KWH staff

Kelly Writers House Staff 2021-2022

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.

Assistant Program Coordinator: Heidi Kalloo

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 is… well, okay, so, it’s basically, like, the way it started, like, his working at the Writers House, I mean, is… well here’s basically the gist of it. There’s this building, you know, it’s the old—well, it’s green and maybe a bit red, parts are red, it could be called a Victorian cottage, that’s what people seem to say generally at least, and that’s where he works now, in this, like, room—it’s a new room, not Victorian like the rest of the house, so you can forget that first part—no, let me start over. The Wexler Studio, it’s a recording studio, with microphones and, not, like, not really a radio station, but that’s beside the point—see, the way Zach fits in, is—well, actually he was here before the studio, so maybe that’s not the best way to describe it either. To get more to the point, there’s a house—the House—and Zach and, Zach and the House, that’s how it is now, and that’s how it’s been for a while, and sometimes that’s like, that’s how it goes.

Jacket2 Managing Editor: Kenna O’Rourke

witch enthusiast

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: Sophia DuRose

Sophia DuRose is a twenty-three year old ex-circus performer and current poet from Florida (unfortunately), who now lives in Philadelphia. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with an English degree in 2021, and is now an MFA Candidate at Temple University, studying poetry. At the Writers House she coordinates programs such as Fellows and online book groups. She is also a teaching assistant for the Coursera course, ModPo. She lives with her pet pug, Midge. If you like puns, or pugs, you should follow her Twitter account.  @durosemarysbaby.

Development and Finance Assistant: Amber Woodward

Amber is a returning student studying English & Creative Writing at the Community College of Philadelphia. They are passionate about queer art & literature, gardening, slow fashion, bees, and dessert.

Community Outreach Coordinator: Ollie Kim Dupuy

Ollie (they/them) likes eating soup and is thinking a lot about this poem.

Design Assistant: Asha Vincent

Asha is a freshman planning on majoring in design. She's from Philly and yes, she does have a recommendation for a cheesesteak place: Dalessandro's in Roxborough.

Development and Finance Assistant: Rebekah Donnell

Rebekah shares a birthday with Emily Dickinson and it makes her English-major heart very happy. Tea also makes her happy. And cats.

Development and Finance Assistant: Favor Idika

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

Development and Finance Assistant: Lucy Herdelin

Lucy's best friends are her dogs Sugar (left) and Donovan (not pictured). Sugar is a Sagittarius, Donovan is a Libra, and Lucy is a Pisces. Sugar likes sitting on people and eating socks. Donovan likes soft things and barking at birds.

Fall 2021 Intern: Alex Butler (ft. Favor)

You wish you were this hot!!

Jacket2 Editorial Assistant: Gabriela Alvarado

We've known each other for so long

Jacket2 Editorial Assistant: Quinn Gruber

Quinn Gruber is a senior studying English and Italian. They spend most of their time reading, writing, and translating. They think Tuesday is the best day of the week.

Jacket2 Editorial Assistant: Kendall Owens

Kendall does stuff in a sleep lab, edits things, and sometimes writes poetry. She likes talking about her cat, playing with her cat, and showing people pictures of her cat. She also really enjoyed this piece of pie.

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.

Personal Assistant to Jamie-Lee Josselyn: Dylan Fritz

Dylan has a different sweater for every day until the end of time. He's probably thinking about his cat, Jack-o'-Lantern, or stress-eating fruit. He's an aspiring oracle. Or is he?

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.

Program Assistant: Simran Arora

Simran is a graduate student in the City Planning program at Penn. She’s from Mumbai and likes dense cities, complex maps, and the Pet Shop Boys. She’s always open to discuss design, cities and architecture!

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

Program Assistant: Makena Deveraux

And if you ask me how I'm feeling

Program Assistant: Manya Gupta

Manya is a freshman in the College from India, interested in global health and extreme poverty. She's spent her first two months at Penn mustering up the courage to pet every dog she sees on Locust.

Program Assistant: Husnaa Hashim

Never gonna give you up

Program Assistant: Mahailya Hinsey

Never gonna let you down

Program Assistant: Rowana Miller

Rowana Miller recommends Trader Joe’s Chili Lime seasoning.

Program Assistant: Alex Moon

Alex Moon is a sophomore studying Sociology and English. In school, he likes pedagogy and the law. Outside of school, he likes words and poetry in all forms.

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.

Program Assistant: Jayla Rhodes

Taller than you expected. Artist for attention. Taurus sun, Scorpio Moon, Scorpio Rising.

Robinson Press Assistant: Rachel Dennis

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

Web Master: Kaliyah Dorsey

Kaliyah is a senior in the College. She's an English major with a Creative Writing concentration.

Web Master: Jenny Ham

Jenny is a freshman majoring in computer science, but you can often find her on the rooftop of Acme scribbling random bits of poetry looking at the stars.

Web Master: Sophie Young

Sophie Young is approximately 90 feet tall.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Leah Baxter

Leah Baxter

Leah Baxter read somewhere once about ghosts that they can only haunt places they have been before. Maybe that means a ghost is just an echo in a space, or a residue in the mind of those who knew the ghost best. That is not to say they are not there, and they do not wander. Leah Baxter cannot remember where she read this theory, and might have made part of it up. She spent a long time trying to find the quote, without success. Next time you see the space she's left behind, you should ask her about it. She probably misses you.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Yiwei Chai

Yiwei is a Physics major, but this wasn't always the case. She sometimes writes short stories, and is developing a newfound love/tolerance for ginger. She would recommend the green couch as the best place to nap in the Writers House, followed by the green beanbag as a close second.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Andrew Depass

Andrew is a junior from Philly attending the Wharton School. He loves being in the outdoors, laughing and making jokes, and is very passionate about community service. If he had one wish, it'd be to read books with his eyes closed. He is not a fan of audiobooks, although he does LOVE listening to music of all types. Please recommend some dope songs :)

Wexler Studio Assistant: Zelda Godsey-Kellogg

Zelda is a pink-haired video game character. She is an evil woman and does not enjoy politicking, nor kissing babies. They also want you to know they are an eccentric genius, so if they bump into something and it breaks, or they forget your birthday, or who you are in general, just know it's all a part of the process babieee; don't take it personally. Also she writes/does film/philosophizes, etc, etc. God, their brain hurts.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Henry McDevitt

Never gonna give you up

Wexler Studio Assistant: Helena Muñoz

Helena is a freshman. Every time someone asks about her major she gives a different answer because she is secretly undecided. She likes attention and is lactose intolerant.

Wexler Studio Assistant: DuBois Stewart

Stop mowing the lawn and smell the roses.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Daniel Trebejo-Ariza

Danny is the most non-Wharton Wharton student you will ever encounter. He loves cooking Colombian food, writing music, and rewatching Parks and Rec. He also has a tendency to dye his hair orange.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Chelsey Zhu

Chelsey is a senior English major who feels existential dread at not knowing where she'll be or what she'll be doing a year from now. She runs a podcast on children's literature. She loves her dog, Korean dramas, and breakfast foods.