Blaze Bernstein Memorial Fund at UPenn Kelly Writers House

The Kelly Writers House on UPenn's campus serves as a center for writers of all kinds from Penn and the Philadelphia region at large.

Al Filreis   , Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House

Al Filreis, Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House

Announcing the Blaze Bernstein Memorial Fund at the UPenn Kelly Writers House


August 4, 2018.  Al Filreis, the Kelly Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House, and Director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania, announced the following:

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In January 2018 we were devastated and heartbroken to learn of the death of Blaze Bernstein, a member of Penn's Class of 2020, who was the newly elected managing editor of Penn Appétit, a copy associate for Penn Review, and a member of our planning committee ("the Hub”). It was a staggering loss that continues to affect our community. 

We want you to know about a new initiative that will allow us to honor Blaze and his memory forever. 

The Blaze Bernstein Memorial Fund at the Kelly Writers House, a fund established at Writers House in partnership with Blaze's family, will support students who are developing their own writing careers. Each year, the Blaze Fund will provide a stipend to a Penn student undertaking an otherwise unpaid summer internship in a creative field. Funds raised in Blaze’s memory above and beyond the cost of a summer stipend will be used to support community-oriented programs at Kelly Writers House that center on writing and food, two of Blaze’s great loves.

You can read more about Blaze and this fund here: 


On the web page you will find links to a selection of Blaze’s own writing, and to a guest Daily Pennsylvanian column in which our Jamie-Lee Josselyn describes first meeting Blaze and having a first powerful impression of his talents.

We would be honored if you would consider giving in memory of Blaze in an effort to help us “Blaze It Forward,” as his family has inspired us to do.


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About the Kelly Writers House

Founded in 1995 by a group of students, faculty, staff and alumni, the Kelly Writers House is an actual 13-room house at 3805 Locust Walk on Penn's campus that serves as a center for writers of all kinds from Penn and the Philadelphia region at large. Each semester the Writers House hosts approximately 150 public programs and projects–poetry readings, film screenings, seminars, web magazines, lectures, dinners, radio broadcasts, workshops, art exhibits, and musical performances–and about 500 people visit the House each week. They work, write, and collaborate in seminar rooms, a publications room, the "hub" office, a cozy living room, a dining room, a kitchen with plenty of space for conversation, and "the Arts Cafe," the wonderfully open south-facing room that was originally the parlor.

Writers House also has a strong virtual presence. Our ongoing interactive webcasts give listeners from across the country the opportunity to talk with writers such as Ian Frazier, Richard Ford, and Cynthia Ozick. And via our dozens of listservs and email discussion groups, we link writers and readers from across the country and around the world. Through its many programs and projects, the Writers House promotes the full range of contemporary literature, addressing writing both as a practice and as an object of study.

The intrepid band of students, faculty and Penn staff who formed the Writers House in the fall of 1995 were committed to a form of literary communitarianism. The mission statement they wrote–it's really a declaration of academic independence–expresses this idealism.



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