News briefs

New Current site
The Penn Current has a new—and much improved—presence on the Web. This week the Current launched its redesigned web site at The site has all of the content from the paper version of the Current, presented in an easy-to-use format.

We’d love to hear your comments about the site. Please send your thoughts to

Fine fellows
John McPhee, Jamaica Kincaid and Donald Hall have been named as Kelly Writers House Fellows for 2007. During their visits to campus, these renowned writers will work with students in the Fellows seminar, as well as reading from and discussing their work at public events with Writers House Director Al Filreis.

McPhee, a pioneer of literary nonfiction, has written 29 books, including “The Pine Barrens,” “Annals of the Former World” and “Uncommon Carriers.” He comes to campus Feb. 12 and 13, 2007.

On March 19 and 20, Kincaid, a former New Yorker staff writer and author of “Mr. Potter” and “Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalayas” will visit. Hall is the author of 15 books of poetry, including “White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946-2006” and the memoir, “The Best Day The Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon.” He will be on campus April 16 and 17.

Seating is by RSVP only. To reserve a seat, email or call 215-573-9749.

Party in the park
Enjoy those crisp fall nights with some free music on the side. The University City District is sponsoring two free outdoor concerts at 43rd St. and Springfield Ave., located in West Philly’s historic Clark Park. On Thursday Oct. 5 at 6 p.m., the sacred, steel guitar group The Campbell Brothers will perform; on Thursday, Oct. 12, also at 6 p.m., percussionist Billy Martin (of Medeski, Martin and Wood ) leads an ensemble of NYC downtown luminaries. Performances take place rain or shine. Call the UCD at 215-243-0555 or go to for more information.

Originally published on September 21, 2006