October 2020

Thursday, 10/1

An Introduction to Zines

Led by Soapbox artist Candy González

6:00 PM (ET) on Zoom

Register: wh@writing.upenn.edu
sponsored by: KWH Zine Library and Creative Ventures

Learn all about zines, independent DIY publications, at this virtual workshop with The Soapbox, a West Philadelphia-based community print shop and zine library. Soapbox artist Candy González will lead participants through zines as a medium, including hands-on activities and strategies for making digital zines. Registration is limited. Reserve your spot by emailing wh@writing.upenn.edu.

Candy Alexandra González is a Little Havana-born and raised, Philadelphia-based, multidisciplinary visual artist, poet, activist and trauma-informed educator. Currently, Candy's artwork explores themes of body politics, fat phobia and self-healing through photography, poetry, printmaking and papermaking. Candy received their MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking from the University of the Arts in 2017. Since graduating, they have been a 40th Street Artist-in-Residence in West Philadelphia, a West Bay View Fellow at Dieu Donné in Brooklyn, NY, a Picasso Project Resident Artist at Kensington Health Sciences Academy in North Philadelphia, and a Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation Micro-Grant Recipient. www.candyalexandragonzalez.com

The Soapbox is a nonprofit community print shop, book and zine making center, and library of 3,500 rare handmade publications. Since 2011, we have been offering affordable workshops, equipment access, art exhibits, readings, a reading room, and edible printing events.

The KWH Zine Library is located on the second floor of the Writers House. Started in 2017, the collection has grown to include zines from all over and from all kinds of creators, with a special focus on Philly zines. Apart from curating, we also host workshops approximately once a semester and fund student zine proposals. Reach out at KWHZineLibrary@gmail.com!

Friday, 10/2

Saturday, 10/3

Sunday, 10/4

Monday, 10/5

A conversation with Katherine Hill

12:00 PM (ET) on YouTube

sponsored by: The Creative Writing Program
hosted by: Jamie-Lee Josselyn

Photo credit: Zoé Fisher

Katherine Hill is the author of two novels, The Violet Hour (Scribner 2013) and A Short Move, (Ig Publishing 2020), which was a New York Times Editors' Choice. With Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, and Jill Richards, she is also co-author of The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism (Columbia University Press 2020). Her fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including AGNI, The Believer, Bookforum, Colorado Review, The Common, The Guardian, The Literary Review, n+1, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review Daily, Philadelphia Inquirer, Post45, Post Road, San Francisco ChronicleTin House. Hill is an assistant professor of English at Adelphi University, where she teaches creative writing and literature to undergraduate and MFA students. Her writing has been awarded fellowships from the New York Public Library, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Corporation of Yaddo. Born in Washington D.C., she now lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn. Find her on @KHill0.

A meeting of the writers house planning committee

5:00 PM (ET) on Zoom

RSVP: jalowent@writing.upenn.edu

The Kelly Writers House is run collectively by members of its community. The Writers House Planning Committee – also known as "the Hub"— meets monthly to discuss Writers House projects and programs. Join us at this meeting to help with ongoing community-led events and projects. This meeting will take place on Zoom. Please register by email to jalowent@writing.upenn.edu

Tuesday, 10/6

Wednesday, 10/7

A reading by Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué

6:00 PM (ET) on YouTube

introduced by: Al Filreis

Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué is a poet and writer living in Chicago. He is the author of three books of poetry, including most recently Losing Miami (The Accomplices, 2019) which was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry. His fourth poetry book, Madness, is forthcoming from Nightboat Books. He is also the co-editor of a book of selected sketches by the artist Gustavo Ojeda, forthcoming from Soberscove Press in 2020. He is currently a PhD student in English at the University of Chicago where he works in the study of sexuality.

Thursday, 10/8

A conversation with Kathy Valentine

Blutt Singer-Songwriter Symposium

6:00 PM (ET) via Zoom

Hosted by: Anthony DeCurtis
Registration required: email Mingo (mingo@writing.upenn.edu) to reserve your spot
watch: here

Kathy Valentine has been a working musician and songwriter for over 40 years, ever since she started her first band, at age 16, in her hometown of Austin, Texas. After moving to Los Angeles at 19, Valentine joined a band that would go on to make music history: The Go-Go's. In this group, Valentine wrote or co-wrote some of the band's most renowned tunes, including the hits "Vacation" and "Head Over Heels." She returned to Austin in 2006, and began finding new opportunities as an actor, public speaker, spokesperson, music director, and producer — and the chance to write her first book for the University of Texas Press: All I Ever Wanted: A RocknRoll Memoir. After completing the book, Valentine took things in a direction only a songwriter and musician could conceive of, writing an accompanying original soundtrack to the memoir. In addition to touring to promote All I Ever Wanted, Valentine has recently enjoyed the resurgence of The Go-Go's with a Broadway musical featuring the band's catalog now appearing throughout the US, a documentary film about the band that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and a tour with her bandmates. She also keeps busy in Austin with her teenaged daughter, her event series "She Factory" that raises money for women-centered non-profits, and her rocknroll band, the Bluebonnets.

Friday, 10/9

Saturday, 10/10

Sunday, 10/11

Monday, 10/12

Libby Copeland: The Lost Family

Sponsored by the Sylvia W. Kauders Fund

12:00 PM (ET) on YouTube

hosted by: Karen Rile

The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are looks at how home DNA testing is profoundly changing how people see themselves and their families. Examining the impact of intimate revelations and moving reunions in the lives of millions of Americans, including adoptees, the donor-conceived, and those who discover they're not genetically related to a parent, The Lost Family chronicles what happens when we embark on a vast social experiment, one vial of spit at a time. The Wall Street Journal calls it "a fascinating account of lives dramatically altered by genetic sleuthing," and The New York Times says, "Before you spit in that vial, read this book." The Washington Post writes: "At times it reads like an Agatha Christie mystery with twists and red herrings. But it is also a philosophy book and an ethics treatise, with a touch of true crime. It wrestles with some of the biggest questions in life: Who are we? What is family? Are we defined by nature, nurture or both?"

Libby Copeland (CAS '98) is an award-winning journalist who writes about culture, science and human behavior. A reporter and editor at the The Washington Post for eleven years, Copeland has also written for New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Atlantic and Smithsonian Magazine. She has been a media fellow and guest lecturer, and has made numerous appearances on television and radio. The Lost Family is her first book.

Tuesday, 10/13

A conversation with Karley Sciortino

6:00 PM (ET) on YouTube

hosted by: Heidi Kalloo
supported by: The Fund for Feminist Projects
watch: here

Karley Sciortino is a writer, television host, and producer. She is the founder of Slutever, a website that focuses on sex and sexuality, and executive producer and host of the Viceland documentary series of the same name. For the last six years she has writen Vogue's sex and relationships column, Breathless. She also co-wrote the scripted comedy series Now Apocalypse (2019), alongside queer film icon, Gregg Araki. Her memoir, Slutever: Dispatches from a Sexually Autonomous Woman in a Post Shame World, was published in 2018.

Wednesday, 10/14

A reading by Jake Marmer

Sussman Poetry Program

6:00 PM (ET) on YouTube

Hosted by: Al Filreis
Rsvp: wh@writing.upenn.edu

Jake Marmer is a poet, performer, and educator. He is the author of Cosmic Diaspora (Station Hill Press, 2020), The Neighbor Out of Sound (Sheep Meadow Press, 2018), and Jazz Talmud (Sheep Meadow, 2012). His klez-jazz-poetry record Hermeneutic Stomp was released by the Blue Fringe Music 2013. Jake is the poetry critic for Tablet Magazine. Born in the provincial steppes of Ukraine, in a city that was renamed four times in the past 100 years, he now lives in the Bay Area.

Thursday, 10/15

From Idea to Book: Weike Wang and Jennifer Kurdyla

Beltran Family Program

6:00PM (ET) on YouTube

How does an idea become a book? How does an editor usher a manuscript into publication? Novelist Weike Wang will talk with editor Jennifer Kurdyla, taking Wang's novel Chemistry (Knopf 2017) as an example of how writer and editor work together to bring a new book into the world.

Weike Wang is the author of Chemistry (Knopf 2017). She is the recipient of the 2018 Pen Hemingway, a Whiting award and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35. Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train and The New Yorker, among other publications. She is in the 2019 Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Prizes. She currently lives in New York City and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is the Craven Writer in Residence.

Jennifer Kurdyla is a writer, freelance editor, and wellness teacher. She has acquired and edited a range of fiction and nonfiction at Alfred A. Knopf and The Experiment, and now supports literary arts as an independent ghost writer, collaborator, and publishing consultant. When she isn't reading, she is practicing and studying yoga and Ayurveda, and shares her knowledge of holistic well-being as a yoga teacher throughout New York City. She is the co-author of the forthcoming cookbook, Root & Nourish: An Herbal Cookbook for Women's Wellness, with Abbey Rodriguez. She lives in Brooklyn. Read more from Jennifer on her website, benourished.me, or on Instagram @jenniferkurdyla.

Friday, 10/16

Saturday, 10/17

Sunday, 10/18

Monday, 10/19

A conversation with Ernest Owens (C'14)

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM (ET) on YouTube

Hosted by: Dick Polman
watch: here

Ernest Owens (C'14) is an award-winning journalist and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. As an openly Black gay journalist, he has made headlines for speaking frankly about intersectional issues in society. In 2018, he launched his growing media company that specializes in multimedia production, consulting, and communications. His work has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, MTV News, and other media outlets. He has won countless honors, which includes landing on the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and receiving the 2019 NEXT Award by the American Society of Magazine Editors. He can be found on Twitter and other social media platforms at @MrErnestOwens and ernestowens.com.


Bernheimer Symposium

6:00 PM (ET) on YouTube

Moderated by: Alli Katz

Gabrielle Bell's work has been selected for the 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Best American Comics and the Yale Anthology of Graphic Fiction. She has contributed to The New Yorker, The Paris Review, McSweeneys, The Believer, and Vice Magazine. The title story of Bell's book, Cecil and Jordan in New York, has been adapted for the film anthology Tokyo! by Michel Gondry. Her first full-length graphic memoir, Everything is Flammable, was named one of the best graphic novels of 2017 by Entertainment Weekly, Paste Magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. Her most recent book, Inappropriate, is a collection of humorous and weird short comics, usually involving animals. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Liana Finck's cartoons appear regularly in The New Yorker and on her Instagram feed. Her recent books are Excuse Me, a collection of Instagram cartoons, and a graphic novel, Passing for Human.

Tuesday, 10/20

City Planning Poetics 9: Feeling the City

Jill Magi and Akira Drake Rodriguez

6:00 PM (ET) on YouTube

hosted by: Davy Knittle
sponsored by: Creative Ventures

Curated by Davy Knittle, City Planning Poetics is a semesterly series that puts poets in conversation with planners, designers, planning historians, and others working in the field of city planning to discuss topics central to their work, ask each other questions, and read from current projects.

Based in the UAE and Vermont, USA, Jill Magi works in text, image, and textile. The author of six books of poetry and numerous handmade books housed in the University at Buffalo Poetry Collection, Jill ran Sona Books for ten years, publishing chapbooks of experimental works that she described as "risky, quiet, and community-based." Her most recent book, SPEECH (Nightboat 2019), is set in a city of middles: something like the Middle East and something like the Midwest and the fictional wanderer who navigates these places resides in a female body of middle age. Jill has had residencies with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Brooklyn Textile Arts Center, and has taught for more than twenty years at research universities, liberal arts colleges, in MFA and BFA programs, and in community-based adult literacy programs. Jill has had solo exhibitions of visual work at the NYU Abu Dhabi Project Space Gallery, Tashkeel, and Grey Noise, and is a co-founder of JARA Collective. Visit her web-site here.

Akira Drake Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Weitzman School in the Department of City & Regional Planning. Her research examines the politics of urban planning, or the ways that disenfranchised groups re-appropriate their marginalized spaces in the city to gain access to and sustain urban political power. Dr. Rodriguez's forthcoming manuscript, Diverging Space for Deviants: The Politics of Atlanta's Public Housing (University of Georgia Press 2021), explores how the politics of public housing planning and race in Atlanta created a politics of resistance within its public housing developments. This research offers the alternative benefits of public housing, outside of shelter provision, to challenge the overwhelming narrative of public housing as a dysfunctional relic of the welfare state. Dr. Rodriguez was recently awarded a Spencer Foundation grant to study how parent and educational advocates mobilize around school facility planning processes in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, 10/21


7:30 PM (ET) on Zoom and YouTube

Register to perform: https://upenn.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ePdT0B3FPYb6A0B
watch: here

Our student-run open mic night welcomes all kinds of readings, performances, spectacles, and happenings. You'll have three minutes on Zoom to read, sing, or perform (poetry, prose, music, stand-up: it's up to you!). Registration for the event will open soon!

Thursday, 10/22

Friday, 10/23

Saturday, 10/24

Sunday, 10/25

Monday, 10/26

Hub Spelling Bee

8:00 PM (ET) via Zoom

Can you write whole essays without a single red squiggle? Do you have an extensive knowledge of root words? Do you love prefixes and suffixes? Join us for our Hub Spelling Bee via Zoom to show off your spelling smarts.

Tuesday, 10/27

Wednesday, 10/28

A conversation with Damon Linker

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM (ET) on YouTube

watch: here

Damon Linker is a senior correspondent at TheWeek.com and a lecturer in the Critical Writing Program at Penn. In recent years, he has worked as a consulting editor at the University of Pennsylvania Press and as a senior editor at Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Until November 2014 he was a contributing editor at The New Republic. Linker is the author of The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege and The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of Our Leaders. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other leading publications. He has edited First Things magazine, served as a speechwriter for New York's Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, and taught political philosophy at Brigham Young University. Linker studied history, philosophy, and writing at Ithaca College, graduating with a BA in 1991. He went on to earn an MA in history from New York University and a Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University.

Thursday, 10/29

Mess+Process: Jessica Vaughn

6:00 PM on Zoom and YouTube

hosted by: Amber Rose Johnson
supported by: Creative Ventures
watch: here

MESS + PROCESS is a conversation and workshop series that brings together artists, poets, and performers to discuss the messiness of the creative process and the winding paths that we take in our imaginative exploration of new ideas before they manifest as specific projects. Moving away from solely focusing on the polished, completed work, we turn our attention toward the collaborative brainstorming, active research, and study-driven play that we maneuver through as creatives in pursuit of something else.

Jessica Vaughn is a visual artist and current Futures Fellow at the Clark Art Institute. She received a BHA from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA). Selected solo exhibitions include Our Primary Goal Is to Be Successful (ICA- Philadelphia, PA, 2021);  In Polite English One Disagrees by First Agreeing (Dallas Contemporary, TX, 2019); and Receipt of a Form (Martos Gallery, New York, NY, 2017). Upcoming and current group exhibitions include Working Thought (Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, 2022); Lost in America (Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany, 2020); Kissing Through the Curtain (MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, 2020);  Who are we are Who (Braunsfelder Family Collection, Cologne, Germany, 2020); and Feelings (Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany, 2019).

Friday, 10/30

Saturday, 10/31