Who we are
Al Filreis is the founder and creator of ModPo (during the spring and summer of 2012) and has been leading ModPo ever since, one of the first humanities MOOCs. More about Al here.
Laynie Browne, a long time teacher at UPenn, and ModPo enthusiast, is thrilled to be stepping into her role as overall coordinator for Mod-Po. She is the author of many books of poetry and prose. Recent publications include a book of poems In Garments Worn By Lindens, a novel Periodic Companions, and a book of short fiction, The Book of Moments. She is also editor of the anthology A Forest on Many Stems: Essays on the Poet’s Novel. More about Laynie here.
Zach Carduner is one of ModPo’s tech gurus, and has been associated with ModPo since 2014. He is also the editor of PoemTalk and PennSound, and can be found every day at the Kelly Writers House where he is the coordinator of our Wexler Studio. Zach responds to questions you post to our “Tech Help” forum. More about Zach here.
Chris Martin is also one of ModPo’s tech gurus. Chris created all the tech supporting ModPo back in 2012—and has become justly famous among MOOC teachers and presenters for his knowledge of interactive media. Chris essentially invented the live interactive webcast used by MOOCs and regularly presents on how the ModPo webcast works. He is the lead technology specialist for the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at Penn.
The ModPo Teaching Assistants are completely and utterly responsible for the success of ModPo. Almost all of the original ModPo TAs continue to be involved! They have been joined by several other remarkable people. All the TAs are introduced here. ModPo TAs offer office hours each week during our annual autumn symposium mode; here is the current office hour schedule.
ModPo is supported immensely by the volunteer efforts of our Community TAs (CTAs). They answer your questions about how to use the site. They post a new thread each week during the annual autumn “symposium mode” of the course called “Hopelessly Lost.” You can go to that thread any time to ask questions or receive support. Many of the CTAs have been members of the ModPo community since 2012. Many have visited us at Kelly Writers House. They and you all are always welcome there: 3805 Locust Walk on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
The Kelly Writers House is host and home to ModPo. Few MOOCs have an actual physical home—a place you can visit in person. We welcome you at KWH any time. KWH is a 14-room 1851 Tudor-style cottage where readings, seminars, workshops, presentations and performances happen every weekday evening (usually at 6 PM) and many weekdays at noon. All KWH events are free and open to everyone. And every program is streamed live to you on KWH-TV. To receive weekly (Friday) announcements about what’s going on at the Writers House, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. We at KWH make ModPo available to you without any fee. But as you can imagine, it costs a good deal in staff time and actual expense to make this course available to anyone anywhere. If you feel inclined to support us, please by all means do so.