to attend in person

Victor Bockris graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. After graduation, he founded Telegraph Press, a seminal small press in the early seventies. He also had several books of poems and prose published, including In America and The Joe DiMaggio Victor Bockris Special. He worked with collaborator Andrew Wylie under the name “Brockis-Wylie” to publish a number of interviews under the column “Electric Generation” for The Drummer. Their crowning achievement was Ali: Fighter Poet Prophet, published by the legendary Maurice Girodias on the day Ali regained his heavyweight crown in October 1974. After the duo broke up amicably, Bockris went on to publish widely in Interview and High Times. He worked freelance for Andy Warhol and William Burroughs and became a fixture on the punk scene.

In the 1980s he published a trilogy of portraits: A Report from the Bunker With William Burroughs, Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie, and Uptight: the Velvet Underground Story. In the 1990s, he turned to biography, publishing the trilogy Warhol: The Biography, Keith Richards: The Biography, and Transformer: The Lou Reed Story
Bockris’s twenty-seven year run as the poet laureate of the New York Underground led him to develop the book Beat Punks: New York's Underground Culture from the Beat Generation to the Punk Explosion.

Friday, 9/29

Saturday, 9/30