Stop for Death: Poetry, Prose, and the Unknown with the Black History Maven, Kalela Williams (Virtual Course)

Date / Time

  • October 19, 2022
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  • November 2, 2022
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  • November 16, 2022
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  • November 30, 2022
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm



  • Tuition for this course is $200. 10% off for Rosenbach members and the Delancey Society. Not a member? Learn more.
  • This course is limited to participants who are 18 years of age or older.
  • This is a virtual program held over Zoom.
  • Please check your spam folder for your email confirmation. If you have questions, please call (215) 732-1600 or email [email protected].
  • Registration opens for Delancey Society members on July 18, for members on July 25, and for the general public on August 1.


Course Description

As death is our greatest mystery, writers and storytellers have explored this state with their imaginations for millennia. Join Kalela Williams, founder of Black History Maven, for a look into poetry and fiction surrounding death, with a focus on U.S. 18th and 19th century works. Along with discussing our own feelings, we’ll also glimpse letters, images, and other primary sources and documentation that illustrates how death has been seen, feared, and honored. This is a virtual course, but as an assignment, participants will each be asked to visit a cemetery local to them.   

Stop for Death syllabus

About the Instructor

Kalela Williams is the founder of Black History Maven, a gathering community that honors all diverse pasts, affirms Black identity and pride, and engages communities in literary, artistic, and cultural conversations. She is the current Director of Writing of Philadelphia youth organization Mighty Writers, and previously worked in literary programming for the Free Library of Philadelphia and James Madison University’s Furious Flower Poetry Center.  

In addition, Kalela serves on the board of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and writes fiction that connects history with the present. Her essay, “The Three Century Walk” is forthcoming this fall in Making Tracks: Reflections on Walking by New Door Books, and she recently was awarded a Tin House Writing Residency for her YA novel-in-progress, The Rosebine Daughters. Kalela has led literary and writing workshops for museums, organizations, and institutions including the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Library Company of Philadelphia, Mural Arts, and many others. 

About Rosenbach Courses

Revisit beloved classics or experience new ones with Rosenbach courses. Book lovers delve into fiction, history, and poetry with the guidance of a literary expert and the company of other readers. See all upcoming courses.

By registering for this program, you will be added to The Rosenbach’s email database to receive future communication about programs and events. If you’d prefer not to receive these messages please email [email protected]g with unsubscribe in the subject line. 


Image Caption: Sculpture by Alexander Milne Calder, William Warner Tomb, Laurel Hill Cemetery (1889)