KWH staff

Kelly Writers House Staff 1999-2000

Kelly Writers House Staff 1999-2000

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 would love to hear any ideas, questions and comments you may have, so drop us a line.

Al Filreis --- Faculty Director

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. Her publications include poems in Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas, Combo, Capital, New England Review, fiction ("A True Story" published in the anthology From Elvis to Oz), 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. During the fall semester, 1999, Ms. Sherin will be on a leave of absence to work on her dissertation, on memoir and anti-memoir in contemporary poetry by women writers.

Heather Starr --- Program Manager

Heather Starr

Heather Starr grew up in Oregon and graduated from Barnard College in New York City. Ms. Starr was a Centennial Honors Scholar and an English Department Writing Fellow at Barnard and was instrumental in launching the Columbia University Women's Collective and organizing for an Ethnic Studies program. As an undergraduate she also did editorial work for Knopf's Chic Simple Books, Grolier's Orchard Books, and The New Yorker. She joined Penn in 1996 as program coordinator of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Center, with responsibility for events, advising and publications including a resource guide and an alumni directory. She was a consultant at the Writing Center for a year, while also volunteering at Writers House. As Program Manager, Ms. Starr manages the day-to-day operations of the House, working with students, faculty and staff to develop and run programs and collaborations. She will also be the Producer of "Live at the Writers House," which airs monthly on WXPN 88.5 FM.

House resident

Aaron Levy --- Resident Intern, Junior Fellow

Aaron Levy recently graduated [The _intransitive_ form (I graduated from college) is, after the 19th century, the sense, albeit solitary, most likely to be prescribed] from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English Literature and Theory. His work at Penn delved into contemporary art theory, holocaust studies, and poetry. In receiving his BA from Penn, Aaron also studied poetry and philosophy at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford during the 1997-1998 academic year; early Renaissance architecture in Florence, Italy; and physics at Harvard University. In his last year at Penn, Aaron volunteered extensively at the Writers House, assisting with Handwritten Press and PhillyTalks, among other publications and events. He has lived and traveled in Western Europe, and has returned multiple times to Eastern Europe for independent study and photography. Aaron is an avid photographer and writer, working within the abstractions of light and prose poetry. He co-organizes a Writers House series Theorizing in Particular, an online peer-review journal Other Voices, and, on another note, pursues computer networking and design (he steadfastly denies an interest in technology). As Resident Intern and Junior Fellow at the Kelly Writers House for the 1999-2000 academic year, Aaron calls the House his home in multiple ways: as public and private space, as intellectual forum, as humanistic frame.

Work-study staff

Kirsten Thorpe --- Room Reservations and Listserv Management, and so much more

This is Kirsten Thorpe's third year @ the writers house. a senior in the college, double-majoring in psychology and english. will soon be writing poems about the primary visual cortex, phonological encoding, or just different kinds of sofas. an English immigrant from D.C. a varsity gymnast. an over-avid aquarius. still weary of capitalization. sometimes, but only sometimes, she gets paid to read poems on the green couch or eat cheesecake on the kitchen counter. just trying to be cool in a groovy writers house kinda way.

George Blaustein --- Computer and Web Page Design

George is a senior history and English major. He maintains the Writers House webpage and its computers. He also plays piano in the variously named, variously personelled Virgin N-tet. He lives alone.

Sharon Male --- Librarian

Sharon is a prospective English/Sociology/Urban Studies/Psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences. OK, so she's a little confused. But as Henrietta knows, Sharon's "just a freshman" so its all good. She somehow finds time between watching cheesy movies on Resnet and wasting obscene amounts of time at midnight breakfast to write some articles for the DP and 34th Street and tutor through the West Philly Reading Project. If you're ever bored on a Tuesday night, stop by the Writers House and say "hi." She's the girl on the green couch to your left when you walk in.

Aaron Couch --- Sound Technician

Aaron Couch is a Junior English major from Philadelphia.

Sarah Speck -- WHcal

Mari Smorodinova -- Archivist/Postering

Mari is used to writing bios in the third person so she will continue to do so. She loves being useful at the Writers House for random errands and is currently mastering the skills of editing web pages. She loves The Godfather and Al Pacino, skiing, tennis, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, and peanut butter. She is an avid pessimist and often sounds bitter, but she loves you all anyway. She's a freshman in the college, probably studying international relations.

Stephenie Park -- Graphic Design

Stephenie is a freshman majoring in economics and looking to pick up a second major in the College. All suggestions are appreciated! She sings in Full Measure (check out Ephesians 3:16-18) so come hear them Dec. 3 and 4 at 8pm in Rainey Auditorium. And bring $5 and a sweet treat for her to eat (mmm).

Jeff McCall -- Publicity

Jeff McCall is a senior English major from Arlington, Texas.

An Lam -- Calendar Design

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 have 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.

Cassie MacDonald -- Administrative Assistant

Cassie came to Philadelphia in 1998 from Portland, Oregon. Attempting to explain her return to Philadelphia, she once compared herself to the salmon returning to its birthplace, but she doesn't care to take the analogy too far. She is a lawyer (not practicing), a poet (practicing) and an avid traveler, among other things. She loves wild animals and wild places, and her most impractical fantasy is to drive a motorcycle across the U.S. and see as many national parks as possible. Cassie lives in South Philly with her mom and beloved feline companion Flip (a.k.a. Snaggletooth, the Purrmeister, Littlehead, and Flipadedoodah.) She is currently at work on a family history.

Pam Kuklinski --Development

Pam is a junior double-majoring in psychology and English, and one day, although no one believes her, she wants to work for the FBI. When Pam isn't working or attempting to study, she spends most of her time rehearsing and performing with Penn Dance, a student-run modern dance company here at Penn, and Tap Team 2, a Philadelphia professional tap company. Pam loves working at WH, and all the great people who inhabit this creative space.

Adam Kaufman -- Research Assistant for the Writers House Fellows Program

Adam Kaufman: Born July 4, 1978 in Los Angeles, CA to Fran and Neal Kaufman, Adam spent his formative years in a loving house surrounded by family and friends. Braving the east and the cold, he ventured to Pennsylvania to study business and engineering. At the University of Pennsylvania he found good friends, good times, and the Writers House. He developed a refined sense of the cliche and now enjoys boating, fine wines, and just straight "chill'n." He is involved with Speakeasy and the Writers House Fellows Program.

Rebekah Grossman -- House Cook

rebekah grossman: vegetarian poetry served up in soothing shades of yum. complements of the house. art objects and savory words (adult advisory: explicit lyrics) on the side. gifts for everyone.

Allie D'Augustine -- Catologing Librarian

Tim Coble -- Sound Technician

Hannah Sassaman --- Web maintenance

Hannah Sassaman

Hannah Sassaman is a junior Theatre Arts major with short hair. She isn't sure if she's going to grow it out again or not. Hannah eats lots of the food here at the House. And she sings loudly. No one is exactly sure why she's around. Theories: some weird association with Xconnect, possibly as the Poetry Editor. Naaah, that's impossible! Here is one of her shorter poems:

I Am Roughly Familiar

I am roughly familiar with
The work of God.

I have seen His trees and
Some of His mountains.

When sleeping at the wheel, I
Felt the gentle pull of
Two fingers at my chin, where
A low grumble.

I am roughly familiar with
The work of God.

Oh, yes! Often, she acts. (Like an idiot! Ha ha.) And, in plays! Here's a recent picture from the fall Theatre Arts production of The Physicists. She played "Sister Marta Boll" and "Uwe Sievers".