Friday, January 31, 2014



Wednesday, Feb 5, 6:30pm
Queens, NY

Lynn Emanuel & Terrance Hayes

Literary Legacies explores issues of influence among noteworthy contemporary poets. This latest installment of the series pairs former teacher and student, Lynn Emanuel and Terrance Hayes, to read from their work and discuss their cross-generational conversation. Moderated by Queens College MFA alumna Zakia Henderson-Brown.

Lynn Emanuel is the author of Noose and Hook (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010),Then, Suddenly— (1999), The Dig (1992), and Hotel Fiesta (1984). She has received the Eric Matthieu King Award from the Academy of American Poets and two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

Terrance Hayes is the author of Wind in a Box (Penguin 2006), Hip Logic (Penguin 2002),Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999) and Lighthead (2010). Among his awards and honors are the National Book Award in 2010, a Whiting Writers Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He is a Professor of Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University.

Co-sponsored by the Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation.

Admission is free.

Queens College
Godwin Ternbach Museum
Klapper Hall 
Thursday, Feb 13, 7:30pm
New Orleans, LA

Roger Sedarat with Peter Cooley 

Roger Sedarat
 is the author of Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, which won Ohio University Press's Hollis Summers Prize, and Ghazal Games (Ohio University, 2011). He teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Queens College, City University of New York. He also teaches and writes on 19th and 20th century American literature and Middle Eastern-American literature.

Co-sponsored by Tulane University.
Admission is free. Reception to follow.

Tulane University
Freeman Auditorium
Woldenberg Art Center 
Thursday, Feb 20, 7:00pm
New York, NY

Cathy Park Hong with Deborah Landau 

Cathy Park Hong
 is the author of Translating Mo'um (2002), Dance Dance Revolution(2007), and Engine Empire (2013). Among her awards and honors are a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Village Voice Fellowship for Minority Reporters.

Co-sponsored by the NYU Creative Writing Program.
Admission is free.

Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
New York University
58 West 10th Street 
Thursday, Feb 27, 4:30pm
Seattle, WA

Elizabeth Alexander & Frank Bidart, with Alice Quinn

Elizabeth Alexander
 is the author of Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010 (Graywolf Press, 2010), American Sublime (2005), Antebellum Dream Book (2001),Body of Life (1996), and The Venus Hottentot (1990). She has received the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John S. Guggenheim Foundation. She was President Barack Obama's first Inaugural Poet.

Frank Bidart is the author of numerous books of poetry including Metaphysical Dog(2013), nominated for the National Book Award, In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-90 (1990), Desire (1997), Music Like Dirt (2002), Star Dust (2005), Watching the Spring Festival (2008), and, most recently, Metaphysical Dog (2013). He co-edited Robert Lowell's Collected Poems (2003) with David Gewanter, and his chapbook, Music Like Dirt, is the only chapbook to be nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Since 1972, he has taught at Wellesley College.

Washington State Convention Center
800 Convention Place

January 31, 2014
Several times a day, stop and just listen. Open your hearing 360 degrees, as if your ears were giant radar dishes. Listen to the obvious sounds, and the subtle sounds—in your body, in the room, in the building, and outside. Listen as if you had just landed from a foreign planet and didn’t know what was making these sounds. See if you can hear all sounds as music being played just for you.

Even in what is called silence there is sound. To hear such subtle sound, the mind must be very quiet.

How to Train a Wild Elephant and Other Adventures in Mindfulnessby Jan Chozen Bays, MD, pages 49–51

Teachings from works published by Shambhala Publications.


Book News

A company in Portugal is interested in publishing a collection of my poetry.

Many thanks to Manuel Domingos who translated several of my poems back in 2008.

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 31, 2014

Right Understanding

According to Buddha's teachings on the Four Noble Truths, all life is dukkha, suffering or unsatisfactoriness; suffering is caused by desire; desire can be dissolved; and the means to achieve this is the Noble Eightfold Path. Furthermore it's essential to note that the first step on the Path is right understanding. In order to attain liberation from suffering, we need to understand the nature of that suffering. We need to have knowledge of the world—including ourselves—as it really is.
- Jeffery Zaleski, "The Science of Compassion"


Fukushima will change your life. A metaphor for all that's wrong in the world.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Today I spoke at the Global Ties U.S. 2014 National Meeting (Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel). I was on a panel with Emmanuel Audelo from Mexico. He is the co-founder of COLECTIVO MURAL which seeks to recover and renovate community and public spaces in Mexico. Audelo works with young people at risk using graffiti as outreach to improve social environments.

In my remarks following his presentation I mentioned how it was important to understand the purpose and role of such art projects as COLECTIVO MURAL.

1. Helps with "nourishment" for young people and an increase in the appreciation for all of the arts.
2. Upholds cultural memory and traditions.
3. Serves as a key for a young person to understand race and gender issues.
4. Art has a healing component; helping with trauma as result of violence or natural disasters; healing for the individual as well as the community.
5. Art projects can open the door to civic engagement.
6. Empowerment for those involved in the project.


Magic number for my son's basketball team to reach the playoffs is 1.
Salem defeated Delaware Tech 71-49 tonight.

Andy Shallal for DC Mayor

Andy Shines While Gray Scowls at Mayoral Forum

It was a tale of two candidates at last night’s mayoral forum, hosted by the DC for Democracy coalition. Andy’s performance was crisp, strong and confident. Mayor Gray was defensive and uninspired, just going through the motions of being a candidate.
From the outset, Andy hammered his message that the District needs fresh leadership and a new vision, and many in the audience of 200 applauded him. He trumped Gray and the other candidates on several issues.
On increasing the minimum wage for District workers, Andy pointed out that he was years ahead of the Council. He was already paying a minimum wage of $10.50 long before the mayor and the D.C. Council “caught up” late last year with legislation to help minimum wage workers. Andy noted that he is the only candidate who has actually created jobs (530 employees at five businesses). 
Andy also separated himself from the pack on his treatment of returning citizens. He has employed returning citizens at his businesses, giving them a second chance to be productive members in their communities.
But while Andy was hiring returning citizens, Gray underfunding the Office of Returning Citizens Affairs. The District already has some 60,000 returning citizens, and nearly 8,000 more men and women return to the city each year from prison or jail. “We need a mayor who genuinely cares about our returning citizens and is willing to put some skin in the game,” he said.
Overall, last night’s forum was a good tune-up for next week’s Ward 4 Candidate Forum on February 5, starting at 7 pm at Paul Public Charter School, 5800 8th Street NW.
So other candidates beware: Andy is ready to rumble!

Must-Read Feature on Andy in The Washington Informer  
Barrington Salmon’s front-page profile of Andy in the new issue of the Washington Informernewspaper is a must-read. He captures Andy’s persona, his passion for art and culture, his love for DC, and his vision for the city’s future. Please read and share.

Paid for by Committee to Elect Andy Shallal. Robin Weiss, Treasurer. 



Andy Shallal for DC Mayor

Thanks for offering to volunteer with the Andy4DC mayoral campaign. With the race heating up, there are many opportunities available to engage, and we will be reaching out regularly to volunteers like yourself.
First, it's important we have your information up to date. Log in to our website and familiarize yourself with our volunteer panel. Click on Join team Andy to tell us what you'd like to do, and leave your comments there for our organizers. DC residents are encouraged to provide their ward numbers.

Andy cannot bring progressive change to DC without your help. We need volunteers who can pass out literature, talk to voters, reach out to those most disenfranchised, and bring their own creative ideas to the #Andy4DC movement. We have a couple events coming up soon:
This Saturday

Come out and canvas the 16th St Corridor in Ward 4 with us! Meet at 1440 Whittier PL NW at 10:00 AM. Contact Leo at or give him a call at 202-276-0083 if you'd like to participate. We need folks to knock on doors, distribute literature, wave signs, distribute yard signs, enter data and, most of all, have fun helping a great candidate!

Wednesday, Feb 5, 7-9:30PM
Ward 4 Mayoral Forum at Paul Public
Come out and show your support for Andy at the Ward 4 Mayoral Debate and Endorsement Forum! If you're a registered Ward 4 voter, you may vote for Andy at the end of the evening. Click the link above to RSVP or text the word WARD4 to (202)733-6161, and we'll text you back with the event details!

That's all for now. Check out our other events and stay tuned for more opportunities!  
Paid for by Committee to Elect Andy Shallal. Robin Weiss, Treasurer. 


Yesterday I received a copy of BARTLETT'S FAMILIAR BLACK QUOTATIONS edited by Retha Powers (Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.). This book contains three references to my work. I was happy to see an excerpt from a poem I wrote in memory of Oscar Romero, the archbishop of El Salvador who was assassinated in 1980.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


The Scholars: An Interview with Lonnie Bunch- founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture


According to a Shallal family member here is what's on Andy Shallal's playlist. The Arts Bandits have been trying to get this information for weeks. Ah....the sweet "Vote" of success.

Andy likes:

Anthony Hamilton
Amy Winehouse
Thievery Corporation
Eric Clapton...and much more.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

delanceyplace header
In today's selection -- in the 1840s and 1850s, the two main parties in the United States were the Whigs and the Democrats. Abraham Lincoln was a staunch member of the Whigs, and resisted recruitment into the new and emerging Republican party -- a party that shared with the Whigs a belief in government-funded internal improvements and high tariffs to protect US industry. But unlike the Whigs, the Republicans had a strong anti-slavery stance as well. By the late 1850s, the Whigs had all but ceased to exist. They were brought down by disagreements on slavery between their Northern and Southern members, and by the emergence of a new party called the Know Nothings that emerged from nowhere but spread rapidly based on its anti-Irish, anti-Catholic platform. This was just one of many adverse reactions to immigration in our history that seem surprising today given the now-clear beneficial effects of these immigrants:
"Abraham Lincoln, to take one example, spurned overtures from residents of northern Illinois to join the new Republican Party, and he ran for the state legislature in 1854 as a straight-out Whig. ...
"Yet those Whigs met and ultimately succumbed to a different new challenger for anti-Democratic votes. This was the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, and antipolitician American or Know Nothing movement, which vowed to destroy both the Democratic and Whig parties. Between 1846, the year of the Irish potato famine, and 1854, more than 3 million Irish and German immigrants, the vast majority of whom were Roman Catholics, had arrived in the United States. Southern cities such as Savannah, Mobile, New Orleans, Saint Louis, and Baltimore received some of this influx, but most immigrants headed for northern cities. To this flood of immigrants, native-born Protestants, who had been warned for decades by bigoted ministers about a papal plot to undermine the American republic, attributed a number of evils -- the growth in crime, poverty, public drunkenness, and competition for jobs -- to these immigrant 'minions' of the pope. The competition for jobs became a particular grievance of native-born manual workers when the economy plunged into a recession during the last half of 1854.
"Nonetheless, it was the increased political clout of Catholic immigrants that did the most to spur the growth of Know Nothingism in 1854 and 1855. The chief political goals of the Know Nothing movement were to bar all immigrants and all Catholics, whether native-or foreign-born, from holding public office and to increase the naturalization period for immigrants from five to twenty-one years -- when, that is, the objective was not to abolish naturalization, which brought the right to vote, altogether. The election of 1852 did much to fan nativist fears. That year both the Whigs and Democrats openly courted the Catholic immigrant vote. The number of immigrants voting, almost all of them voting Democratic, soared. And in the wake of that contest, Franklin Pierce had appointed an Irish Catholic as his postmaster general in an apparently overt bid for Catholic support. In the eyes of anti-Catholic nativists, both the Democrats and the Whigs stood guilty of undermining the Protestant republic. 

Citizen Know Nothing
The Know Nothing Party's nativist ideal
"What emerged as the Know Nothing movement actually began years before the 1852 election. In 1849 an anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic fanatic named Charles B. Allen had tried to start a secret, superpatriotic fraternity known as the Order of the Star Spangled Banner. As of mid-1852 it had a grand membership of nine men meeting in a back alley in New York City. Then it was taken over by another nativist group known as the Order of United Americans, led by a superb organizer named James W. Barker. By the end of 1854 the membership of the order totaled somewhere between eight hundred thousand and 1.5 million men, most of them skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled laborers or lower-middle-class white-collar clerks, who were sworn by membership oaths to support the political candidates endorsed by the local lodges or wigwams of the order. Membership was supposed to remain absolutely secret, and the sobriquet 'Know Nothing' came from members' professing to know nothing about the order when questioned by outsiders. At first, the Know Nothings endorsed candidates of the major parties. But then they began to nominate their own candidates, and in the fall of 1853 and spring local elections of 1854 they startled outsiders by electing men no one else knew were even seeking office."
Franklin Pierce: The American Presidents Series: The 14th President, 1853-1857 (American Presidents (Times))
Author: Michael F. Holt
Publisher: Times Books
Date: Copyright 2010 by Michael F. Holt
Pages: 86-89

If you wish to read further: Buy Now


I went to the library yesterday and pulled some Doctorow.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Millions of Americans will watch President Obama deliver his State of the Union address tomorrow night, and the folks who want to get the most out of the speech are watching
Our enhanced version has the graphics and charts you need to get the most out of President Obama's plan for 2014. That's why more than 1 million viewers watched our enhanced version last year -- and it's why so many folks have already signed up to watch this year.
RSVP to watch tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET.
Make sure to RSVP for tomorrow at in at 9 p.m. ET -- then participate in the days following the speech
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Today I was at the Aspen Institute listening to Michael Kaiser talk. Excellent. Kaiser is the President of the John F. Kenney Center for the Performing Arts. Much of what he spoke about today can be found in his must read book -The Art of the Turnaround: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Arts Organizations.
My friend Michon recommended I read this book a few years ago. It's a bible. My personal copy is so marked it looks like I'm getting ready for final exams.

The Aspen Institute continues to have a fantastic Washington Ideas Roundtable Series.


Reetika Vazirani


Campaign Bob, Andy and Me photo by Lady Laela Shallal


          ( for M)

Like Miles you lean into me
play the center of my back
with your fingers

Your hair now silver
touches me like years -

Oh- how the trumpet
of your lips remind me of how
poor I've been without you.

  - E. Ethelbert Miller

January 27, 2014
I Want the Certainty of Love in Another Language
by Christie Ann Reynolds

You walked in like the light
From every sun that rose
This year had exploded
Symmetrically from your eyes
I was uncertain--no I was certain
I wanted your eyes to shoot
Laser beams straight through me
It was certain we were soon to be
Bound by something mythological
It was certain that when you moved
The hair away from my mouth
A locust in your eyes
Moved farther afield
It was uncertain if one day
We would be saying
I will not love you
The way I love you presently
It was certain we spoke
The danger language of deer
Moving only when moving
Our velvet bodies in fear
Copyright © 2014 by Christie Ann Reynolds. Used with permission of the author.
About This Poem 
"I suppose the heart of this poem is about how love can be lost to a difference in 'language.' I was thinking about how much certainty uncertainty possesses--the same way light needs darkness to make forms. I was thinking about the velvet deer from a past poem that continues to reappear in new poems like a ghost."

--Christie Ann Reynolds  


Forget about the upcoming Super Bowl. Writers at the Bennington Writing Seminars are getting ready for the 9th Miller Classic softball game in June 2014.  According to Cool Swinging J.O.Baker - much talk as well as writing is taking place in Vermont. Last June was the first time the poets won a game. Did Ethelbert have anything to do with that close call at third base?

Jia Oak Baker
Jia Oak Baker1:55pm Jan 26
Thank you so much, Ethelbert! I'm going to spend some time in training camp, working on my hitting and fielding.  Missed you this past residency. Lots of public softball trash talk at the faculty readings--Ben Anastas calling the poets cheaters, Mark Wunderlich quoting Bishop's "The art of losing isn't hard to master." Good times. Hoping poets defend the Miller Classic title this June. Love to you and wishing you all good things, Jia

Yesterday was an Andy Day. Fundraisers around town in support of Andy Shallal for mayor.


Sunday, January 26, 2014



Ralph Nader
January 25, 2014
The Nader Page
The lessons of history beckon.
 Last month, the ruling Japanese coalition parties quickly rammed through Parliament a state secrets law. We Americans better take notice.

Under its provisions the government alone decides what are state secrets and any civil servants who divulge any “secrets” can be jailed for up to 10 years. Journalists caught in the web of this vaguely defined law can be jailed for up to 5 years.
Government officials have been upset at the constant disclosures of their laxity by regulatory officials before and after the Fukushima nuclear power disaster in 2011, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

Week after week, reports appear in the press revealing the seriousness of the contaminated water flow, the inaccessible radioactive material deep inside these reactors and the need to stop these leaking sites from further poisoning the land, food and ocean. Officials now estimate that it could take up to 40 years to clean up and decommission the reactors.

Other factors are also feeding this sure sign of a democratic setback. Militarism is raising its democracy-menacing head, prompted by friction with China over the South China Sea. Dismayingly, U.S. militarists are pushing for a larger Japanese military budget. China is the latest national security justification for our “pivot to East Asia” provoked in part by our military-industrial complex.

Draconian secrecy in government and fast-tracking bills through legislative bodies are bad omens for freedom of the Japanese press and freedom to dissent by the Japanese people. Freedom of information and robust debate (the latter cut off sharply by Japan’s parliament in December 5, 2013) are the currencies of democracy.
There is good reason why the New York Times continues to cover the deteriorating conditions in the desolate, evacuated Fukushima area. Our country has licensed many reactors here with the same designs and many of the same inadequate safety and inspection standards. Some reactors here are near earthquake faults with surrounding populations which cannot be safely evacuated in case of serious damage to the electric plant. The two Indian Point aging reactors that are 30 miles north of New York City are a case in point.

The less we are able to know about the past and present conditions of Fukushima, the less we will learn about atomic reactors in our own country.

Fortunately many of Japan’s most famous scientists, including Nobel laureates, Toshihide Maskawa and Hideki Shirakawa, have led the opposition against this new state secrecy legislation with 3,000 academics signing a public letter of protest. These scientists and academics declared the government’s secrecy law a threat to “the pacifist principles and fundamental human rights established by the constitution and should be rejected immediately.”
Following this statement, the Japan Scientists’ Association, Japan’s mass media companies, citizens associations, lawyers’ organizations and some regional legislatures opposed the legislation. Polls show the public also opposes this attack on democracy. The present ruling parties remain adamant. They cite as reasons for state secrecy “national security and fighting terrorism.” Sound familiar?

History is always present in the minds of many Japanese people. They know what happened in Japan when the unchallenged slide toward militarization of Japanese society led to the intimidating tyranny that drove the invasion of China, Korea and Southeast Asia before and after Pearl Harbor. By 1945, Japan was in ruins, ending with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The American people have to be alert to our government’s needless military and political provocations of China, which is worried about encirclement by surrounding U.S.-allied nations and U.S. air and sea power. Washington might better turn immediate attention to U.S. trade policies that have facilitated U.S. companies shipping American jobs and whole industries to China.

The Obama administration must become more alert to authoritarian trends in Japan that its policies have been either encouraging or knowingly ignoring – often behind the curtains of our own chronic secrecy.

The lessons of history beckon.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


4 boxes ready for the Gelman Library at George Washington University.
Many items including lecture notes, drafts of speeches, and numerous publication containing essays and poems. Also giving to GW a box of tapes of the programs I did at Lake Braddock High School (in Virginia) the last several years. I received them from Michael Mariani who recently retired from LB and moved to Pittsburgh.



Amiri Baraka 1934-2014

Ambrosia Shepherd: Poet and Message Maker

Ambrosia Shepherd's funeral services will be held Saturday, January 25th, visitation, 10am; Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11am at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 2021 Rhode Island Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20018.

Interment will be held at Fort Lincoln Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church. The offeratory box will be available at time of service.
James Hoff
January 24, 2014
The Guardian
People should instead be asking colleges and universities why they think it's OK to pay so little for such important work.

Exploiting adjuncts devalues higher education., Sipa Press/Rex Features,
 I am what's called an adjunct. I teach four courses per semester at two different colleges, and I am paid just $24,000 a year and receive no health or pension benefits. Recently, I was profiled in the New York Times as the face of adjunct exploitation, and though I was initially happy to share my story because I care about the issue, the profile has its limits. Rather than use my situation to explain the systemic problem of academic labor, the article personalized – even romanticized – my situation as little more than the deferred dream of a struggling PhD with a penchant for poetry.

But the adjunct problem is not about PhDs struggling to find jobs or people being forced to give up their dreams. The adjunct problem is about the continued exploitation of a large, growing and diverse group of highly educated and dedicated college teachers who have been asked to settle for less pay (sometimes as little as $21,000 a year for full-time work) because the institutions they work for have callously calculated that they can get away with it. The adjunct problem is institutional, not personal, and its affects reach deep into our culture and society.

Though there are tens of thousands of personal stories like mine of economic hardship and lives ruined or put on hold, it is not to these stories that we should turn when we consider the exploitation of adjuncts in academia, but to our universal sense of justice. For the continued exploitation of adjuncts is, to put it bluntly, nothing less than unjust. Here's why:

1. Using adjuncts devalues higher education
According to the American Association of University Professors, adjuncts and other contingent employees made up 70% of the faculty at American universities and colleges in 2007. Though the numbers differ drastically from one campus to the next, all but the most elite college students are being taught by overworked and underpaid adjunct lecturers. These faculty are essentially paid contractors, who come in, do a quick job, and then head out. Maintaining high standards and expectations, performing research, and providing honest and accurate assessment under such conditions is incredibly difficult, and the continued use of adjuncts is destroying the integrity and value of higher education.

2. Paying adjuncts less creates a hierarchy within academia
It is unjust because it creates an ugly hierarchy within academia that mirrors the increasingly gross divide within American society. While the private sector has seen a startling loss of living wage jobs, the erosion of benefits, and the destruction of unions, academia has undergone its own slow transformation. While the average faculty member makes anywhere between$60,000 to $198,000 a year (frequently for a course load of two or three courses per semester) most adjuncts are paid somewhere between $2,500 to $4,000 per course. They also have little to no control over their course assignments, except to refuse offered courses (which can lead to less work and less pay) and they have absolutely no job security, meaning they are subject to sudden termination at the whims of department chairs and administrators, without any explanation or any process for grievance or appeal.

3. Universities spend more on administration than teachers
It is unjust because it takes power away from the practitioners of higher education – teachers and researchers – and puts it in the hands of administrators. While the academe has become increasingly reliant upon temporary and disposable adjuncts, who live in constant fear of poverty, the administrative classes within those institutions have steadily grown. As Benjamin Ginsberg documented in The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters, between 1985 and 2005 administrative spending increased by 85%, while administrative support staff increased by a dramatic 240%. Meanwhile spending on faculty increased by only around 50%. Such wasteful spending on non-essential staff is out of proportion to the actual goals of academic institutions, which are charged to teach and research, not administer.

4. Using adjuncts betrays the students who are most in need
The students who frequently need the most help – poor and working class students, first generation college students, and students of color – are also the ones most likely to be taught by adjuncts. It is no accident that the increased use of adjuncts followed quickly on the heels of a massive shift in the demography of college attendance in the late sixties and early seventies. As more and more working class people and people of color began attending public universities in California and New York, state funding was quickly reduced. Rather than continue to offer the best to these students, universities decided instead to expand the use of adjuncts. Just as the doors of academia were opened to the most underprivileged students, the feast of knowledge that lay behind was quietly hidden from view, and the paper plates and frozen dinners brought out instead.

5. Under-paying adjuncts makes full-time teachingunaffordable
Lastly, it is unjust because it cynically manipulates the better angels of the human spirit – the desire to help and to share one's interests and values, to cultivate meaningful relationships, to inspire, and to teach – in order to save a few bucks. Like federal and state governments, which are expected to subsidize the wages of full-time fast food workers, adjuncts – who frequently subsidize their earnings with other jobs – are voluntarily underwriting the institutions they work for. Though many of these adjuncts would be thrilled to dedicate themselves exclusively to teaching, few of them can, because none of them can afford to.

Many people ask me why, given all of this, I would continue to work as an adjunct, but that is the wrong question to ask. The work I do is important, it's what I was trained to do, and there's a clear and growing demand for it. Rather than asking why adjuncts don't find other work, or why they don't "just quit" as so many well-meaning commentators have suggested, people should instead be asking colleges and universities why they think it's OK to pay so little for such important work.

James D Hoff teaches writing and literature in New York City. He received his PhD in English Literature from the Graduate Center, CUNY in 2012.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Andy Shallal for DC Mayor

On Saturday, January 25th from 12-2 pm join Andy and Andy4DC volunteers throughout the city in waving signs and passing out literature at the following locations:
  • 16th and Columbia Rd. NW
  • 14th and U Street NW
  • Alabama Ave SE Safeway (2845 Alabama Ave)
  • MLK & Malcolm X SE 
Volunteers will be at each of the locations for the entirety between 12-2pm.

We are off to a great campaign start and it is now vital to grow our base support!!! These highly visible waves at heavy traffic locations coupled with Andy's amazing debate performances, door knocking, direct phone calls, and a robust social media campaign is our way to victory.  


Andy will be at each location briefly during the two hours to take photos and meet volunteers!!!  For more information send an email to Bob Schlehuber ( or call 815-519-1900.

Enjoy the day,

Team Andy4DC
Paid for by Committee to Elect Andy Shallal. Robin Weiss, Treasurer.