KWH staff

Kelly Writers House Staff 2020-2021

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.

Faculty Director: Al Filreis

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.

Director: Jessica Lowenthal

Jessica has been the Director of Kelly Writers House since 2005, and an active member of its Planning Committee since 2003. As of 2010 she's the associate publisher of Jacket2. In 2009, Jessica's daughter Alice (pictured, reading spreadsheets) joined the KWH community. Jessica holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop, an MA in English from Penn, and an AB in English from Brown -- and she's putting her education to work daily, directing the activities of this vibrant and experimental literary community. Jessica's reading interests are eclectic: she loves experimental poetry, trashy novels, cookbooks, and the Philly weeklies. Visit Jessica in room 109 (all the way in the back of the house) and you'll find her eager to talk about ways you can get involved in the Writers House community.

Program Coordinator: Alli Katz

Alli Katz is the Program Coordinator for the Kelly Writers House. She's lived in West Philly since she graduated from Oberlin College in 2006, but she still introduces herself as "being from Chicago." In her sort-of-free time, she's taught comic book workshops to the cool kids at Mighty Writers, pretends to be Ernest Hemingway for City Paper, and is good at etch-a-sketching. You can find Alli all the way at the back of the house in 109 to talk about the internet, graphic novels, the 1989 NBC primetime lineup, scheduling rooms for group meetings, and working for KWH.

Associate Director of Development and Finance: Andrew Beal

Andrew Beal

Andrew Beal has a BA from Miami University in Theater, a graduate certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and took some classes at Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania. He has previously worked at a few theaters up and down the east coast, helped keep historic Plays and Players Theater alive, and briefly operated a probably illegal performing arts space in an empty restaurant on South Street. He is along for the ride with his daughter Rory and wife Rachel.

Development and Finance Coordinator: Sean Collins

Sean has been the Development & Finance Coordinator at KWH since October 2018. His first bio, when he was 5, included the line “I like my bike,” which is still true. He’s lived in Amherst, Salem, Seattle, and Oakland. In Philadelphia, he co-organizes a reading series called Charmed Instruments and bakes too much.

Heidi Kalloo: Assistant Program Coordinator

Heidi is the one in the pink hat. They graduated in 2018 from Swarthmore College with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Japanese. They live in South Philly with their two cats and spend their time writing cybertext and playing video games. They will definitely be your friend if you want.

Associate Director for Recruitment: Jamie-Lee Josselyn

Jamie-Lee Josselyn is from Epping, New Hampshire, and has lived in Philadelphia since 2001. She directs KWH’s student recruitment efforts and our Summer Workshop for Young Writers, serves as an advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and teaches in the Creative Writing Program. She is also the host of the podcast Dead Parents Society. Jamie-Lee received a BA from Penn in English and French and an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College. She has published personal essays on topics ranging from her mother's life and death to her experience attending cat shows. When not on campus, Jamie-Lee may be performing some feat of endurance: running a long way, biking an even longer way, or consuming a massive quantity of food. Jamie-Lee lives in South Philadelphia with her gentlemanfriend, her dog, and her two cats.

Assistant to the Faculty Director: Lily Applebaum

Lily has lived in Philadelphia since 2008, when she started as a freshman at Penn and first became involved in the Writers House community. At the KWH she is the coordinator of many things, including but not limited to: the Fellows Program, online discussion groups, and the Brodsky Gallery. She is also a teaching assistant for the Coursera course ModPo, and has appeared in two episodes of Poem Talk. Lily graduated from Penn in 2012 with a B.A. in English and Environmental Studies. Outside of work, her interests are wide-ranging and all over the place, but this week's weather forecast and ongoing weather trends are always a good bet. Maura Reilly-Ulmanek took this picture of Lily in the Brodsky Gallery with the ladder that she has to use to do everything because she is only five feet tall.

Wexler Studio Coordinator: Zach Carduner

ZAch work for Kelly Writer's house. zach write gud. he from philladell phladeli philly. he like record in studio. he work for kelly's writer house.

Jacket2 Managing Editor: Kenna O’Rourke

Kenna O'Rourke lives in the attic.

Night Manager: Peter Schwarz

Peter Schwarz

Peter dreams of moving to Corsica where he would own a 1966 Shelby Cobra, eat civet de sanglier (wild boar) but obviously not every day, write a novel about something and learn Turkish. He'll settle for a Doberman puppy for now.

Senior Program Assistant: Nick Seymour

Nick Seymour

Though it's easy to believe that Nick (left) hasn't left the Writers House kitchen since 2013, he has occasionally ventured away from the allure of unlimited free cookies and tea. Since graduating in 2019, he has been spotted on occasion working in production at theatres across Philadelphia.

Jacket2 Editorial Assistant: Gabriela Alvarado

We've known each other for so long

Wexler Studio Assistant: Leah Baxter

Leah Baxter is figuring it out. How is this going? How long has she been doing this? What exactly is "it"? I would say ask her, but also maybe don't. Do you really want to know?

Development Assistant: Zoe Braccia

It's 2017, and she's almost a fifth of a century old, and Zoe is still obsessed with Justin Bieber. Not even for his beautiful, crooning voice, but just for the person he is deep down. His true character is most represented through one of her favorite quotes of his: "I used to freak out at arcades, but now I'm like, whatever." Amazing. Provocative, raw, sensitive, nostalgic.

Development and Financial Assistant: Yiwei Chai

Your heart's been aching but you're too shy to say it

Program Assistant: Ashley Codner

Inside we both know what's been going on

Archivist: Tyler Daniels

Tyler Z. Daniels '21 is from Chicago, IL, but Kelly Writers House is definitely her home away from home. Please ask her for her thoughts on cheese and charcuterie boards, complementary color palettes, and how to plan the very best day; she has many.

Program Assistant: Imani Davis

We know the game and we're gonna play it

Robinson Press Assistant: Alyson Del Pino

Alyson is a speck of dust among a lot of other specks of dust, but a very cute one at that.

Robinson Press Assistant: Rachel Dennis

Rachel Dennis is an English major, but that was a laborious choice.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Andrew Depass

I am a freshman from Philly attending the Wharton School. I love being in the outdoors, laughing and making jokes, and I am very passionate about community service. If I had one wish, it'd be to read books with my eyes closed. I am not a fan of audiobooks, although I do LOVE listening to music of all types. Please recommend some dope songs :)

Program Assistant: Sophia DuRose

Sophia DuRose is a twenty-one year old ex-circus performer and current writer from Florida (unfortunately), who now lives in Philadelphia studying English with a concentration in creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in literary magazines such as “Rainy Day Magazine,” “Revelry,” “National Poetry Magazine,” and “Apricity.” Her first book of poetry, “Losing Teeth” was published by Shantih press in May of 2019. She lives with her pet pug, Midge. If you like puns, or pugs, you should follow her Twitter account @durosemarysbaby.

Program Assistant: Makena Deveraux

And if you ask me how I'm feeling

Web Master: Kaliyah Dorsey

Kaliyah is a freshman in the College. She likes to write and is figuring out everything else.

Design Assistant: Ollie Kim Dupuy

Ollie is probably microwaving popcorn. They're a member of The Excelano Project and a huge fan of lipstick, citrus-y teas, and this poem by Ross Gay.

Purchasing Librarian: Lovett Finnegan

Lovett Finnegan

Don't tell me you're too blind to see

Media/Program Assistant: Andrés Gonzales-Bonillas

Andrés wants to write about colonialism and all his pairs of sneakers are different colors. he also writes poetry and takes pictures

Jacket2 Editorial Assistant: Quinn Gruber

Quinn Gruber studies English and Italian. Sometimes they write and translate poems. They think Tuesday is the best day of the week.

Program Assistant: Husnaa Hashim

Never gonna give you up

Program Assistant: Mahailya Hinsey

Never gonna let you down

Web Master: Tasha Hutnick

If you hear singing coming from the third floor in the wee hours before closing. . . It's probably just Tasha trying to keep the ghosts at bay. If she's not there, she's probably in the Student Project Space singing along to Steam Powered Giraffe and tinkering maniacally with the website. Don't worry, she's only here for a few more months. Yes, this scares her more than the ghosts.

"Spongebob, you and I both know that you're just updating the Staff Page so you don't have to work on your thesis."

Development and Finance Assistant: Favor Idika

Favor is a first-year studying architecture. They enjoy cooking, hiking, and finding cute animals on campus (there’s lots of dogs and some goats!)

Wexler Studio Assistant: Elvis Jimenez

Never gonna run around and desert you

Development and Financial Assistant: Subin Kim

If you really are what you eat then Subin is a clementine. On any given day you can catch her making odd sounds trying to pronounce words written in IPA, agonizing over her non-functional code at Towne, or both simultaneously.

Assistant to Lily Applebaum: Jacob Kind

lily's assistant

asmr champion

tRuTh SaYeR

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Wexler Studio Assistant: Anthony Lagana

Never gonna say goodbye

Web Master: Bing Liang

Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

Jacket2 Editorial Assistant: Kelly Liu

Kelly is Kelly is Kelly.

PennSound Assistant: Wes Matthews

Wes is a poet, existentialist, and liker of things who happens to be a freshman at Penn. He thinks choosing a major is a lot of work. He instead spends time vibing and trying to figure out how to use Twitter.

Assistant to Jamie-Lee Josselyn: Ian McCormack

Ian doesn't believe awkwardness exists.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Henry McDevitt

Never gonna give you up

Program Assistant: Rowana Miller

Rowana Miller recommends Trader Joe’s Chili Lime seasoning.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Mary Osunlana

Never gonna let you down

Jacket2 Editorial Assistant: Kendall Owens

Kendall majors in psychology, edits stuff, and naps a lot. She’s a huge fan of dogs, bandanas, and especially dogs wearing bandanas.

Program Assistant: Delaney Parks

Delaney Parks is a first year from Northern VA (essentially DC) studying communication and political science. She's a big fan of cactuses, coffee, and pretending she's on Great British Bake Off whenever she makes scones (which is often). Her favorite fonts are Merriweather and Avenir.

Jacket2 Editorial Assistant: Nicholas Plante

Nick is an English and Psych major who spends all his time trying to figure out why people do what they do — and he has no idea why he does

Program Assistant: Jayla Rhodes

Jayla (she/her) is a new Program Assistant on staff from Atlanta, GA. Most of her free time in the remote semester has been spent taking care of her 10 houseplants, and she's expecting more soon. She's ready to make Philly her next home, but not before she gets another haircut and rethinks her entire identity (again).

Development and Financial Assistant: Zuri Robinson

Never gonna make you cry

Program Assistant: Sauda Salim

Never gonna say goodbye

Wexler Studio Assistant: Arundhati Singh

Arundhati likes movies and coffee and stuff.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Madeleine Song

Madeleine Song is a monster. She is studying computer science and creative writing. She has two beautiful siblings and her favorite body of water is the Atlantic Ocean.

Wexler Studio Assistant: DuBois Stewart

Stop mowing the lawn and smell the roses.

Purchasing Librarian: Rachel Swym

Five-year-old Rachel (est. 2000) is very happy that after all these years, she is finally, officially, a real professional librarian (of sorts). Her favorite book is no longer The Sheep of the Lal Bagh, but it's still a top five.

Development and Financial Assistant: Kwynasia Young

Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you