March 2016

Tuesday, 3/1

Kristen Kelly: Heled Travel & Research Presentation

Heled Travel and Research Grant

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Kristen Kelly, our 2015-16 Heled Travel and Research Grant recipient, was inspired to research early Chinese American immigration stories along the West Coast (from San Fran to Seattle), after inheriting boxes of photographs, letters, and immigration documentation from her late grandmother. Thanks to the Heled grant, Kristen studied and wrote about her own family’s immigration from Guangdong Province in China, and connected her personal story to a greater network of immigrant narratives.

Home as Heart, and Hearth: Stories and Ideas

Beltran Family Program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event

Home will be our focus during the 2015/2016 Beltran Family evening. What it is, how it is built, how it is found, and how it is sustained. Beloved Young Adult novelist A.S. King, New York Times writer and Young Adult novelist Margo Rabb, and National Book Circle Critics Finalist Rahna Reiko Rizzuto will read brief work written especially for the evening and join Beth Kephart, this year's Beltran Teaching Award winner, in a conversation. The “home” work of the guests and of Penn students will be bound together in a commemorative volume. An audio collage featuring Penn voices on home, as produced by Penn students in the Wexler Studio, will kick off the evening.

Wednesday, 3/2

Speakeasy Open Mic Night

7:30 in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event

Our student-run open mic night welcomes all kinds of readings, performances, spectacles, and happenings. Bring your poetry, your guitar, your dance troupe, your award-winning essay, or your stand up comedy to share.

Thursday, 3/3

Friday, 3/4

Saturday, 3/5

Sunday, 3/6

Monday, 3/7

Tuesday, 3/8

Wednesday, 3/9

Thursday, 3/10

Friday, 3/11

Reading by Yuri Andrukhovych with translator Mark Andryczyk

a Wexler Studio program

listen: to an audio recording of this program at PennSound

In anticipation of a reading at the Philadelphia Art Alliance on Saturday, March 12, Yuri Andrukhovych, with translator Mark Andryczyk, stopped by the Wexler Studio at the Writers House to record a series of poems and prose pieces.

Yuri Andrukhovych was born in 1960 in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. In 1985, together with Viktor Neborak and Oleksandr Irvanets, he founded the popular literary performance group "Bu-Ba-Bu" (Burlesque-Bluster-Buffoonery). He has published four poetry books: Sky and Squares (1985), Downtown (1989), Exotic Birds and Plants (1991, new editions 1997 and 2002), and The Songs for A Dead Rooster (2004).

Andrukhovych's prose works, the novels Recreations (1992), Moscoviada (1993), Perverzion (1996), 12 Rings (2003), Mystery (2007), Lexicon of Intimate Cities (2011), and Fantomas Has Been Burried Here (2015) have had a great impact on readers in Ukraine. Andrukhovych also writes literary essays (collected in Disorientation in Locality, 1999 and The Devil is in the Cheese, 2006). Together with Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk he published My Europe (2000 and 2001).

In 2015, Vitaly Chernetsky's English-language translation of Andrukhovych’s fourth novel was published by Spuyten Duyvil as Twelve Circles. English-language translations of his first three novels were published as: Recreations (CIUS Press, 1998), The Moscoviad (Spuyten Duyvil, 2008) and Perverzion (Northwestern University Press, 2005).

For details and complete and segmented recordings from this program, click here.

For details on Yuri Andrukhovych's March 12th program at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, click here (PDF).

Saturday, 3/12

Sunday, 3/13

Monday, 3/14

Lunch with Patrick Kerkstra

Kauders Lunch program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Dick Polman
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event

Patrick Kerkstra is the editor of Philadelphia magazine. Before that, he covered politics and urban affairs for the magazine, the Philadelphia Inquirer and other outlets in the city.

A meeting of the Writers House Planning Committee

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe


From the time of its founding in 1995-1996, the Kelly Writers House has been run more or less collectively by members of its community. Our original team of intrepid founders—the group of students, faculty, alumni, and staff who wanted to create an independent haven for writers and supporters of contemporary writing in any genre—took for themselves the name "the hub." "Hub" was the generic term given by Penn's Provost, President, and other planners who hoped that something very innovative would be done at 3805 Locust Walk to prove the viability of the idea that students, working with others, could create an extracurricular learning community around common intellectual and creative passions. To this day, the Writers House Planning Committee refers to itself as "the hub"—the core of engaged faculty, student, staff, and alumni volunteers from whom the House's creative energy and vitality radiates.

Tuesday, 3/15

Multilingual Poetics: Anne Tardos

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event

Anne Tardos, French-born American poet, is the author of nine books of poetry and several multimedia performance works. Among her recent books of poetry are NINE (BlazeVOX, 2015); Both Poems (Roof, 2011); I Am You (Salt, 2008); and The Dik-dik's Solitude (Granary, 2003). She is the editor of Jackson Mac Low's The Complete Light Poems (Chax, 2015); 154 Forties (Counterpath, 2012); and Thing of Beauty (California, 2008). A Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Tardos lives in New York.

Wednesday, 3/16

Writing about TV: Real

Creative Ventures program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event

For this newest event in our Writing about TV series, seven different people will each select a TV show to discuss, using “real" as a theme or subject to guide their talk. “Real" could be used as a literal sort of prompt (a reality TV show), as an audience viewpoint (what is it like to watch a particular kind show as an expert, such as a lawyer watching a legal drama), or even more generally as a way to consider TV as a “real” representation of culture.

Thursday, 3/17


A Creative Writing Program reading

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP: or (215) 573-7948
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event

Join us for a discussion of literary translation practice, featuring poet/translators Taije Silverman and Marci Vogel, and Sarah Stickney.

Taije Silverman, Sarah Stickney, and Marci Vogel will discuss collaboration, linguistic impossibilities, and other questions fundamental to translation. Penn students will also participate in the conversation, and audience members will be invited to create their own translation-poems at the end of the talk.

Sarah Stickney received her MFA from the University of New Hampshire. She is a former Fulbright Grantee for the translation of Italian/Albanian poet Gëzim Hajdari. Her co-translations of Elisa Biagini's selected poems, The Guest in the Wood, received the Best Translated Book Award for poetry in 2014. Her poems and translations have appeared both in the U.S. and abroad in publications such as La Questione Romantica, Rhino, The Portland Review, Drunken Boat, Mudlark, The Notre Dame Review, Structo and others. The Guest in the Wood (Chelsea Editions: New York, 2013), her co-translations of Elisa Biagini’s selected poems, was chosen by the University of Rochester in 2014 for Best Translated Book of Poetry. She lives in Annapolis, MD, where she teaches at St. John's College.

Taije Silverman's debut book, Houses are Fields, was published in 2009 by LSU Press, and her newer poetry has been in The Best American Poetry, the Harvard Review, AGNI, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2016 Anne Halley Prize from the Massachusetts Review for Best Poem, the 2010-11 W.K. Rose Fellowship from Vassar College, the 2005-2007 Emory University Poetry Fellowship (selected by Natasha Trethewey), and several residencies from The MacDowell Colony. In 2010-11, she taught poetry and translation at the University of Bologna on a Fulbright Fellowship. She also serves on the editorial board of Alice James Books. Silverman's co-translations of early twentieth century Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli have appeared or are forthcoming in The Nation, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, AGNI, and many other journals. Houses are Fields appeared in Italian translation in 2013 (LE CASE SONO CAMPI, trans. Giorgia Pordenoni, Oedipus Edizioni).

Marci Vogel is the author of At the Border of Wilshire & Nobody, winner of the 2015 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize. A native of Los Angeles, Vogel is currently a Provost’s Fellow in the Ph.D. program in creative writing and literature at the University of Southern California. Her poetry, translations, and essays have appeared in a number of publications, including Field, Plume, Jacket2, Zyzzyva, Puerto Del Sol, Poet Lore, Colorado Review, and Seneca Review. Awarded a 2014 Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, Vogel’s writing has also earned recognition from the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the AWP Intro Journals Project, and the James Jones Literary Society. Vogel recently organized a public reading at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook as part of a new program to bring poetry to California State Parks. Vogel served as 2013-2014 poetry editor of Gold Line Press and has taught writing and literature in the honors program at USC and at Santa Monica College. She is currently at work on a new collection of poems, several translation projects, and a hybrid manuscript based on the life and work of medieval Francophone poet, Christine de Pizan. Before entering USC in the fall of 2012, Vogel taught for 22 years at a Los Angeles nonprofit elementary school founded to include students with hearing loss.

Friday, 3/18

Saturday, 3/19

Sunday, 3/20

Monday, 3/21

Eileen Myles

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event
rsvp required: or (215) 573-9749

Eileen Myles is a poet and writer who was born in Boston and later moved to New York City in 1975 to pursue her career as a poet. She was deeply involved with the St. Mark's Poetry Project, where she studied with poets Alice Notley and Ted Berrigan among others and later served as the Project's artistic director. She is a professor emeritus at UC San Diego where she founded and taught and directed the writing program, and founded an MFA degree program. In 2012 she was the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship to complete experimental memoir Afterglow. She has published many books of poetry and experimental fiction, most recently Snowflake/different streets (2012) and Inferno (a poet's novel) (2010). Myles's work is known for its deceptively direct and straightforward language that often contains biographical details, as notably in Inferno and "An American Poem" from Not Me (1991). But Myles's short lines and first person perspective lead her readers down complex, emotional paths that weave through different memories, time periods and city streets -- sometimes literally, as with her poems composed while sitting in LA traffic in Snowflake.

Tuesday, 3/22

brunch with Eileen Myles

Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

10:00 AM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event
rsvp required: or (215) 573-9749

Wednesday, 3/23


A conversation with Alec Sokolow

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Event Canceled

Screenwriter, producer, and director Alec Sokolow was nominated in 1995 for the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) for his work on Toy Story. Other writing credits include Cheaper by the Dozen, Evan Almighty, Money Talks, and Garfield: The Movie. For this conversation, Sokolow will talk about the interstitial relationship all storytellers must nurture between the stories they wish to tell and the platforms to tell them on, drawing on his experience working on writing stories for cutting edge technologies.

Thursday, 3/24

Lunch with Uzodinma Iweala

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

RSVP: or call (215) 746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event

Uzodinma Iweala is a writer and medical doctor. His first book, Beasts of No Nation (HarperCollins, 2005), tells the story of a child soldier in West Africa. Beasts of No Nation won numerous awards, including the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize from Booktrust, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second book, Our Kind of People: Thoughts on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, was released in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States in the summer of 2012. He has also published numerous short stories and essays and has worked in international development on matters of health policy. Mr. Iweala is currently working on a novel titled Speak No Evil—a series of interlinked narratives set in Washington, DC—that explores the themes of choice, freedom, and what we must compromise to live in a secure society. The book follows six different characters as they interact with one another and the city in which they live.

RealArts at Penn presents Aphra

hosted by Anthony DeCurtis

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV
listen to an audio recording of this event

Aphra is a whirlwind of carefully crafted, vocally decorated soundscapes, pop songs infused with texture and vibrancy. It’s also a place for Way to flex her muscles as a producer and vocalist. Her debut EP, Sadness is a Gesture, which will release late spring of 2016, is a wrought blend of electro soul with pop sensibility. As a whole, the EP is a series of vignettes, agonizingly chilling and emotional.“Don’t be fooled. Aphra is anything but a downer. Way uses her music as a means of quiet catharsis, but it’s transformative.” — WXPN, The Key.

Conceived in 2013, Aphra is the experimental-soul-pop project of singer and producer Rebecca Way. In late 2013 Way started experimenting with digital synths to express more nuanced ideas she had about a group of songs she held dear to her heart. She craved the instrumentation itself to reflect the mood and weight of each individual song and wanted to produce them in a way that would be unrestrained by genre.

Friday, 3/25

Saturday, 3/26

Sunday, 3/27

Monday, 3/28

Live at the Writers House

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

listen to an audio recording of this event

LIVE at the Writers House is a long-standing collaboration of the people of the Kelly Writers House and of WXPN (88.5 FM). Six times annually between September and April, the Writers House airs a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, along with one musical guest -- from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN. "LIVE" is broadcast on WXPN. "LIVE" is made possible through the generous support of BigRoc and is produced by Alli Katz.

Tuesday, 3/29


6:00 PM in the ArtsCafe

Hosted by Kathy DeMarco Van Cleve

Ariel Levy has been a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine since 2008. There, she has profiled Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that brought down the Defense of Marriage Act, Diana Nyad, who became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida at the age of sixty-four, and Caster Semenya, the South African runner who wn the World Championship when she was seventeen, and forced the International Association of Athletics Federations to reexamine its definition of "female." Levy received the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism for her piece "Thanksgiving in Mongolia," which she is expanding into a book for Random House. She was the guest editor of the anthology The Best American Essays of 2015 and is the author of Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. She teaches writing at Wesleyan University, where she is the Koeppel Journalism Fellow.

Wednesday, 3/30

Lunch with John Hough

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Lorene Cary

RSVP: or (215) 573-7948
watch: a video recording of this event
listen: to an audio recording of this event

John Hough, Jr. is a novelist who grew up in Falmouth, MA (Cape Cod) and now lives on Martha's Vineyard. He comes from a family of newspapermen: his grandfather and his father edited the Falmouth Enterprise and his great-uncle was for many years the editor of the Vineyard Gazette. He is the author of four novels and three works of nonfiction.

Mat Johnson: A Fiction Reading

Bob Lucid Program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Event Canceled

Mat Johnson is the author of the novels Loving Day, Pym, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the comic books Incognegro, and Dark Rain. He is a recipient of the United States Artist James Baldwin Fellowship, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature.

Thursday, 3/31

Annual Marathon Reading

If on a winter’s night a traveler

12:00 PM through the day

For our first annual Bernheimer Symposium, Program Coordinator Erin Gautsche invented for us what has become an annual tradition. Each year, the Hub selects a book to read aloud, straight through from beginning to end, and we celebrate the book with extravagant decorations, food, and props all derived from the text. To sign up as a reader for this year’s book, If on a winter’s night a traveler, please email