KWH staff

Kelly Writers House Staff 2023-2024

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: 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.

Digital Projects Manager: 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.

Digital Projects Coordinator: Magda Andrews-Hoke

Magda Andrews-Hoke grew up in Philadelphia. She studied English and linguistics at Yale University and religion and literature at the University of St. Andrews. Now she lives in West Philly with 5 roommates & 3 cats and likes to play guitar, sew, listen to the Indigo Girls, and walk around. She writes poems.

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.

Development and Finance Assistant: Amber Woodward

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.

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?

Assistant to Sophia Durose: Sauda Habib

Habib is a Kenyan senior studying International Relations. She loves cooking but can't bake to save her life.

Design Assistant: Asha Vincent

Asha is pursuing a major in Communication and a minor in Design. She's from Philly and considers herself to be an expert at Spotify playlist curating.

Development and Finance Assistant: Rebekah Donnell

Lyn 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: Ash Wright

Ash is from LA and a communications major (but doesn't quite know what that means). her favorite past time is analyzing people's birth charts at parties.

Development and Finance Graduate Assistant: Xiaoshuang Wu

Xiaoshuang is a graduate student at East Asian Languages and Civilizations department, interested in Chinese Modern Literature and paintings. She enjoys watching films and writing fiction in her free time. Always have room for dessert.

Program Assistant: Amara Ali

Amara is a freshman in the College studying who knows what. She is an avid cilantro hater and a fellow left-hander. In her free time she enjoys wearing fuzzy socks and wrapping her cat up in a blanket to make him look like a purrito.

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!

Program Assistant: Vicky Avanesov

Vicky's favorite book is currently The Unbearable Lightness of Being. She says, quote "it's probably because I have the unbearable tendency to swag until I die."

Program Assistant: Lex Bartee

Lex is probably a Linguistics major that absolutely loves languages (go figure)! She’s from Virginia, and spends most of her time reading and trying to figure out this new taekwondo thing. Also, she loves the group owl City, but hates the song fireflies.

Program Assistant: Makena Deveraux

And if you ask me how I'm feeling

Program Assistant: Laura Gboloo

Laura is a freshman studying sociology (though she’s not 100% sure what it is) and political science. You’ll find her listening to Emma Chamberlain’s podcast or drinking a strawberry-flavored beverage.

Program Assistant: Abby Kamanu

Abby is a sophomore in the College majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Creative Writing. She loves reading Nicholas Sparks novels and writing poetry in her free time!

Program Assistant: Alex Moon

Alex Moon is a senior 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: Rae Norman

Rae is a senior studying English and International Relations. She loves Clark Park, light pink, and warm weather. She is trying to learn how to be less afraid of bees.

Program Assistant: Delaney Parks

Delaney is a junior in the College studying a variety of vaguely impractical disciplines — she’s an English major and a Classics minor. Her greatest joys in life include Trader Joe’s, drinks of the week at WilCaf, analyzing Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers lyrics, and seasonal baking. She's always the same height as Dylan, but taller than Sophie only when wearing heeled boots.

Program Assistant: I'deyah Ricketts

I'deyah Ricketts is a senior in the College studying Health & Societies with a minor in English. She's from Chicago, and loves traveling, watching the Food Network, and going to concerts!

Web Master: Azzaya Galsandum

Azzaya likes apples, bananas, and grapes.

Web Master: Jenny Ham

Jenny Ham is a junior at Wharton. 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.

Book Purchaser: Vicky Vo

Book Purchaser: Vicky is a sophomore dual degree student in the Wharton School and School of Nursing. She loves having a good laugh, weightlifting and being a fitness freak, climbing the Sidechat leaderboard, browsing for shoes, and writing. You can find her walking everywhere on campus in drippy outfits.

PennSound Assistant: Daniel Boyko

Boyko is a big dog fan. That's all you really need to know about him.

Wexler Studio Assistant: Linda Chen

Linda is a junior studying biology. In her free time, she likes to do taekwondo and eat cucumber flavored chips.

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: Madeleine Song

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.