KWH staff

Kelly Writers Staff 2004-2005

Kelly Writers Staff 2004-2005

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 Filreis

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

Jennifer Snead--- Director

Jennifer Snead

Dr. Jennifer Snead became the Director of the Kelly Writers House in July of 2003, and she still looks around every once in a while from the director's office and asks herself, how did I get here? She graduated from Penn in 1994 with a degree in English and Creative Writing, and missed the founding of the House by about a year, so she often answers the above question by telling herself that she's making up for lost time. In between then and now, she got a Ph.D from Duke U niversity in eighteenth-century British poetry, moved back to Philadelphia, taught courses in the Penn English department and was a Mellon post-doctoral fellow at the Penn Humanities Forum. She spent quite a lot of time cooking in the Writers House kitchen and learning the truth of the adage that the way to people's hearts is often through their stomachs, although poetry runs a close second. She writes and reads her own work in and around Philadelphia, is fond of nonsense verse, science fiction, and the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. You'll find her in room 109 at the back of the House on most days.

Thomas Devaney--- Program Coordinator

Thomas Devaney

Tom Devaney is author of Letters to Ernesto Neto (Germ Folios, 2005), a collection of over thirty letters written to the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto, and The American Pragmatist Fell in Love (Banshee Press, 1999). A Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Pennsylvania, Devaney is coordinator of the Kelly Writers House and produces the monthly radio show "Live," on 88.5-FM WXPN. In the summer 2004 he conducted a series of interactive tours of the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia called "The Empty House," for the Institute of Contemporary Art's show "The Big Nothing." Devaney's poetry has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Fence and in the anthologies American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon, 2000) and The Brink: An Anthology of Postmodern Poetry, 1965 to the Present (Yeti Press, 2002). His work has also been translated into French and published in Arsenal, Java, Poesie, and Double Change. He is a regular free-lance writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer and his prose has been published in The Boston Review, Poets & Writers Magazine, Jacket, and Publishers Weekly. Between 1996 to 2001 Devaney lived in New York City where he taught for five years in the English Department at Brooklyn College. In New York City he was also active in the literary and art worlds, working as editor of both The Brooklyn Review and LUNGFULL! Magazine. Since 1995 Devaney has written and worked with The Lost Art of Puppet Theater and the arts collective The Animated Neck & Stars, which he co-founded. Devaney is on the Planning Committee for the Philadelphia 215 Festival. Link to Devaney's Homepage here.

Samantha Barrow--- Assistant Coordinator

Samantha Barrow

Samantha Barrow is one of the new Assistant Program Coordinators at the Kelly Writers House. She feels very lucky to be in such a supportive environment with so many other poets and writers and all around good thinkers. Her word work tends to slither between the categories of poetry, creative non-fiction, manifestos, interviews, critical essays, & letters, but mostly she just fills journal after journal with words and silly drawings and stashes them in her increasingly hard to move dresser drawers. At the beginning of the 2003-04 academic year, she was named Poet In Residence at Lee Elementary School!

Samantha has published in some places & read in a whole lot of others. The Leeway Foundation even gave her some $ to travel and do so a short while back. But what I like most about Sam is that she can be a very good listener.

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.

Blake Martin--- Assistant Director for Development

Blake Martin

Having previously served the Writers House as a Program Assistant, and the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing as the Assistant to the Director, Blake Martin, C'01, is thrilled to be the first-ever Writers House Assistant Director for Development (a position made possible through a generous grant from the William Penn Foundation). Off hours, you will probably find Blake behind a camera.

Phil Sandick--- Assistant to the Director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing

Phil Sandick

Phil is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied English, coached in the Write On! program, and performed with the a cappella group Penny Loafers. Phil holds no license to drive which can be attributed to his growing up in Queens New York.

Maria Tessa Sciarrino--- Assistant to the Director

Maria Tessa Sciarrino

Maria graduated with a degree in photography from The University of the Arts a couple years back, but shamefully admits to not doing much with it since then. Instead, she spends her time immersing herself in the world of music, booking shows around town and hosting a radio program on WPRB (103.3FM, Princeton). She is known to bring lots of loud, strange music to the house and feed you random bits of music knowledge.

Work-study staff

Cristina Alberto --- Design & Calendar

Cristina Alberto

As the Internet's premiere travel sites flicker across the screen, a pair of flustered blue eyes tries to take it all in. What exotic mini vacation can possibly be squeezed into a long weekend? "This indecision me molesta!" chirps the dimunitive and decidedly indecisive Argentinian, Cristina Alberto. "Should I stay or should I go?" Perhaps Cristina's jet set tendencies stem from her upbringing. Following her mother's diplomatic career track, Cristina was born in New York City, was a toddler in Mexico, a pre-adolescent in Argentina, a cosmopolitan teen in Switzerland, and finally, a rounded scholar at UPenn. Despite her reflexive use of latinisms such as "water with gas", Ms. Alberto speaks better English than most true blue, apple pie Americans. Her current goals include majoring in every single subject, seeing every square centimeter of the planet, and sleeping with Blur frontman Damon Albarn. Her strategy: do as little work as humanly possible. She even got someone else to write this bio. "There's so much I want to do I feel like my eyeballs are going to pop out," she explains. If you enjoy obscure literature and film, britpop, and experimenting in the kitchen, Cristina may be the girl for you. Send CVs to Seth Laracy.

Elaine Braithwaite --- Write-ON!

Elaine is a sophomore in the College. We don't know what's she's majoring in. We don't know where she's from. But we know she's really cool! And she's got a nose-ring; that's cool, too.

Arielle Brousse --- XConnect & Publication Liason

Arielle Brousse

After changing her mind approximately 300 times in just about as many days, sophomore Arielle Brousse has decided on a Sociology of Culture major. This makes the hub and the house staff not only her family away from home, but also her unknowing subjects of study. Arielle works with crossconnect and 34th Street Magazine and hopes to play Dr. Frankenstein this year with a number of literary publications (it's ALIVE!!!). Interests include slam poetry, tea, bowling, Pilot G2 pens, cheap concerts and loud music (of whatever sort), and sending the cowboy back to Texas. You can find her lurking in the pub room, likely wearing black. One of her best friends is a mongoose named Rikki. No matter how banal they are, she will still laugh at jokes about your mom. South Side, Jersey represent.

Jill Budd --- Database Manager

Hi, my name is Jill Budd. I'm from small town South Jersey and this is my sophomore year in the Engineering School at Penn. I chose not write my own bio because I am a peculiar combination of lazy and self-conscious, so I asked several friends to describe me with whatever random factoids came to mind:

Lauren Childs --- Graphic Design

Hi, my name is Lauren and I am a senior Fine Arts and Urban Studies double major. That's right, nothing to do with English. I was born in Canada, but I grew up in the fine state of Colorado. However, I now consider Philadelphia my home and I plan to stay here after I graduate. I have been a part of the Writers House family since the first day of my freshman year (along with one of my closest friends, Ms. T) and I obviously love it here! Other than doing graphic design (and making Mexican food) at the Writers House, I am a part of a Christian fellowship, I teach art to kids, and I dazzle with my roommates.

Hannah Filreis --- Office Assistant Extraordinaire

Hannah Filreis

Hannah is a recent but crucial addition to the Writers House staff. A Philadelphia native, Hannah is a 5th grader at Friends Central School, where her favorite subject is Language Arts. In her free time, Hannah enjoys playing soccer, field hockey, and eating Ben and Jerry's Brownie Batter Ice Cream. Her favorite color is light blue. Although she just began working at the Writers House, Hannah has been part of the community for most of her life. She was even a featured reader at the Seven-Up on Gold event in September of 2004. Hannah's primary role as Office Assistant Extraordinaire is to keep the rest of the staff in line.

Anand Goodridge --- Project Assistant to the Faculty Director

Anand is a freshman from Medford, MA.

Jill Ivey --- Recruitment

Jill Ivey

Jill Ivey is a busy person. Please contact her for a complete resume and/or schedule.

Jamie-Lee Josselyn --- Project Assistant to the Faculty Director

Jamie-Lee Josselyn

Jamie-Lee is a senior English and French major from the bustling metropolis of Epping, New Hampshire. When she is not at the Writers House, she can be found writing an online column for the Daily Pennsylvanian, walking to or from Bucks County Coffee, or claiming she is related to various late-night talk show hosts.

Although Jamie-Lee hates being called Jamie, the following nicknames are acceptable: JL, Jamiel (pronounced: "Juh-meel"), Jamielio, and JLJ. Jamie-Lee is thrilled to become a Writers House staff member in her final year at Penn, as she has finally gotten a better sense of such an unusual Penn project. Oh, she also likes to mock people, all in good fun, of course.

Seth Laracy --- PennSound

Seth Laracy

Seth Laracy was born in Cuba in late September of 1982. After a troubling childhood in the Communist school system, Seth decided to paddle on over to Florida. Seth didn't like Florida, so he kept paddling (yes, paddling!) all the way to Wilkes-Barre, PA, the place which he now calls home. Seth likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. Both remind him of his tropical motherland.

Richard Lawrence --- Assistant Webmaster

Richard Lawrence

Imagine that you are a superhero with a special propensity for saving Damsels in Distress, befriending them, reassuring them that all is right with the world, that the Opolis is saved. Now imagine that you subsequently go home--alone--to your over-priced loft, reassuming your alter-ego as a mild-mannered and well-dressed citizen so that you can sleep peacefully. Finally, imagine that the Damsels in Distress turned out to be towels.

Now you know what it feels like to be the Dark Linen.

Jeff Leider --- Assistant Producer LIVE

Jeff Leider

Jeff Leider is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, where he studies Philosophy and Political Science. He has lived in and around Philadelphia all of his life, except one year, which he spent living and working in Washington, D.C.. So naturally, most Sundays during the school year, he can be found watching the Eagles. Here at Penn, Jeff is the President of Delta Upsilon Fraternity and produces and hosts Round-Up, a weekly talk-show on UTV. In his free time, he does judo, plays basketball and football, and loves road-trips, camping, the beach, the mountains, starry nights, good friends, and good times.

Warith Dean Madyun --- Program Assistant

Salaam. My Name is Warith Deen Madyun. I hail from Newark, NJ. I'm a sophomore in the College, majoring in Sociology, and minoring in Physcology(maybe). As for future plans, my vision is clear: social reform, but my mission is vague. Consequently, every class I take, and every person I meet, I keep in mind my plans for change. Bottomline: Impossible is Nothing, Insha'Allah. By the way, I love my family.

Alexis Nguyen --- Webmistress

Once upon a time, there lived a(n) noun . This noun was so unbearably horrible that it was verb by the nearby villagers. Afterwards, they threw a(n) adjective noun and had a(n) adjective adjective time. Unfortunately for the villages, the noun they verb came back to verb them in their noun.

Matt Rosenbaum --- Publications & Books

Matt Rosenbaum

You might remember Matt from his work in such classic feature films as The Thin Man, House of Frankenstein, The Bad News Bears, and Badassssss (in which he portrayed the title character). In addition to his success in Hollywood, Mr. Rosenbaum has always considered it a privilege and a treat to come back to the Writers House every year and order their books for them. And sweep their porch for them. And check their phone messages for them. And eat their food. Lots of it. As much as he can get.

Peter Schwarz --- Art Curator & Archivist

Peter Schwarz

Peter Schwarz is the Kelly Writers House art curator and a CGS senior majoring in Comparative Literature (Globalization concentration). Originally from Philadelphia, Schwarz emigrated to Europe on what he describes as an "experimental departure into the long dark night of the soul, composed in fragments across the continent" until he was deported from Italy on the charge of living a vagrant's poetic life. When asked his views on art and literature in a recent interview, Schwarz responded: "I'm currently processing some intense influences--Baudelaire, Mallarme, Kafka, Borges, Beckett, Pynchon--particularly where their practices mediate the levels of philosophy or what we now call theory and linguistics while maintaining the more familiar human gestures in art. I can't see any point to merely reproducing one's experiences, which is why I consider many of my experiences to have been lived, interactive texts archived only in memory and transmitted via the mutating forms of memory's expression. If there is to be some artifactual form of art--whether it's a film, a textual narrative, or a song--it has to seek out other relationships between creator and audience, relationships that radically exploit the conceptualness of literature that has always been inherent since the days of myths." Schwarz recently completed his honors thesis, Re-Examining the Post-Narrative Stage: Duchamp, Warhol, and the Origins of Post-Historical Art and concluded a one-year internship with Argentinian conceptual artist Osvaldo Romberg. After graduation, Schwarz intends to remain in Philadelphia to work on his first novel The Fallout Zone and Compositions, a literary re-cognization that includes Elle est un secret perdu dans mon esprit // She is a secret lost in my mind, an exploration of erotic poetics across the space of psychoanalytical translation.

Talia Stinson --- Senior Program Assistant

"Fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need." - Lauryn Hill

M Tong -- Program Assistant

M Tong

M is the one-letter wonder of the Kelly Writer's House. Majoring in the ever- so-profitable Art History, M is visciously trying to avoid law school. If you happen to be walking around the Writer's House and almost trip over a mouthy- little asian, you know you have met M. She loves penguins because of their suave personalities and because they wear tuxedos to every event. M loves literature, creative thought and opinionated people. M has a golden retriever named Montana Rice ( in Joe Montana and Jerry Rice for the non-football fanatics) and a tabby kitten named Margarita ( in The Master and Margarita, for the non-russo-literary)

Maria Vigilante --- Development Assistant

Maria Vigilante was raised by a friendly family of howler monkeys near the Tropic of Cancer. At the age of 11, she discovered a cure for a rare urological disorder and was promptly sent on a highly successful world tour selling her amazing Vigilante Elixir. It was no surprise that this extraordinary medical innovator was accepted into one of America's most prestigious universities. What is surprising is that she chose to go to Penn instead. But thank goodness she did come as otherwise we here at the Writers House would not have been able to know this zany and affable sophomore.