January 2017

Sunday, 1/1

Monday, 1/2

Tuesday, 1/3

Wednesday, 1/4

Thursday, 1/5

Friday, 1/6

Saturday, 1/7

Sunday, 1/8

Monday, 1/9

Tuesday, 1/10

Wednesday, 1/11

Thursday, 1/12

Friday, 1/13

Saturday, 1/14

Sunday, 1/15

Monday, 1/16

Tuesday, 1/17

A conversation with Alan Bernheimer

Multilingual Poetics series

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Alan Bernheimer's translation of Philippe Soupault's, Lost Profiles: A Memoir of Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism, was published in November by City Lights, a retrospective of a crucial period in modernism, written by a co-founder of the Surrealist movement. Opening with a reminiscence of the international Dada movement in the late 1910s and its transformation into the beginnings of Surrealism, Lost Profiles proceeds to usher its readers into encounters with expected figures such as Guillaume Apollinaire and Blaise Cendrars, and with unexpected ones such as Marcel Proust and James Joyce. Bernheimer's most recent poetry collection is The Spoonlight Institute, published by Adventures in Poetry in 2009. He has lived in the Bay Area since the late 1970s, where he was active in Poets Theater and produced a radio program, "In the American Tree," of new writing by poets. He has also translated works by Robert Desnos and Valery Larbaud.

Wednesday, 1/18

Marginalized Work, Innovative Critique

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Hosted by Full Stop Magazine (and in celebration of its first print anthology), writers and editors across presses will discuss innovative dynamics in contemporary criticism. Traditional modes of literary critique might include a summary of a novel's plot, maybe a recommendation (or not) to purchase. But how might experimental forms of criticism better serve marginalized works, including translations and nontraditional writing by women, especially when these works often eschew plot or a patriarchal (logical, hierarchical) ordering of meaning/event? What kinds of radical tactics must be performed in the criticism of new radical work?

Thursday, 1/19

Night of Zine Making

a Brodsky Gallery event

6:00 PM in the dining room

Kick off a semester of zine workshops by coming together to produce zine pages in a fun and dynamic collaborative event. Before being xeroxed and bound, the zine pages will be installed on the KWH Brodsky gallery walls for the first exhibition of the new year!

Friday, 1/20


Birds of a Feather by Olivia Matlin

Creative Ventures Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP: wh@writing.upenn.edu
co-sponsored by: Theatre Arts Program

Join us for a workshop reading and post-reading discussion of Birds of a Feather, by Olivia Matlin (C’18), winner of the fourth annual Penn Plays Fellowship, sponsored by Kelly Writers House and Penn's Theatre Arts Program. This event kicks off an intensive workshop process led by playwriting advisor Michele Volansky and project director David O’Connor, which will culminate in a final, public reading on Friday, February 3rd at 7pm in the Montgomery Theatre, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

2016/2017 Penn Plays Fellowship Winner Olivia “Liv” Matlin is a junior Theatre Arts major at UPenn's College of Arts and Sciences. As an aspiring actor and writer, she is artistically drawn to exploring notions of what it means to be “human”. Birds of a Feather, her second play, examines this theme, mindful of the often absurd nature of our condition. When not writing, Liv can typically be found loitering around VanPelt (coffee in hand).

2016/2017 Penn Plays Playwriting Advisor Michele Volansky is Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre at Washington College and an Associate Artist for PlayPenn. She has worked on over one-hundred and fifty new and established plays in her professional career and has served on the artistic staffs at Actors Theatre of Louisville (1992-95), Steppenwolf Theatre Company (1995-2000) and Philadelphia Theatre Company (2000-2004). She has served as an artistic consultant for the TCG playwright residency program, a reader for the Eugene O'Neill Center's National Playwrights Conference and the New York Shakespeare Festival/The Joseph Papp Public Theatre's Emerging Voices Program and is the 1999 inaugural co-recipient of the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy. She is a past president of LMDA, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (2002-2004). Her book on playwriting and collaboration with Bruce Graham entitled The Collaborative Playwright was published in March, 2007 by Heinemann Press. She holds a B.A. in English from Washington College, an M.A. from Villanova University and a PhD from the University of Hull (England); her dissertation explores the politics and advocacy of the critics Kenneth Tynan and Frank Rich.

2016/2017 Penn Plays Project Director David O'Connor is a Philadelphia Theater Director, Designer and Teacher. He is a Visting Lecturer for Theater Arts at Penn where he teaches Acting and Directing. David is the Resident Director for Philadelphia Young Playwrights, where he develops and directs new plays by Philadelphia Area student. David has directed or designed for the Arden, the Lantern, Tiny Dynamite, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater, Hedgerow, Act 2, Delaware Theater Company and others. David directed last year's Penn Plays reading of Mirrors by Michael Lobman.

Saturday, 1/21

Sunday, 1/22

Monday, 1/23

A reading by ko ko thett

Writers Without Borders

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Charles Bernstein
watch: a < a href="http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/multimedia/tv/reruns/watch/209122">video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

ko ko thett is a poet by choice and Burmese by chance. In between he is a literary translator, anthologist of contemporary Burmese poetry, and Burma/Myanmar researcher. Selections from his book, the burden of being burmese, have been translated into Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and Finnish. After a whirlwind tour of Asia and Europe for about nineteen years, thett is happily resettled in his native Yangon. Click here for any query or comment on his work.

Tuesday, 1/24

Suppose an Eyes poetry reading

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Suppose An Eyes is an ongoing workshop for poets sponsored by the Kelly Writers House. Formed in 1999, the group meets two evenings per month, providing a workshop for poets to explore, share and improve their work as part of a supportive community of writers. Though often full, the group is open to anyone interested in writing poetry — any type of poetry, from traditional forms to "found" poetry, flarf, and even computer-generated work. In addition to workshop meetings, Suppose an Eyes participates in readings at various locations in the greater Philadelphia area.

Wednesday, 1/25

Shifting the Gaze: Alice Bag

Feminism/s program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Founded and organized by Amanda Silberling and supported by our Fund for Feminist Projects, the Shifting the Gaze series draws attention to women working in rock music.

Alice Bag is a singer/songwriter, musician, author, artist, educator, and feminist. Alice was the lead singer and co-founder of the Bags, one of the first punk bands to form during the first wave of punk rock in Los Angeles. The Bags are considered one of the key bands of the early Hollywood punk scene that centered around the Masque in 1977-78. In 1981, members of the Bags appeared as the Alice Bag Band in the seminal documentary on punk rock, The Decline of Western Civilization. Alice went on to perform in other groundbreaking bands, including Castration Squad, Cholita, and Las Tres. She has published two books, including the critically acclaimed memoir Violence Girl in 2011 and the 2015 self-published Pipe Bomb For the Soul, based on her teaching experiences in post-revolutionary 1980's Nicaragua. Alice's influence on popular music is highlighted in the Smithsonian exhibit, American Sabor. Alice’s self-titled debut solo album will be released on June 24th, 2016 on Don Giovanni Records. Alice Bag features all original material written by Bag and includes performances by some of her favorite LA-based musicians.

Thursday, 1/26

Mind of Winter

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

In January of every year, the Writers House Planning Committee embraces the post-holiday doldrums with a celebration of winter's comforts, inspired by Wallace Stevens's chilly poem, "The Snow Man." We gather here at the Writers House, stoke a big fire in the parlor, simmer several big pots of soup and stew, and share our favorite winter-themed readings with one another. Let it snow!

Friday, 1/27

Saturday, 1/28

Sunday, 1/29

Monday, 1/30

LIVE at the Writers House

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

LIVE at the Writers House is a long-standing collaboration between the people of Kelly Writers House and WXPN (88.5 FM). Six times annually between September and April, Alli Katz hosts a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, all from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN. LIVE is made possible by generous support from BigRoc. For more information, contact producer and host Alli Katz (katza@writing.upenn.edu).

Tuesday, 1/31

Why formalist poetry speaks to us and why we love to practice it

John Timpane, Miriam Kotzin, and Ernest Hilbert, moderated by Lynn Levin

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

Formalist poetry has staying power because it delights the ear as much as it attempts to make sense of the human experience. The panelists, all formalist poets, critics, editors, and teachers, will discuss the reasons why formalist poetry speaks to us and why writing in traditional forms (and sometimes inventing new forms) helps poets shape their thinking and produce pleasing works. As experimental poets know, constraints can pave the way to new literary invention; the panelists will share the ways in which they use meter, rhyme, and other constraints to produce lyric, dramatic, and narrative poems.

John Timpane is Media Editor/Writer and Assistant Books Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. His poetry has appeared in Sequoia, Vocabula Review, Apiary Mixtape, ONandOnScreen, Painted Bride Quarterly, Per Contra, 5_Trope, Poetdelphia, Wild River Review, and elsewhere. His books include (with Nancy H. Packer) Writing Worth Reading (NY: St. Martin, 1994); It Could Be Verse (Berkeley, Calif.: Ten Speed, 1995); (with Maureen Watts and the Poetry Center of San Francisco State University) Poetry for Dummies (NY: Hungry Minds, 2000); and (with Roland Reisley) Usonia, N.Y.: Building a Community with Frank Lloyd Wright (NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000); and a book of poetry, Burning Bush (Ontario, Canada: Judith Fitzgerald/Cranberry Tree, 2010). A denizen of central Jersey, he is husband to Maria-Christina Keller, copy executive for Scientific American. They are the amazed parents of Pilar and Conor.

Miriam N. Kotzin is Professor of English at Drexel University where she teaches literature and creative writing. She is the founding editor of Per Contra: An international journals of the arts, literature, and ideas. She is, as well, a contributing editor of Boulevard. Her most recent collection of poetry is The Body's Bride (David Robert Books, 2013), which joins Taking Stock (Star Cloud 2011), Weights & Measures (Star Cloud Press 2009), Reclaiming the Dead, and a collection of flash fiction, Just Desserts (Star Cloud Press 2010). Her debut novel, The Real Deal was published by BrickHouse Books in 2012. Her fiction and poetry have been published in or are forthcoming in Shenandoah, Boulevard, The Flea, Eclectica, Mezzo Cammin, Offcourse, Smokelong Quarterly, Verse Daily, and The Tower Journal. She was Founding Director of Drexel University’s Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing. Rhina Espaillat wrote, that she “connects with the reader so immediately that her craftsmanship works unnoticed...” Miriam Kotzin was graduated from Penn in 1965, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She majored in English and was Valedictorian for the College for Women.

Ernest Hilbert’s debut poetry collection Sixty Sonnets (2009) was described by X.J. Kennedy as “maybe the most arresting sequence we have had since John Berryman checked out of America.” His second collection, All of You on the Good Earth (2013), has been hailed as a “wonder of a book,” “original and essential,” an example of “sheer mastery of poetic form.” His third collection, Caligulan (2015), has been called “brutal yet beautiful” (Rowan Ricardo Phillips), defined by “pleasure, clarity, and discipline” (Daisy Fried). Hilbert is as a senior specialist at Bauman Rare Books in Philadelphia. He is also the concentration director for the low-residency World of Versecraft MFA program at Western State University of Colorado. His poems have appeared in Yale Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Parnassus, Hudson Review, Boston Review, The New Republic, and American Scholar, as well as several anthologies, including two Penguin classroom editions, Poetry and Literature. He graduated with a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University, where he edited the Oxford Quarterly. He later served as poetry editor of Random House’s magazine Bold Type and editor of Contemporary Poetry Review.

Lynn Levin teaches creative writing at Penn and Drexel. A poet, writer, and translator, she is the author of six books, most recently: Miss Plastique, a 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in poetry; with co-author Valerie Fox, Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets, a 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in education/academic books; and a translation from the Spanish, Birds on the Kiswar Tree, a collection of poems by the Peruvian Andean poet Odi Gonzales. Her other titles include Fair Creatures of an Hour, also a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in poetry, and Imaginarium, a finalist for ForeWord’s Book of the Year Award. An eleven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Lynn Levin has published poetry and prose in Rattle, Ploughshares, Boulevard, The Hopkins Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Cleaver, Per Contra, and on Verse Daily. Garrison Keillor has read her work on The Writer’s Almanac, and she has twice been a guest on Marty Moss-Coane’s Radio Times. Her website is www.lynnlevinpoet.com.