Minutes from the meeting of September 11th, 1996:

9 pm, Writers House
Compiled by Alex Edelman
Agenda: Getting started

- Shawn passed around the sign-up sheet for hours to "cover" the house while it is open from noon-11 pm every night. This is a large task and if anybody can give a few hours a week -- come and do your homework -- it will be greatly appreciated. Not only that, it is *required* of hub members. See shawn and find out when you can help.

- Juliana Spahr is coming to the Writers House in affiliation with Gil Otts' class (which will be taught in the House.) We will be using Gil's class as an experiment in how we affiliate visiting writers/lecturers with this program; details to follow.

- A proposal was circulated to bring John Keene (New York homosexual/af-am poet) Approximate honoraria: $150. (proposal from Gil Ott)

- Creative Writing dinners. Visiting writers (brought by the creative writing program) will be treated to dinner here at the house. We need people who will be getting excited about the creative writing program's activities in the house, and can take on such a project on a running basis (cook food, make posters, clean up, etc.) ...at tonight's meeting, Josh Schuster (cooking), Tali Aronsky (posters), Dave Deifer (menu), Karina (shopping), and Mike Magee (our liquor connection) volunteered. Anyone else?

A word about the creative writing program/writers house events: We talked tonight about what affiliation means with these two similar - and at times interchangable - groups on campus. Bob Perelman and Greg Djanikian are active participants in this hub group, and we decided that instead of the usual Creative Writing program's plan of taking the visiting writer out to dinner after their talk (lecture, reading) that they would ask if they would want to have dinner COOKED BY US at the Writers House. We will offer some sort of sign up and a cap the number of participants at about 15-20 people. Financially speaking, this means that we spend some of our food budget money for the food, and then we the hubsters do the cooking. This way, the Writers House gets a lot of traffic of good writers without having to break our budget. This partnership with the creative writing program is CRUCIAL to our growing reputation extra-Penn as "The place to be" if you want to give readings at universities. We decided that we would pay for food; creative writing for alcohol for those over 21.

- People like Dave Deifer, Elliot Witney, and Karina Sliwinski have offered to give their time in organizing other, hopefully regular events at the writers house such as:

These are not enough people to "run the house". Shawn Walker, with all her efforts, does not "run the house" either. We the group run the house, and it is up to us to not only staff these events, but to dream up new ones and make them happen. The house is a wonderful communal space; it is indeed becoming this quintessential locus that we dreamt at the initial meetings last year. So let's use it. Look at the calendar on the web, find open slots, and schedule the things you want to do. If it requires money, obviously you need to talk to Shawn about it. But this is what the house (and our budget) is for!

- At tonight's meeting, we talked about what it means if you schedule an event that is subsidized by the Writers House (like bringing a poet in to do a reading.) One of the not-so-obvious tasks the organizer will be expected to undertake will be to be in charge of the publicity for the event. Other hub members are willing to HELP, of course, but most of the work will be the responsibility of the organizer who brought the project to the House in the first place.

- Gardening: The garden's out there; if we want to do something, lets do it! We have a small amount in our budget for seeds, etc. Also, parenthetically: if you can get chairs, furniture, lamps, whatever, do it! Remember that this is our house, we make it. We make it our home by placing claims and providing furniture. We are all now officially commisioned to find furniture, find anything that you think the house will need and build it!

- We have proposals circulating about bringing in music groups as an alternative to just "spoken word" events. One of our current options, a jazz trio, costs about $200. Do we want to do this? Let's discus on this list. Greg Djanikian suggested that we also investigate getting some of the Penn music groups to come and perform at the House (they will probably be cheaper.) What do we think of that, also?

- We specifically need folding chairs! Scour the city and get them!

- The challenge is on: who can right the best story about why the chaplain had 3 FUNCTIONAL refrigerators? On that note: feel free to make this house your own by preparing food in the kitchen. Be sure to mark it with your name.

- We are considering contributing financially to a pool of money from 7 other schools to get a big name poet (Gary Snyder) to "tour" at all the schools. Right now its just in the planning stages. We don't even know if he'll say yes. But, is this something that we want to invest in? We decided to commit $500 to the possibility.

- Paul Auster might be coming in Mid-November. Bob Perelman suggested that we might be able to handle the reading on the House premesis. Perhaps $1,000 dollars, (again split with the Creative Writing budget.) We decided again to submit $500 of our spring honoraria budget.

- The question of smoking was brought up. Al is looking for an official answer to guide in discussion.

- We have space for student art on our walls. Karina is going to contact the Artist Guild.

- Sarah is going to contact professors about holding classes in the WH.

- Mike Magee is going to convince his fellow grad students to have office hours here.

- Teresa Leo is our CITY PAPER, PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY connection.