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Kelly Writers House: Dr. Snead

Jennifer Snead

As of July 1, the Director of the Kelly Writers House will be Dr. Jennifer Snead, Dr. Al Filreis, the Faculty Director of the House announced.

Dr. Snead succeeds Dr. Kerry Sherin Wright who joined the Writers House staff in 1997, and as of July 1, will continue as a member of the Writers House community, serving as Senior Advisor at the Writers House, Lecturer in Critical and Creative Writing, and Associate Fellow at the new Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing.

Dr. Snead is a poet, scholar, and teacher. She has a Ph.D. in English from Duke University, where she taught writing and literature and trained teachers of writing. She has been a lecturer on the faculty of English here at Penn since 2000, teaching courses in poetry and poetics, the novel, and creative writing. Her areas of interest as a writer and scholar include 18th-century print culture, history and contemporary culture of the book, science fiction and fantasy writing, and poetry and poetics.

She is completing a term as a Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow at the Penn Humxanities Forum. She has also been the assistant program coordinator at the Kelly Writers House, and a research associate for SAS's Office of External Affairs.

An alumna of the College of Arts & Sciences, who took her B.A. in 1994 in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, she received the Haney Prize for the year's finest Senior Honors Thesis, and was twice awarded the College Alumni Society Prize for Penn's best undergraduate poet. (One year she took second in this contest; the winner was Shawn Lynn Walker, who then became a founder and the first Resident Coordinator of the Writers House.)

Closely affiliated with the House since returning to Philadelphia in 2000 as a member of the Writers House volunteer collaborative planning committee (or "hub"), Dr. Snead has conceived and organized a variety of projects and programs, including "Fringing the Page," a one-day conference on Philadelphia poetry to coincide with the Philly Fringe Festival, and a recent Documentary Workshop featuring film-maker Greg Matkosky. She has also read her poems on "Live at the Writers House," the one-hour radio program broadcast in collaboration with WXPN.

When offered the Writers House directorship by a 10-person hiring committee of Writers House-affiliated students, faculty, Penn staff, and alumni, Dr. Snead said: "I'm thrilled and awed to have the opportunity to lead this extraordinary writing community. I found a home at the Writers House when I returned to Penn, and I can't wait to be able to take good care of it as it has taken such good care of me."

  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 33, May 13, 2003