Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Kelly Writers House Fellows Seminar 2015: Anne Waldman, Jessica Hagedorn, Dorothy Allison

ENGL 274.401
instructor(s):
Mondays 2-5:00 pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

Note: Admission to this course is by permission of the instructor only. Applicants should contact Lily Applebaum at <alily@writing.upenn.edu>; see more information below.

This is the 17th annual Kelly Writers House Fellows Seminar, which features visits by eminent writers as "Fellows" of the Kelly Writers House, the student-conceived writing arts collaborative at 3805 Locust Walk. The seminar will include extended visits to the class by poet and activist Anne Waldman, novelist and memoirist Dorothy Allison, and novelist and playwright Jessica Hagedorn. 

Anne Waldman has been an active member of the “Outrider” experimental poetry community for over four decades as writer, editor, teacher, performer, and cultural/political activist. She is the author of more than forty books, including Fast Speaking Woman, Vow to Poetry, and The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment. Dorothy Allison's works of fiction and memoir delve into issues of gender, sexuality, autobiography, trauma, and the South and include the short story collection Trash and the novels Bastard Out of Carolina and Cavedweller. Jessica Hagedorn's novels include Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster of Love, and Dogeaters, set in the turbulent period of the Philippines’ late dictator and exploring intersections between American pop culture and local Filipino tradition; her writing for the theater includes Fe in the DesertStairway to Heaven, and the stage adaptation of Dogeaters.

Throughout the semester we will study the work of these three writers—and some of the materials "around" them that make the particular contemporary context in which each operates so compelling. Enrollment in the course is strictly limited. Students will be enrolled only by permit of the instructor and are asked to send a one- or two-paragraph statement by email to alily@writing.upenn.edu, describing why they want to participate in this project and what academic (or perhaps non-academic) experience makes them especially eligible. Participants will write frequent short position papers; will engage in team projects following up each of the Fellows' visits; will be involved in interviewing the three Fellows; and will take a comprehensive final examination. 

In addition to regular class time, participants must be available on three Monday evenings and three Tuesday mornings during the semester. 

The Writers House Fellows program is made possible by a generous grant from Paul Kelly.