October 2022

Saturday, 10/1

Sunday, 10/2

Monday, 10/3

A meeting of the writers house planning committee

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

REGISTER HERE to attend 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, 10/4

Wednesday, 10/5

Thursday, 10/6

Friday, 10/7

Saturday, 10/8

Sunday, 10/9

Monday, 10/10

Tuesday, 10/11

Wednesday, 10/12

A conversation with Matt Flegenheimer

How to Profile a Powerful Politician Who Won't Talk to You

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Café and on Youtube

hosted by: Dick Polman
sponsored by: the Povich Journalism Program Fund
REGISTER HERE to attend in person

New York Times correspondent Matt Flegenheimer (C’11) will join Penn Creative Writing Faculty member Dick Polman for a conversation about his work profiling political figures, including his recent profile of Ron DeSantis, he 46th governor of Florida, which was a cover story in the Sunday Magazine on September 13, 2022.

Matt Flegenheimer 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.

Listen up! Climate Storytelling with Devi Lockwood

6:00 PM in the Arts Café and on Youtube

REGISTER HERE to attend in person

This evening with Devi Lockwood, author of 1,001 Voices on Climate Change, will bring together the Penn community with participants in PPEH's year-long My Philadelphia Climate Story public research project — nine high school teachers working in eight Philadelphia School District schools across the city — for a gathering focused on climate storytelling. A reception will follow.

Listen Up! is a two-day climate week program on October 12 and 13 that provides the first opportunity for My Philadelphia Climate Story teachers and their students, to see and meet one another and members of the Penn community, to participate in climate storytelling workshops, and to learn from and talk with prominent climate storytellers. This program is presented by Penn Program in Environmental Humanities and Kelly Writers House, with generous support from our colleagues at Comparative Literature , Environmental Innovations Initiative, and The Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy.

Devi Lockwood is the Commentary and Ideas editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer and the author of 1,001 VOICES ON CLIMATE CHANGE, a book published by Simon & Schuster in 2021. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the New York Times Opinion section and launched the Ideas section at Rest of World. She spent five years traveling in 20 countries on six continents to document 1,001 stories on water and climate change.

Thursday, 10/13

RealArts@Penn presents a conversation with Alan Light

5:00 PM in the Arts Café and on Youtube

hosted by: Anthony DeCurtis
sponsored by: Creative Ventures
REGISTER HERE to attend in person
Watch: here

Alan Light is one of America’s leading music journalists and is the cohost of the daily music talk show Debatable on SiriusXM. He was a senior writer at Rolling Stone, founding music editor and editor-in-chief of Vibe, and editor-in-chief of Spin. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Esquire, among other publications. Light is the author of Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain; biographies of Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, and the Beastie Boys; and was the cowriter of New York Times bestselling memoirs by Gregg Allman and Peter Frampton.

Friday, 10/14

Saturday, 10/15

Sunday, 10/16

Monday, 10/17

A Conversation with Lisa Nakamura

with Whitney Trettien and Amanda Licastro

6:00 PM in the Arts Café and on YouTube

Co-sponsored by Creative Ventures, the Price Lab for Digital Humanities, and Penn Libraries
REGISTER HERE to attend in person
watch: here

Author of Racist Zoombombing, Technopercarious, and Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet, Dr. Lisa Nakamura is a preeminent scholar of digital humanities and race and gender studies. As a researcher and scholar of Asian American Studies and digital media theory, Dr. Nakamura will speak about her work on race and gender in online spaces in conversation with Dr. Whitney Trettien and Dr. Amanda Licastro. The conversation will focus on Dr. Nakamura’s work on digital literary studies and representation in Extended Reality. This event is co-sponsored by Kelly Writers House, the Price Lab for Digital Humanities, and Penn Libraries.

Lisa Nakamura is the Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan. She is the author of several books on race, gender, and the Internet. She has studied identity tourism in video games and chatrooms, toxic embodiment in virtual reality, and the neglected contributions of women of color to the Internet and digital culture. She is the founding Director of the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan and the P.I. for the DISCO (Digital Inquiry, Speculation, Collaboration, and Optimism) Network, a Mellon-Foundation funded research group focusing on race, digital technology, and disability. The DISCO Network's new book manuscript, Digital Optimism, will be out sometime next year. Most of her writing is available on her website at lisanakamura.net.

Tuesday, 10/18

Dance and the poetics of Proximal Distance

a participatory workshop lab with Dahlia Li and Elisa Zuppini

co-sponsored by Creative Ventures, Poetry & Poetics Reading Group, and the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation

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

REGISTER HERE to attend in person

How can the practices of the moving body address, disclose, and render legible the forces that move bodies today? This participatory research lab brings together the interests of artist-researchers Dahlia Li and Elisa Zuppini as they collectively turn research, writing, and movement practices towards the socio-choreographic affordances of "post-viral" movement. This participatory research will present Dahlia Li and Elisa’s work through a hybrid writing/movement workshop.

In 2016, amidst the refugee crises of fortress Europe and at the beginning of a global shift towards right-wing governments, Dahlia, an Asian Diasporic artist from the US, and Elisa, an Italian artist based in the Netherlands, met during an experimental dance process. For the last six years, the two artist-researchers (who share a birthday spaced one year apart) have deepened their collaboration in dance through screen-mediated exchange and intensive summer residencies together. These conditions of work — obstructed and enabled by shifting cultural economies of dance and post-WWII geopolitics — merge with their interests in architectural, queer, and new materialist theories of dance making. Currently, they collectively research how a collapse in traditional poetics of center and periphery, a spatial form used in the construction of normative/marginalized, actual/virtual, ideal/abject, visibility/invisibility produce new forces for experiences of individual and collective bodies in space.

Wednesday, 10/19

Thursday, 10/20

Found Sounds: Bringing Lost Audio to Light

Ken Druker and Chris Mustazza, hosted by Herman Beavers

6:00 PM in the Arts Café and on YouTube

REGISTER HERE to attend in person
watch: here

Archived sound recordings give us a unique view into a prior moment’s history, and this view is continually refined and revised as new sound recordings are discovered and digitized. This event focuses on the process of bringing new old recordings to public attention, from discovery through digitization, editing, and distribution. Ken Druker, Senior Vice President, Jazz Development for the Verve Label Group, will discuss his work producing John Coltrane’s Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, a never-before-heard recording session from the legendary Van Gelder Studios, made on March 6, 1963. The recording, featuring Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, and Jimmy Garrison, was lost by the record company, until reference tapes were discovered in the estate of Coltrane’s first wife. Druker worked with Coltrane’s son, Ravi Coltrane, to make these recordings available to the world, and he will talk about his work on this project. Chris Mustazza, Co-Director of the PennSound Archive, focuses his time on locating and editing previously unreleased recordings of poets from the period of early sound recording. He’s edited recordings of Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, and many other poets. Mustazza will speak about his work editing these recordings, which are sometimes on obscure media, like aluminum records. He will discuss his release of previously unpublished T.S. Eliot recordings, which PennSound will release for the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Waste Land. This event will be of interest to anyone curious about music, poetry, audio production, the history of sound recording, and history more broadly.

Ken Druker has been professionally involved in jazz for over 30 years as a record executive, educator, presenter and radio host. He is the producer of two recent John Coltrane releases, Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (2018) and A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle (2021). He is currently SVP, Jazz Development at the Verve Label Group where he oversees a vast catalog that includes the historic Verve, Impulse, Mercury, Decca, Commodore and Argo/Cadet labels.

Chris Mustazza is Co-Director of the PennSound Archive, the world’s largest archive of poetry recordings. He teaches in the English department at Penn, and his research focuses on literary audio and sound studies. His book manuscript, Speech Labs: Collecting Poets’ Voices in the Period of Early Sound Recording, is the first history of how poets came to be recorded during the infancy of recorded sound.

Friday, 10/21


6:00 PM - 9:00 PM throughout the building

RSVP by email to: rsvp@writing.upenn.edu

The Kelly Writers House is 25 years old! And we want to celebrate with you. We hope you'll join us for big celebration of our history and community. This informal Friday evening gathering will have food and drink – and plenty of conversation. You can check out the Wexler studio, the newly-renovated Arts Café, and hang out with KWH people. Please RSVP: rsvp@writing.upenn.edu

Saturday, 10/22

KWH 25th ANNIVERSARY: Open House

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM in the Writers House Garden

RSVP by email to: rsvp@writing.upenn.edu

We’re celebrating 25 years of the Writers House and its community! Please join for an informal open house in the garden — or hang out inside, where you can visit the Wexler studio, the newly-renovated Arts Café, and all your favorite KWH spots. You can stop by for a few minutes or stay for the whole afternoon, including for a 4:00 PM program that will feature toasts and reminiscences by ten KWH community members. Can you come? Please RSVP to rsvp@writing.upenn.edu.


4:00 PM in the Arts Café and on YouTube

RSVP by email to: rsvp@writing.upenn.edu

The Kelly Writers House is twenty-five years old! We are gathering for a weekend of activities. For this final celebratory event, a group of amazing KWH people from across the years — including Herman Beavers, Buzz Bissinger (C’76), Kristen Gallagher (C’91, CGS'99), David Gross-Loh (W’92), Kate Levin (G’90, GR’95), Gwen Lewis (C’14), Trisha Low (C’11), Mary Osunlana (C’20), Henry Steinberg (C’13), Harris Steinberg (C’78, GAR’82), and Simone White — will reminisce about what the Writers House has meant to them. The conversation will continue afterward with a plentiful reception, open to all. Can you come? Please RSVP: rsvp@writing.upenn.edu

Sunday, 10/23

Monday, 10/24

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, 10/25

A Conversation with Buzz Bissinger

The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II

6:00 PM in the Arts Café and on YouTube

REGISTER HERE to attend in person
hosted by: Al Filreis
sponsored by: the Povich Journalism Program Fund
watch: here

Buzz Bissinger is among the nation's most honored and distinguished writers. A native of New York City, Bissinger is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Livingston Award, the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award, and the National Headliners Award, among other awards and prizes. He also was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He is the author of the highly acclaimed nonfiction books: Friday Night Lights, A Prayer for the City, Three Nights in August, Shooting Stars, Father’s Day, and, most recently, The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II.

Bissinger’s teleplay and screenwriting work includes collaborations with directors Alan Pakula, Peter Berg, Greg Hoblit, Todd Field and Tim Kring. He also spent the 2000–2001 television season in Los Angeles as a co-producer and writer for the long-running television series NYPD Blue. Bissinger has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine since 1996. His August 2007 Vanity Fair article "Gone Like the Wind," about the saga of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, was optioned by Universal Pictures. In 2009 he became a sports columnist for The Daily Beast. He is a longtime contributor to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Wednesday, 10/26


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, 10/27

Novelist Moriel Rothman-Zecher

Reading from his new novel Before All the World

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

Hosted by: Huda Fahkreddine
co-sponsored by: the Kutchin Seminar Series in the Jewish Studies Program, the Middle East Center, The Wexler Family Fund for Jewish Life and Culture, and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
REGISTER HERE to attend in person
Watch: here

Moriel Rothman-Zecher is a Jerusalem-born novelist and poet. His first novel, Sadness Is a White Bird, was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the National Jewish Book Award, the winner of the Ohioana Book Award, and longlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Moriel's poetry and essays have been published in Barrelhouse, Colorado Review, The Common, The New York Times, The Paris Review's Daily, and ZYZZYVA, and he is the recipient of the National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35' Honor, two MacDowell Fellowships, and Yiddishkayt's Wallis Annenberg Helix Fellowship. His second novel, Before All the World, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on October 11th, 2022.

Praise for Before All the World:

"Before All the World startles and swirls, and makes fresh the experience of language itself. It has it all: a gripping story, an original structure, and a tender, ghostly glow."
— Justin Torres, author of We the Animals
"Before All the World is beautiful and original. It is also strange, arresting, high-risk. Very quickly this novel starts to work on the mind, making itself felt in complex and powerful and visionary ways, led by the rhythm in the language and the urge to make that language new."
— Colm Tóibín, author of The Magician
"Evocative, inventive, vivid, and strange, Before All the World is a mesmeric, enrapturing read."
— Eimear McBride, author of Strange Hotel

Friday, 10/28

Saturday, 10/29

Sunday, 10/30

Monday, 10/31