Penn’s 2017 Kelly Writers House Fellows Announced

The University of Pennsylvania will host Maria Bamford, Nathaniel Mackey and Lydia Davis as Kelly Writers House fellows during the spring 2017 semester. 

The program offers young writers opportunities to interact with Fellows, who are renowned authors, writers, writer-critics and poets, in for-credit classes, evening readings and informal teaching sessions. Students enrolled in the Writers House Fellows Seminar will study the works of all three Fellows in the course taught by Al Filreis, the Kelly Family Professor of English, director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and faculty director of Kelly Writers House.

Bamford, a comedian, performer and writer, is the first woman to be featured in two Comedy Central Presents specials. She is the executive producer and star of a Netflix series based on her own life, Lady Dynamite, in which she plays a fictionalized character version of herself. She has also appeared in cameos and recurring roles on many comedy series such as “Arrested Development,” “Louie“ and “The Sarah Silverman Program.” She will visit Penn Feb. 13-14.  

Mackey, a poet, essayist and novelist, is known for his largest and ongoing poetry series "Mu" and "Song of the Andoumboulou," published across many volumes, including National Book Award-winning Splay Anthem, Nod House and Blue Fasa. Mackey is a professor of creative writing at Duke University. He will be at Penn March 20-21.

Davis is known for her “flash fiction” pieces, some of which may be just a sentence or a paragraph long. She has published six short story collections and one novel, The End of the Story, along with a compilation of her short fiction pieces, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. She has also published numerous translations of French literature and philosophy into English. She’s an English professor and writer-in-residence at the State University of New York at Albany. She will visit Penn April 24-25.

During each Fellow’s visit, a reading will take place at Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, on Monday at 6:30 p.m., and a brunch and public interview will be held the next morning at 10. Attendance for each program is by reservation only. 

Reservations can be made by writing to Lily Applebaum at

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