KWH staff

Kelly Writers House Staff 2002-2003

Kelly Writers House Staff 2002-2003

The staff is an integral part of the House, coming together with the Planning Committee to generate ideas, as well as ensuring that readings, musical performances, screenings, publicity, and fundraising plans go off without a hitch. We are open to ideas, questions and comments you may have, so drop us a line.


Al Filreis--- Faculty Director


Al is Kelly Professor of English and Director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and is one of the founders of the Writers House, along with an intrepid group of students, faculty and staff whom he led into the cottage at 3805 Locust back in October of 1995. He has been the Faculty Director of the Writers House ever since. He has taught the Writers House Fellows seminar since 2000, and created the Writers House Book Groups among other projects; he has won the Lindback Award and the Meyer Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching and was chosen as the Pennsylvania Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in 1999. He has published books on modern poetry and has written extensively on poetry and politics and radical literary generations. Here is Al's web site.

Full-time staff

Kerry Sherin --- Director

Kerry Sherin

Kerry E. Sherin took her BA from Penn, majoring in Religious Studies with a slew of courses in English, including creative writing workshops. At Penn she was very active in the poetry scene; she and a few friends ran a funded weekly reading series called Fresh Fish (bringing to campus Margaret Atwood, Amiri Baraka and Olga Broumas, among others). She also edited 34th Street's book review section, and produced (as an undergrad) a national newsletter on computers in the arts. After graduating from Penn, she took an MA at the special writing program at Hollins College, and then a second MA when she joined the graduate program at Temple. As a grad student she has taught a number of creative writing seminars, and won Temple's prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award for Composition in 1992. She also won an Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Intro Award for Poetry in 1990. She served as guest editor for the literary journal Chain, Volume 7: Memoir and Anti-Memoir (summer 2000). Her publications include poems in Poet Lore, Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas, Combo, Capital, New England Review, fiction, freelance articles (most recently in Philadelphia Magazine), and reviews in the Philadelphia Inquirer. From 1991-1996, she created, then taught a special evening course for Temple and Borders Bookshop called "Calling All Fiction Lovers," in which students discussed novels by writers appearing in Philadelphia, then met with the writers; she has also taught a poetry writing workshop. For several years before coming to Temple she worked as an assistant to the film director Jim Jarmusch in New York City, helping particularly with the film Mystery Train and its promotion at the Cannes Film Festival. At Temple she served as faculty advisor to the student literary journal Parable. She has served as judge in best screenplay contests and at student film festivals - and in 1997 was asked to be a judge in the undergraduate essay contest here at Penn. She has given readings at the Unitarian Church NotCoffeehouse Series, the Highwire Gallery, Hollins College, and Temple University. As a PhD student at Temple, she has worked closely with poet, critic, and teacher Rachel Blau DuPlessis. In 1997, Ms. Sherin became the Resident Coordinator of the Kelly Writers House, and in 1998, she was named its first Director. In June 2002 the Writers House community joyously celebrated Kerry and Scott Wright's wedding. Click here for a photo of Writers House friends who were able to attend.

Thomas Devaney--- Program Coordinator

Thomas Devaney

Tom Devaney is a poet, writer and author of The American Pragmatist Fell in Love (Banshee Press 1999) and Letters to Ernesto Neto forthcoming from Germ Monographs. He holds his MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College (CUNY), where he studied with Allen Ginsberg. Devaney's poetry has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Pom2, and in the anthology American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon 2000). His prose has been published in Poets & Writers Magazine, P.S.1/MOMA catalogues, Jacket, Publishers Weekly, The Journal for Peace & Justice, and The Philadelphia Inquirer and its Sunday magazine. Between 1996 to 2001 Devaney lived in New York City where he was active in the literary and art worlds, working on several magazines such as LUNGFULL! and on collaborations with various writers and artists -- among them Edwin Torres, with whom Devaney produced the theater piece titled "Pong." Devaney taught for five years in the English department at Brooklyn College. Since 1995 Devaney has written and worked with The Lost Art of Puppet Theater both in Philadelphia and New York City. Devaney is on the Planning Committee for the Philadelphia 215 Festival. Link to Devaney's Homepage here.

Allie D'Augustine--- Development Assistant

Allie D'Augustine

Courtney Mandryk --- Assistant to the Director

Courtney Mandryk

Courtney Mandryk, the assistant to Kerry Sherin, is a recent graduate of Penn State University with a B.A. in English and a B.F.A. in painting and drawing, with honors.

She was thrilled to move to Philadelphia in May and discover this beautiful city. She divided her summer between three places in the city: she cast objects out of paper as an intern at the Fabric Workshop/Museum; taught art to children at Mother Bethel Church off of South Street; and she read at Borders Bookstore every evening. As an undergraduate, she was honored to study under excellent poets and painters, and even got the chance to travel through Ireland to study poetry and painting in a more romantic setting. She was also granted a fellowship to study painting at Yale University for a summer through the Yale/Norfolk program. She likes toast with butter on it. She does not like to step on toes while dancing.

Blake Martin--- Assistant Coordinator

Blake Martin

Blake Martin is a writer and photographer living in Philadelphia. Any given day at Writers House, you might find Blake spearheading Public Relations efforts, maintaining listserves and databases, building fires, and updating the infamous "Staff To Do" list. He graduated from Penn in 2001 with a B.A. in creative writing and a concentration in photography - as an undergraduate he created a photoessay to Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem God's Grandeur, swam on the Varsity Swim Team, and wrote a forty-page documentary entitled Ellis: A Coming Out Story, which was accompanied by twenty-five original black and white photographs. Blake's artistic interests have come to focus on the process of self-representation through writing and photography, the risks of offering your story to the world, and the cultural value of dissolving the line between subject and object. Currently, his favorite quote is by Virginia Woolf: "So I hung up my coat, tapped you on the shoulder, and said, 'Sit with me."

Carolyn Jacobson--- Off-site webmaster

Carolyn Jacobson

Carolyn is a graduate student in English at Penn. She is currently living in Iowa, staying as in touch with Writers House as one can from afar. In addition to helping design and maintain Writers House web sites, she writes monologues and performance pieces, plays viola, swims, protests the war, and works on her dissertation (on Victorian novels about contagious diseases), not necessarily in that order.

Work-study staff

Cristina Alberto --- Design Assistant

Cristina Alberto

I am a tiny little midget from Argentina who talks a lot. My life has been literally shaped by a diplomat's travel agenda - I was born in New York, but raised in Mexico, Argentina and Switzerland. I am a freshman in the College, interested in way too many things and striving to major in 867 different subjects - film, english, philosophy, art history and illustration, to mention a few. Before coming to Penn I took a year off to work at a graphic design company and experience the thrills of a hard-working life in lovely Zurich. The highlight of my year, though, was the travel: I backpacked through South-East Asia for 2 months, and went through insane culture shock upon my return to perfectly organised Switzerland. I am still trying to get used to civilization and the pressures of an academic life - the traveling bug is hard to get rid of! I love reading, writing and painting. I love weird movies that no one likes, (my favourite one is Trainspotting) and equally bizarre books. Oh and I am always, inevitably, late to everything - I blame it on the latin blood. I am very happy to be working at the Writers House; the brilliant, friendly, welcoming staff make it such a cosy, inviting and invigorating community to be part of. And of course, I love sex-machine Seth, otherwise knows as The Librarian, who loves me even though I am an illegal immigrant.

Venise Battle --- Live at The Writers House Producer

Venise Battle

Josh Boyette --- Information Systems & Technology Assistant

Josh Boyette, a third year Junior (though his sense of humor remains sophmoric at best), is a hopeless romantic, an unpublished novelist, a troubadour vagabond, who spends much of his time turning broken printers into pink paychecks. He plays the guitar, has a song for every girl who broke his heart, and he takes a pretty laissez-faire approach to the fact that he's really just a glorified ITA - namely that he's involved in the Zen of computer maintenance, and maybe, the computer you're working on is the computer called yourself.

Jack Catalano --- Webmaster

Jack Catalano

Even though it says John on his birth certificate, don't call him that because chances are he won't realize you are talking to him. Jack is a Senior in the College, a forward on the Penn Rugby team, and is a self proclaimed science nerd. He is completing a major in Molecular Biology, and spends enough hours in the Biochemistry lab where he works to call it a second home.

However, his real aspirations are those of world domination. To further this goal, he has considered becoming a card carrying member of The Illuminati Order. This society believes that only the highly educated in the sciences may rule the world, and this is right up Jack's alley. However, according to Jack, there are several reasons why he has not yet joined: "Well, I would consider joining, except I don't have the 95 dollars to register. And I wouldn't be allowed to eat meat. Or believe in a god. And I would have to get castrated. And they have a plan for when aliens land on earth. And they want to eliminate everyone who disagrees with them. So if you disregard the fact that they are entirely crazy, they seem perfectly sane to me."

Lauren Childs --- Graphic Design

Lauren is sophomore in the College from the fine state of Colorado. She is planning on double majoring in fine arts and urban studies. Lauren's jobs at the house include doing graphic design, building shelves named "Billy", and talking with Talia about life. Her favorite food is peirogies and her favorite color is green.

Lisa Chen --- Programs & Database

Lisa Chen

Too little space/Too much space to sum myself up here.

Annie Cho --- Secret Identity of "Super Annie"

Annie is a Senior Political Science Major from the happiest place on earth, otherwise known as Anaheim, home of Disneyland and the Angels. Some claim that Annie speaks with a "Valley Girl" accent, but she thinks that those people are, like, totally wrong.

As a graduate of Walt Disney Elementary School, Dale Jr. High, and Sunny Hills High School, Annie feels that she has spent most of her life getting edumacated at various playgrounds.

Right now, Annie is preoccupied with finding a job and is suffering from the "Good-Lord-I-Spent-How-Much-Money-To-Get-A-Degree-And-All-I-Got-Was-This-Freakin'-T-Shirt" Syndrome

In the future, Annie hopes to work for the Park Rangers, because, y'know, like, that would be hella cool.

Carrie Greene --- Program Assistant

Carrie Greene is a freshman in The College who hails from Whitman, Massachusetts, U.S.A. She likes the smells of cleaning products, subways, indoor swimming pools, and basements. She likes to eat yogurt raisins and drink lemon tea while watching films at "The Ritz." Her favorite show is the HBO original series, "Six Feet Under." She's a huge fan of Upper Darby's own Todd Rundgren. This week, she plans on double majoring in International Relations and Economics and becoming a corporate consultant.

Jill Ivey --- Welcoming and Recruiting

Jill Ivey

Jill hails from El Paso, Texas, and therefore excercises free reign over the word "y'all." She does not, however, have an accent. Or a horse. Or boots or a cowboy hat.

Jill likes: puppies, the smell of rain, the sound of children singing, and authentic Mexican food. Jill does not like: sloppy kissers, people who ask inane questions, Los Angeles traffic, or the movie Gladiator -- no matter how many Oscars it won.

Josh Kruger --- Development Assistant

Joshua A. Kruger, resident politico and fisherman, attends the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences. Studying political science, Chinese history, economics, and the thermodynamics of bridge burning, Kruger spends most of his time in a wasteful manner watching noir movies and listening to emo music (and occasionally dating.) Sometimes typing in British standard, Joshua thinks he is more sophisticated than he actually is. Fortunately, Kruger has no plans of world domination, although he would appreciate having his own fiefdom on a tropical to semi-tropical island in Southeast Asia. In addition to his feudal dreams, he was a youth consultant and fundraiser on several political campaigns. For those interested, he is a liberal and refuses to acknowledge the religious right with little more than using the word "inbreeding." If you'd like to talk to him, stalkers welcome, you can look him up in the Penn directory.

An Lam -- Calendar Design

An Lam

An wishes to waive aside the tedium of her daily life and describe to you the moment she became complete. she was at the university's biopond and the leaves had just finished turning an orangish golden hue. she was standing alone, gazing mindlessly at the pond in a moment of self-reflection when from the far west, zephyrus blew a magical gust of wind in her direction, carrying with it a rainbow of leaves, shrouding her in a cloak of utter beauty. at that moment, she wished she was monet and be able to stroke her colors to define that exact moment of her life. she closed her eyes and found herself in the midst of a beauty that her most admired impressionist artist had many times over captured onto a blank canvas. she smiled and realized that she no longer has to view the masterpiece from her happy place that is the arts museum, for she was living it - and she is now complete.

Seth Laracy --- Vice President of Book Acquisition & Sound Technician

Seth Laracy

Seth waited until the last minute to write his biography. He loves procrastination. He has a theory that proper management of procrastination is the key to happiness. He asked the government to give him money to study his theory, but his grant application was received late so George W. Bush used the money for a tax cut for multi-billionaires instead. In politics, Seth leans left. In baseball, he bats and throws right. Seth wants to drop out of Penn and go to the Harry Wendelstedt School for Umpires, but he's decided to take the responsible root and stick it out at college. Seth used to be an English major, but he's switched over to psychology now. The great thing about working at the Kelly Writers House is that it actually counts as field work in abnormal psychology. It's great.

Tammy Li --- Publicity

Tammy Li

Moira Moody --- Database Assistant

Moira Moody

Moira Moody likes to think of herself as the reincarnation of the long lost Princess Anastasia. She can't talk about that to just anyone though, so it's best to just address her normally and send any homages discreetly to her P.O. Box. She likes Philadelphia and rolling quarters on her knuckles. Happy to be at the Writers House, her main assignment is Database Assistant, but what that is she either can't or won't tell you. She's thinking of doing the "English thing," here at Penn, but it's all a bit vague. Throw her a frisbee and she'll go running. She gives a shout out, as always, to her little brother Dylan.

Morgan Myers --- Listserve & Calendar Assistant

Morgan Myers

Monica Park ---Xconnect

One of Monica's favorite things is to receive kindness from strangers; she loves its unprecedented and mostly honest nature. If you are unprecedented and mostly honest, she will probably like you. Click here to see some nice things.

Alexis Nguyen --- Listserve Assistant

  1. Alexis thinks that she can get away with anything just because she's a female, and that's her excuse for everything.
  2. Alexis is mildly evil by virtue of being a Wharton student. However, she redeems herself somewhat by also being a student of the School of Nursing and a pre-med student.
  3. Alexis thinks that it is daff to build a raft with a hole in the middle. It must a riddle.
  4. Squirrels deserve a better rating than fair. (Maybe.)
  5. Alexis' nail is broken.
  6. "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." -Albert Einstein
  7. Alexis is a Guns 'N Roses person.
  8. This bio was ghostwritten by Seth Laracy.

Matt Rosenbaum --- Book Assistant

Matt Rosenbaum

Matt is a freshman in the college which basically means he is an ignoramus who knows nothing about anything and wishes people would stop asking him questions as if he were the expert on things. He is from the suburbs of Philly (Abington Senior High, baby - Yeah!) and has a great appreciation for cheesesteaks, water ice and Tastycake. Although he has been both Tarzan and Elvis in past lives, he is currently acting as Batman, keeping our city streets safe from the likes of the Joker, Catwoman, and the devious Vice-President in charge of (well...we're not really sure what hes in charge of), but anyway his name's Seth Larcy and you better watch out for him - he's a dangerous fellow! At the Writers House Matt just loves taking out the trash, sweeping the floors, and eating the good food we keep in our fridge. He is also an accomplished writer and thespian (in his own mind, anyway). Classically trained for the stage, his past roles include the Cowardly Lion and FDR in "Annie" (this part's true unfortunately). You can usually find him reading for class up in the Hub office or attempting to work the sound at events in the Arts Cafe. Please come by and say hi. He's not nearly as strange as his bio would make you think.

Peter Schwarz --- Art Curator & Archivist

Peter Schwarz

Peter Schwarz--our art curator-- is a junior CGS comparative literature and theatre arts double major, a member of the WH planning committee and the WH Art Curator. Prior to entering the university he worked a variety of jobs like the post office, the restaurant business, industrial scrap metal factory, and cleaning bars. His varied interests include: the arts, French, cultural and political affairs, above all mischief and intrigue. He's currently at work on an erotic short novel, several cultural studies essays, and various short fiction.

Talia Stinson -- Program Assistant

Hey! My name is Talia Stinson, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm a baby freshman here at Penn and I LOVE working at the Kelly Writer's House. I am falling in love with the vivacity of this city of Brotherly Love! I really enjoy going out and hanging with my friends. Here at the house, I help organize some of the programs here at the house and am currently involved with the Write On! program, where kids come to the house to get there...write on!!