November 2019

Friday, 11/1

Saturday, 11/2

Sunday, 11/3

Monday, 11/4

Latina Poetry Night

Marta López Luaces, Lizabel Mónica, Azahara Palomeque, and Mercedes Roffé

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Co-sponsored by: Latin American & Latino Studies Program, The Hispanic and Portuguese Studies Department, and the Penn in Latin America and the Caribbean (PLAC) Steering Committee
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

The Latina Poetry Night brings to Penn four renowned Latina poets of the Spanish-speaking world, all of them based in the U.S. Hosted by the Kelly Writers House, the program in Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS), the Hispanic and Portuguese Studies Department, and the Penn in Latin America and the Caribbean (PLAC) Steering Committee, these poets will offer a combined bilingual reading featuring their most recent work, and will discuss the experience of living in translation, the role of Latinx poetry in the United States, and their immigrant experiences coming from Argentina, Cuba and Spain. Panelists include poet, novelist and translator Marta López Luaces; transdisciplinary artist and writer Lizabel Mónica; poet, writer and journalist Azahara Palomeque; and poet and artist Mercedes Roffé.

Marta López Luaces is a poet, novelist and translator. She has published five books of poetry: Distancias y destierros (1998), Las lenguas del viajero (2005), Los arquitectos de lo imaginario (2011), Memorias de un vacío (2000) and Después de la oscuridad (2015). Los arquitectos de lo imaginario was finalist of the prestigious award Ausiás March (2011). (2010). Her poetry was also translated into Italian under the title of Accento Magico (2002). Others selection of her poetry work appeared in English in the following anthologies: Reminiscenses of Echoes (Belladonna, 2018) As a novelist she published El placer de matar a una madre (Madrid: Penguin Random House, Ediciones B, 2019) and Los traductores del viento (2013), which was awarded the International Latino Book Award 2014.

Lizabel Mónica is a Cuban transdisciplinary writer and artist. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Program in Latin American Studies at Princeton University. She has been invited to talk about her creative and scholarly work at several universities in the United States, including Princeton, Brown, and Columbia University. Mónica is the author of numerous fiction and poetry works which have been translated and published in many anthologies. Web:

Azahara Palomeque is a Spanish writer and poet. She is the author of the books R.I.P. (Rest in Plastic)(2019); En la Ceniza Blanca de las Encías (2017), American Poems (2015) and the bilingual chapbook El Diente del Lobo/The Wolf's Tooth (2014). She has published poems and short stories in multiple journals in the United States, Spain, and Latin America; her work has been included in several anthologies, and has been partially translated into English and Greek. Palomeque also collaborates with the Spanish media where she reports on U.S. social issues. You can follow her on twitter: @Zahr_Bloom.

Mercedes Roffé is one of the most renowned contemporary Argentine poets. Widely published in the Spanish-speaking world, her books were published in translation in Italy, France, Romania, England, Canada, Brazil, and the U.S. . She is the editorial director of Ediciones Pen Press, a press dedicated to the publication of contemporary poetry from around the world ( Among other distinctions, Roffé has been awarded the John Simon Guggenheim (2001) and the Civitella Ranieri (2012) fellowships.

Tuesday, 11/5

A reading by Dottie Lasky and Emily Petit, with Meeree Orlandini

Whenever We Feel Like It Series

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Michelle Taransky
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

The Whenever We Feel Like It Reading Series is put on by Committee of Vigilance members Michelle Taransky and Emily Pettit. The Committee of Vigilance is a subdivision of Sleepy Lemur Quality Enterprises, which is the production division of The Meeteetzee Institute.

DOROTHEA LASKY is the author of six books of poetry and prose, most recently Animal, out this fall from Wave Books. She is an Associate Professor of Poetry at Columbia University School of the Arts and lives in New York City. (photo by Sylvie Rosokoff).

EMILY PETTIT is a poet, artist, teacher, and editor from Western, Massachusetts. She is an editor for Factory Hollow Press and jubilat. Emily is the author of Blue Flame (Carnegie Mellon University Press) and Goat In The Snow (Birds LLC).

MEEREE ORLANDINI is a poet and fiction writer based in South Philadelphia. She recently graduated from the University of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Creative Writing. Her thesis works included a collection of short stories about childhood and place and a collection of poems, Sleeping with Heroes. She is a first grade assistant teacher at Germantown Friends School.

Wednesday, 11/6

Lunch with Eric Boehlert

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Hosted by: Dick Polman
rsvp: or (215) 746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

Eric Boehlert is a veteran progressive writer and media analyst. A former staff writer for Rolling Stone and Salon, Boehlert spent ten years as a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, writing about GOP misinformation, the rise of Fox News as a source of propaganda, and the Beltway media's disdain for Hillary Clinton. He is the author of three books: Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush, Bloggers on the Bus, and Killing Truth: The Lies and Legends of Bill O'Reilly.

Speakeasy Open Mic Night

7:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

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, 11/7

Moving Midway: Screening and Discussion

5:00PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Anthony DeCurtis
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

Director and film critic Godfrey Cheshire will screen Moving Midway, the documentary he made about the effort to relocate his family's North Carolina plantation home and the ongoing historical relationship to slavery that effort reveals. A conversation with Cheshire and a reception will follow.

Godfrey Cheshire is an award-winning film critic, journalist, screenwriter, and filmmaker based in New York City. His writings on film have appeared in publications including the New York Times, Variety, Newsweek, the Village Voice, Interview, Film Comment, Sight & Sound, and Cineaste,; he currently writes for His first film as writer-director, a documentary titled Moving Midway, was named one of 2008's ten best films by the L.A. Weekly and New York magazine. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics and a former chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle.

Friday, 11/8

Saturday, 11/9

A conversation with Buzz Bissinger (C'76)

Povich Journalism Program

An Arts at Penn Homecoming Event

4:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: John Prendergast
rsvp: or (215) 746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

Buzz Bissinger is among the nation's most honored and distinguished writers. A native of New York City, Bissinger is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Livingston Award, the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award and the National Headliners Award, among others. He also was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He is the author of the highly acclaimed nonfiction books: Friday Night Lights, A Prayer for the City, Three Nights in August, Shooting Stars, and Father's Day.

Bissinger has been a reporter for some of the nation's most prestigious newspapers; a magazine writer with published work in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine and Sports Illustrated; and a co-producer and writer for the ABC television drama NYPD Blue. Two of his works were made into the critically acclaimed films: Friday Night Lights and Shattered Glass. Three more are in active development. Friday Night Lights also served as the inspiration for the television series of the same name.

Sunday, 11/10

Monday, 11/11

Lunch with Janny Scott

Povich Journalism Program

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Hosted by: Dick Polman
rsvp: or (215) 746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

Janny Scott is a journalist and the author of two books, The Beneficiary: Fortune, Misfortune, and the Story of My Father and A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother. She was a reporter for The New York Times for fourteen years, writing about race, class, demographic change, and ideas. She was a member of the Times reporting team that won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for the series "How Race Is Lived in America." In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, she and Christine Kay, a Times editor, conceived Portraits of Grief, a series of thumbnail profiles of several thousand victims, which appeared in the Times every day for months. She was previously a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey. Her first book, a New York Times bestseller, was the runner up for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography and one of Time magazine's top ten nonfiction books of 2011. She has appeared on The Colbert Report, Today, MSNBC, C-Span, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Leonard Lopate Show and other television and radio programs. She is a graduate of Harvard College and lives in New York City.

A meeting of the Writers House Planning Committee

5:00 PM in the Arts Cafe


Join us for a meeting of the Writers House Planning Committee (also know as "the Hub") — the core group of engaged students, staff, faculty, and volunteers who help make things happen at Writers House. Anyone is welcome to become a Hub member by participating in Hub activities and helping out. Members of the Hub plan programs, share ideas, and discuss upcoming projects.

Tuesday, 11/12


Brodsky Gallery Opening

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

curated by: Alyson del Pino
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

Life is often small. Days are made of small moments: brief encounters, passing memories, minor hiccups and pains. We often think of the small as meaningful only in accumulation, but what value can smallness hold? What meaning does the tiny hold by and of itself? This fall, the Brodsky Gallery at the Kelly Writers House invited student artists to consider the minuscule — and to contribute small-scale visual art to a group show. Please join us in a celebration of their collective work, which includes tiny paintings, sculpture, prints, and more. This opening event for the show will feature short (very short!) talks by some of the artists, followed by a reception.

Wednesday, 11/13

A performance by Roya Marsh

Caroline Rothstein Oral Poetry Event

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

introduced by: Imani Davis

watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

A Bronx, New York native, Roya is a nationally ranked poet/performer/educator/activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC and works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Roya's work has been featured in Poetry Magazine, Flypaper Magazine, Frontier Poetry, the Village Voice, Nylon Magazine, Huffington Post, Button Poetry, Def Jam's All Def Digital, Lexus Verses and Flow,NBC, BET and The BreakBeat Poets Vol 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket 2018).In Spring 2020, MCD × FSG Originals will be publishing Roya Marsh's dayliGht, a debut collection of experimental poetry exploring themes of sexuality, Blackness, and the prematurity of Black femme death—all through an intersectional feminist lens with a focus on the resilience of the Black woman.

Thursday, 11/14

A special live taping of a PoemTalk about Erica Hunt

with Erica Hunt, Aldon Nielsen, Billy Joe Harris, and Tyrone Williams

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Hosted by: Al Filreis

rsvp: or (215) 746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

PoemTalk is a collaboration of the Kelly Writers House, Jacket2, PennSound, and the Poetry Foundation. PoemTalk is produced and hosted by Al Filreis and engineered and edited by Zach Carduner. Visit for more information.

A reading by Erica Hunt

Sussman Poetry Program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

Erica Hunt is a poet, essayist, and author of Local History, Arcade, Piece Logic, Time Flies Right Before the Eyes, A Day and Its Approximates and most recently, Veronica: A Suite In X Parts. Her poems and non-fiction have appeared in BOMB, Boundary 2, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetics Journal, Tripwire, FENCE, Hambone, and In the American Tree, among other publications. Essays on poetics, feminism, and politics have been collected in Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women and The Politics of Poetic Form, The World, and other anthologies. With poet and scholar Dawn Lundy Martin, Hunt is co-editor of the anthology Letters to the Future, Black Women/Radical Writing from Kore Press. Hunt has received awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Fund for Poetry, and the Djerassi Foundation and is a past fellow of Duke University/the University of Capetown Program in Public Policy. Currently, Hunt is Bonderman Visiting Professor at Brown University and a Poet in Residence at Temple University.

Friday, 11/15

Daedalus Quartet: Migration through Music

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Sponsored by: Creative Ventures at Kelly Writers House, the Music Department, the Center for Africana Studies, the Middle East Center, the South Asia Center , the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, East Asian Languages & Civilizations Department, the Center for East Asian Studies, and the Wolf Humanities Center - Humanities at Large

The Daedalus Quartet, Penn's quartet-in-residence, explores migration through music, illustrating how centuries of cultural cross-pollination has enriched our artistic and spiritual life. Music truly has no borders, unifying through the universality of the human experience. In this performance, which will include selected literary readings voiced by KWH community members, the quartet will perform works that exhibit the richness and complexity of this cultural convergence, including the Philadelphia premiere of a new work by Gabriel Bolanos Chamorro and a world premiere by Penn graduate student composer Ania Vu.

Saturday, 11/16

Sunday, 11/17

Monday, 11/18


LIVE at the Writers House

7:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Hosted by: Jamie-Lee Josselyn
curated by: Erik Ruin

Join us for this month's episode of LIVE at the Writers House: "The Word and the World," curated by Erik Ruin and hosted by Jamie-Lee Josselyn. The show will include a performance of Sloughing a clown-show-in-progress by Eli Nixon & Izzy Sazak, two crankies (moving panoramas) by Erik Ruin with live musical accompaniment by Myles Donovan, and a live musical performance by Persephone.

Sloughing is a clown-act-in-progress. It is part of a full-length play entitled, Peril, us currently in development, written by Eli Nixon and directed by Rebecca Martinez, as part of their Audrey Residency at New Georges Theater. This incarnation of Sloughing includes live sound track creation by Izzy Sazak. Clown support for this piece has been provided by Emmanuelle Delpech, Anne DeMelo, John Turner, Karen Hines and John Denver.

Eli Nixon builds portals and gives guided tours to places that don't yet exist, or already exist but call for imaginative intervention. They are a settler-descended genderqueer clown, cardboard constructionist, and maker of plays, puppets, parades, pageants, suitcase theaters, and low-tech spectaculah. Their performances, installations and public choreography occur on street corners and stages. Eli collaborates with other artists, activists, and the more-than-human world, as well as with schools, senior centers, and addiction recovery and mental health programs. Eli's current creative efforts include identifying opportunities to dismantle Manifest Destiny, foster intra and interspecies kinship, and co-parent an 10 year old human.

Izzy Sazak is a performer, singer, creator, director, clown and teaching artist. Izzy is a member of Philadelphia based visionary theater collective, Applied Mechanics and the lead singer of The Bandits. Recent credits include; The Bandits @ Late Night Snacks; Geoff Sobelle's HOME(performer); and Applied Mechanics' This Is On Record(co-director).

Erik Ruin is a Michigan-raised, Philadelphia-based printmaker, shadow puppeteer, paper-cut artist, etc., who has been lauded by the New York Times for his "spell-binding cut-paper animations." His work oscillates between the poles of apocalyptic anxieties and utopian yearnings, with an emphasis on empathy, transcendence and obsessive detail. He frequently works collaboratively with musicians, theater performers, other artists and activist campaigns. He is a founding member of the international Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, and co-author of the book Paths Toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations of Everyday Anarchism (w/ Cindy Milstein, PM Press, 2012).

Myles Donovan is a Violist and Harpist born and raised in the city of Philadelphia, but currently based in RidgeWood NY. Travelling somewhat recklessly between the worlds of improvised noise, metal, queercore, folk and outsider classical music with past dayjobs in hospice care and shelter work, he has spent time playing in the bands Disemballerina, A Stick And A Stone, Ominous Cloud Ensemble, Negative Queen, and most recently, Forgotten Bottom. His performances range from international fashion show soundtrack work, to memorial services for murdered trans women, to large festivals, basement shows, male sex worker performance art spaces, gradeschools, nursing homes, museums and weddings. Additionally a visual artist, his work has been used over the years as album covers for a range of different vinyl releases. He is a frequent collaborator with A/V papercut artist Erik Ruin.

Persephone is the interdisciplinary investigation of the fluid relationship between word and sound; drawing from elements of jazz, spoken word and Homeric storytelling. Featuring the sharp and intimate poetry of Kelly, the empathetic and responsive drumming of April Camlin, and the exploratory melodic pulses of Lucas Rambo. Currently based out of both Baltimore and DC, this project is a way for these collaborators to explore the tuned-in and ecstatic state of improvisation together.

Tuesday, 11/19

Lunch with Alan Rosen

Hosted by: Al Filreis

Wexler Program in Jewish Life and Culture

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: or (215) 746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

Dr. Avraham (Alan) Rosen is the author or editor of fourteen books. He is most recently the author of The Holocaust's Jewish Calendars: Keeping Time Sacred, Making Time Holy (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2018); The Wonder of Their Voices: The 1946 Holocaust Interviews of David Boder (Oxford UP, 2010; updated paper edition 2012), and Sounds of Defiance: The Holocaust, Multilingualism and the Problem of English (U of Nebraska P, paper 2008); and the editor of Elie Wiesel: Jewish, Literary, and Moral Perspectives (Indiana UP, 2013, finalist, National Jewish Book Awards) and Literature of the Holocaust (Cambridge UP, 2013, also a finalist, National Jewish Book Award). His current writing, including two books and a number of articles, focuses largely on the legacy of his teacher and mentor, Elie Wiesel.

A reading by Salar Abdoh

Lucid Fiction Program

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

Salar Abdoh is an Iranian novelist and essayist who has authored The Poet Game and Opium. He has also edited and translated the anthology Tehran Noir, and his last book, 2014, was Tehran At Twilight. He lives in Tehran as well as New York City where he teaches Creative Writing in the MFA program at the City College of the City University of New York. Photo credit: Mehri Rahimzadeh (Tehran, Iran)

Wednesday, 11/20

Make it the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media

A conversation with Jacob Edmond

12:00 pm in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: or (215) 746-POEM
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

The world is full of copies. This proliferation includes not just the copying that occurs online and the replication enabled by globalization but the works of avant-garde writers challenging cultural and political authority. In Make It the Same, Jacob Edmond examines the turn toward repetition in poetry, using the explosion of copying to offer a deeply inventive account of modern and contemporary literature.

Jacob Edmond is associate professor in English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is the author of A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (2012).

Shiv Kotecha and Bianca Rae Messinger

Breaking Through

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

hosted by: Simone White

Curated and hosted by Simone White, Breaking Through features poets on the verge of publishing their first books for conversations about poetics, influence, and the future of poetry.

Shiv Kotecha is the author of The Switch (Wonder, 2018) and EXTRIGUE (Make Now, 2015). Critical and creative writing can be found in frieze, Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, The Los Angeles Review of Books and in other publications. He is the New York contributing editor of frieze magazine and a PhD candidate in NYU's Department of English.

Bianca Rae Messinger is a poet and translator living in Iowa City, IA. She is the author of the digital chapbook The Love of God (Inpatient Press, 2016) and The Land Was V There (89+/LUMA, 2014). Her translation of Juana Isola's chapbook You Need a Long Table Behind a Pile of Firewood to Have Lunch with Your Children in Ray Bans was recently published by Monster House Press. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa and was a poet in residence at the Fire Island Artist Residency (Summer 2019).

Thursday, 11/21

RealArts@Penn Internships: info session

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp to:
watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

Have you been dreaming of the perfect summer internship? The one that will change your life forever? RealArts@Penn can help make that dream a reality! RealArts@Penn offers paid summer internships in publishing, TV and film, journalism, public relations, talent management, music, theater, and museums. Premier partner/host organizations have included Viacom, Genre Films, Downtown Bookworks, Pitchfork Media, Morgan Museum and Library and Principato-Young Entertainment. The project draws upon a vast network of creative alumni who help enable hands-on and face-to-face interactions between students and the people who make arts and culture their business. Join us for an informal conversation with past RealArts interns to learn more about the project and the application process.

Podcasts, Pop Culture, News: Stephen Metcalf and June Thomas

Povich Journalism Program

in conversation with Al Filreis

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording of this program via our YouTube channel

June Thomas is senior managing producer of the Slate Podcast Network and has worked at the magazine for more than 22 years. A former managing editor and foreign editor, she also wrote about television and popular culture and founded Outward, Slate's LGBTQ section. She is currently one of the hosts of The Waves, Slate's podcast about gender and feminism. June was born and raised in Manchester, England, but she has now spent most of her life in the United States.

STEPHEN METCALF is a critic-at-large and columnist at Slate Magazine. He is also the host of the magazine's weekly cultural podcast the Culture Gabfest.

Friday, 11/22

Saturday, 11/23

Sunday, 11/24

Monday, 11/25

Tuesday, 11/26

Wednesday, 11/27

Thursday, 11/28

Friday, 11/29

Saturday, 11/30