Thursday, December 06, 2007

home sweet

A nice blog response to the New York Times piece than ran yesterday: "The [Writers] House reminds me of everything I love about universities -- that in addition to being places to work and to learn, they can also be a home. Not just to the students who live on campus, but to anyone who can find support and friendship and make themselves at home there." MORE>>>

A former Writers House regular wrote: "The notion of the KWH as a little piece of Swarthmore, Reed or Bard in a large Ivy was spot on...yet, as someone who originally fled Williams for its lack of intellectual opportunity, I would have to add that the real magic in the House was/is the critical mass of devoted faculty, students and other fellow travelers may available by the shear size of Penn. It is unfortunate that the modest size of the liberal arts college often stymies their becoming fertile ground for such innovation. And what they do have to offer isn't always a substitute."

An alumnus (lawyer turned writer-thinker) whom I've met once or twice but has participated in various online discussion groups we host: "Yes, your acceptance and encouragement of even a person like me is what makes The Writers' House and its staff bar none the best place for a writer to grow. I hope over the years ahead to be able to be a better supporter. Al(l) best..."

A former undergrad: "I feel honored to have been a part starting so many years ago. I've been thinking about it more and more as I do law school applications since I remember KWH being a huge reason I applied to Penn. That was almost 10 years ago!"

Nick Spitzer, host of radio's American Roots, wrote in part: "You have created at once a a center of artistic and personal social power, a non-bureacratic, unconventional power in one spot without being marginalized in the process. Brilliant."

Someone working deep inside the research projects of the Annenberg School for Communications at Penn: "I've been a secret admirer since I've come to Annenberg and love Kelly as an artifact of a different time and theory of education. Amazing to see this wonderful recognition in the Times."

A former student, now a professor at a midsized public midwestern university: "My warmest congratulations for this well-deserved national recognition. I just sent the link to the president and academic dean of my institution, along with a statement about how we can draw inspiration from what you've accomplished. We'll never have the funding or the elite students, but we can steal some of your ideas and methods. Honestly, a couple of us have already begun. We've set up blogs and wikis, invited students to gather for informal literary events, planned an open mic night and trips to Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City to hear big time writer's read. I'm also trying to get the campus radio station out of mothballs and operating again---hopefully with a more creative mix of student-produced programming."