December 2017

Friday, 12/1

PoemTalk on Amiri Baraka

William J. Harris, Aldon Nielsen, and Tyrone Williams, with Al Filreis

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: an extended version of this PoemTalk on PennSound's YouTube channel
listen: to this episode of PoemTalk at Jacket2 or the Poetry Foundation

WILLIAM J. HARRIS lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York. He is both professor emeritus and former director of the Creative Writing Program (2010-2014) at the University of Kansas. Among his books are Crooners, In My Own Dark Way, Hey Fella Would You Mind Holding This Piano a Moment, and The Poetry and Poetics of Amiri Baraka. He has has published poems in more than 50 anthologies, including the classic, The Poetry of Black America, the innovative Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone and the recent Supplement. His work has also appeared in numerous journals, such as Lute & Drum, Artforum, Catamaran, Callaloo, and American Scholar. Presently, Harris is writing four chapbooks: “Sappho,” poems written after the ancient poet, “Catullus,” poems written after the first century Latin poet, “Brave New World,” a chapbook of science fiction poems, and “Lucifer,” a small book about that fellow.

Aldon Lynn Nielsen is a poet and literary critic, currently on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University, where he is the George and Barbara Kelly Professor of American Literature. Born in Nebraska, raised in Washington D.C., he now divides his time between State College, PA, and Santa Barbara, CA. Among his many awards are the Gertrude Stein Award, the SAMLA Studies Prize, the Josephine Miles Award, the Kayden Award and the Larry Neal Award for poetry. Nielsen's most recent book of poetry is A Brand New Beggar, from Steerage Press. His volumes of criticism include Reading Race, Writing Between the Lines, CLR James: A Critical Introduction, Black Chant, and Integral Music. Earlier works of poetry include Heat Strings, Evacuation Routes, Stepping Razor, VEXT, Mixage, and Mantic Semantic.

TYRONE WILLIAMS teaches literature and theory at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of several books of poetry, including c.c. (Krupskaya Books, 2002), On Spec (Omnidawn Publishing, 2008), The Hero Project of the Century (The Backwaters Press, 2009), Adventures of Pi (Dos Madres Press, 2011), and Howell (Atelos Books, 2011). He is also the author of several chapbooks, including a prose eulogy, Pink Tie (Hooke Press, 2011). His website is at suspend/.

Saturday, 12/2

Sunday, 12/3

Monday, 12/4


6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV: part 1, part 2, part 3
listen to an audio recording of this event

A reading of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, written by members of the PENN AND PENCIL CLUB, a creative writing workshop for Penn staff from a variety of backgrounds and university departments.

Tuesday, 12/5


Heled Research Grant presentation

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Rodney E. Dailey II (C’19) is the 2016–2017 recipient of the Terry B. Heled Travel & Research Grant. His book of poems and essays Another Morning in London brings together shards of experience he collected while traveling through London and deposits them in odd, disjointed, and sometimes funny ways. Join us to hear selections from the book and to celebrate the writing and research made possible by the Heled Grant.

M. NourbeSe Philip and Q (a.k.a. Kyoo Lee) in conversation

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen: to an audio recording of this event

M. NourbeSe Philip is an unembedded poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, and former lawyer who lives in the space-time of the City of Toronto. She is a Guggenheim Fellow (USA) and the recipient of many awards including the Casa de las Americas prize (Cuba). Among her best known published works are She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks, Looking for Livingstone: An Odyssey of Silence, the young adult novel Harriet’s Daughter, and Zong!, a genre-breaking poem which engages with the law, history, and memory as they relate to the transatlantic slave trade. Her play, Coups and Calypsos, was produced in London and Toronto. Recordings of her work can be found at the online companion to Zong!, PennSound, and elsewhere.

Kyoo Lee, Professor of Philosophy at The City University of New York, author of Writing Entanglish: Come in Englysshing With Gertrude Stein, Zhuangzi … (Belladonna* Chapbook) and Reading Descartes Otherwise: Blind, Mad, Dreamy, and Bad (Fordham UP), is a theorist and writer working widely in the intersecting fields of the Arts & the Humanities. Her philopoetic writings have appeared in 3:AM Magazine, Asian American Literary Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Dis and The Volta among others. A member of PEN America Translation Committee based in NYC and Poetry Translation Center in London, UK, she occasionally summer-teaches at Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, seminaring on philopoetics. In Fall 2017 she started a Mellon Public Seminar on "mp3: Merging Poetry, Philosophy, Performativity" at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is on the editorial boards of Derrida Today, Open Humanities Press, Simone de Beauvoir Studies and Women's Studies Quarterly.

Wednesday, 12/6


6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Come hear the writers of Kathryn “Kitsi” Watterson’s creative writing workshop, “The Art of the Interview" (English 457), read their original stories, profiles, and serendipitous reflections. Readings by: Shehnaz Abdeljaber, Olabisi Shade Akinmorin, Nathaniel Marcus Borek, Michael Eugene Guyer, Teresa Ann Kelly, Hannah Brooke Long, Chelsea A. Melvin, Andrew S. Miele, Kellie Nadeau, and Thomas Aengus Stanley. All are welcome! Refreshments and a sense of fun included.

Thursday, 12/7


5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV: part 1, part 2
listen to an audio recording of this event

Come hear writers in Laynie Browne’s Introduction to Poetry Workshop (English 113) reading their original writing inspired by many poetic voices and forms including: memoir, daybook, collaboration, prose poem, text / image poems, performance pieces and more.

Friday, 12/8

A reading of Nighthawk Cafe, a play by Seung Hyun Chung

Penn Plays Fellowship

10:30 AM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: Theatre Arts Program

Seung Hyun Chung is a senior majoring in English. An aspiring scholar and artist, he uses playwriting as a creative method to engage his research interests in critical race theory, psychoanalysis, and the environmental humanities. When not working on his creative and academic passions, he takes therapeutic walks to Trader Joe’s and rants about the next anime he is watching.

His play, Nighthawk Cafe, delves into the performativity of race inside an ominous, lonely bar spoken only as “the Cafe.” A seemingly ordinary interaction among three strangers starts to unravel notions of Whiteness, Blackness, and Asianness and how they are deeply entangled within each other.

Saturday, 12/9

Sunday, 12/10

Monday, 12/11


with delicious food and great poems of Twentieth Century World Poetry

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV: part 1, part 2
listen to an audio recording of this event

Poems by China's Shu Ting, Chile's Gabriela Mistral, Russia's Marina Tsvetaeva, Mexico's Rosario Castellanos, Portugal's Fernando Pessoa, Spain's Federico Garcia Lorca, Hungary's Miklos Radnoti, and other international heroes have been translated by students who will read and share dishes from around the world for this celebration of exceptional food and poetry. All are welcome. Hosted by Taije Silverman.

Tuesday, 12/12


4:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV: part 1
listen to an audio recording of this event

Stories of youth from Lorene Cary’s nonfiction class, English 135: Essay, Blog, Tweet, Nonfiction now! All are welcome to this public reading - join us!

Wednesday, 12/13

Thursday, 12/14

Friday, 12/15

Saturday, 12/16

Sunday, 12/17

Monday, 12/18

Tuesday, 12/19

Wednesday, 12/20

Thursday, 12/21

Friday, 12/22

Saturday, 12/23

Sunday, 12/24

Monday, 12/25

Tuesday, 12/26

Wednesday, 12/27

Thursday, 12/28

Friday, 12/29

Saturday, 12/30

Sunday, 12/31