December 2019

Sunday, 12/1

Monday, 12/2

A conversation with David Maraniss

Povich Journalism Program

Hosted by Paul Hendrickson

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post and a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and was a finalist three other times. Among his bestselling books are biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, and Vince Lombardi, and a trilogy about the 1960s—Rome 1960; Once in a Great City (winner of the RFK Book Prize); and They Marched into Sunlight (winner of the J. Anthony Lucas Prize and Pulitzer Finalist in History). A Good American Family is his twelfth book. Visit him at

With A Good American Family, Maraniss examines the politics of the 1950s McCarthy era, a time of fear, paranoia, and injustice. It is also a powerful personal story of a son’s search to understand his father and what happened to his family during the Red Scare, one of the darkest periods in modern American history. At the heart is the story of Maraniss’s father. Elliott Maraniss, a World War II veteran who had commanded an all-black company in the Pacific, was spied on by the FBI, named as a communist by an informant, called before the House of Un-American Activities Committee, fired from his newspaper job, and blacklisted for five years.

Tuesday, 12/3

Students of Laynie Browne

A Creative Writing Program reading

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

Please join us for “Open the Window — Please Clap — Some Days Are the Lemonade and Others Are the Lemons,” an unforgettable reading by the students in Laynie Browne’s poetry workshop. They will read inventive poems inspired by public space, poetry walks, film poems, abecedarians, lists, performance, Steinian play, collaboration and more.

Wednesday, 12/4

Students of Sam Apple

A Creative Writing Program reading

6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

Come hear the students in Sam Apple's Extreme Noticing workshop share the funny, strange, subtle, and profound things they noticed during the semester.

Thursday, 12/5

A conversation with Nina MacLaughlin

12:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

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

Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter (W.W. Norton, 2015) and Wake, Siren (FSG, 2019), a re-telling of Ovid's Metamorphoses told from the perspective of the female figures who are transformed. Formerly an editor at The Boston Phoenix, she is a books columnist for The Boston Globe and has written for publications including The Paris Review Daily, The Believer, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Friday, 12/6

Saturday, 12/7

Sunday, 12/8

Monday, 12/9

Penn and Pencil Club Reading

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

watch: a video recording via our YouTube channel

A reading of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, written by members of the Penn and Pencil club, a creative writing workshop for Penn staff from a variety of backgrounds and university departments.

Tuesday, 12/10

Wednesday, 12/11

Thursday, 12/12

Friday, 12/13

Saturday, 12/14

Sunday, 12/15

Monday, 12/16

Tuesday, 12/17

Wednesday, 12/18

Thursday, 12/19

Friday, 12/20

Saturday, 12/21

Sunday, 12/22

Monday, 12/23

Tuesday, 12/24

Wednesday, 12/25

Thursday, 12/26

Friday, 12/27

Saturday, 12/28

Sunday, 12/29

Monday, 12/30

Tuesday, 12/31