KWH People

More than five hundred people come to the Writers House each week. Penn undergraduates take creative writing classes here and meet friends in the kitchen to chat over coffee. The House is home base and production office for our many student-produced publications. Grade school kids visit on Fridays and Saturdays to play writing games and chess with Penn students. We host writers from all over the world for readings, recordings, interviews, webcasts, podcasts, and dinners. We welcome partnerships with programs and organizations from Penn and all over Philadelphia. Literary enthusiasts gather on and around the green couch to study, write, read, and talk shop. All of these people make up the Kelly Writers House community.

Dan HoffmanJamie-Lee Josselyn and Al FilreisSuzanne VegaWriteOn!

the planning committee

The Writers House Planning Committee -- also known as "the Hub" -- is the core group of writers and writing activists who serve as idea-machine and collective steward of the House. Hub members get involved in planning at all levels of the Writers House project and any Penn-affiliated person is welcome to participate. If you're interested in joining the Hub, or to find out more, email Writers House Director Jessica Lowenthal, or simply come to one of our monthly meetings and introduce yourself.

Ellie KaneThomson GusterAllison Harris and Chaia WergerCallie Ward

featured visitors

Doug Glanville and AliceWe support and encourage the full breadth of contemporary writing, from translation to digital poetry. Featured visitors to the Writers House have included Pulitzer Prize-winning poets such as Jorie Graham and John Ashbery, film director and Penn alumnus Jon Avnet, nonfiction writer David Sedaris (a 2001 Writers House Fellow), music legends Dave Van Ronk and Rosanne Cash, and novelists Jamaica Kincaid and Richard Ford.

writers house fellows

Angell and AlSince 1999, we have welcomed three eminent writers to 3805 Locust Walk each spring as Writers House Fellows. Our Fellows spend two days at the Writers House, during which they meet students who have read and discussed their work in depth in Faculty Director Al Filreis's "Topics in Contemporary American Literature" seminar. We also hold two public events -- an evening reading and a morning interview/conversation -- with each Fellow and we hold a small, home-cooked dinner and an informal community brunch in their honor. The Fellows Program gives both undergraduates and members of the Penn and Philadelphia literary communities access to practicing writers of great accomplishment. Past Fellows include Susan Sontag, Art Spiegelman, Grace Paley, Russell Banks, Adrienne Rich, E.L. Doctorow and Donald Hall. The Writers House Fellows Program is supported by a generous grant from Paul Kelly.


We are committed to working with Philadelphia organizations and departments at Penn to create innovative programs that bring together new audiences and communities of writers. A collaboration with Ars Nova Workshop allowed us to showcase challenging and deeply engaged critical perspectives on jazz and jazz writing -- and to hear some great music. We've partnered with Kol Tzedek, a West Philadelphia synagogue, and Penn's Jewish Studies Program to develop Jewish-interest programming. We work with the Creative Writing Program every semester to invite some of our favorite writers from all over the world, such as Paris-based poet Alice Notley and local favorite Linh Dinh. View our collaborations page to see our full list of partners.

Soup at Mind of Winter 2008