BROWN DAILY HERALD vol. cxlix, no. 40
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
Guzzardi ’09 Women’s History Month yields variety of programming wins Chicago As part of monthlong women’s history primary over celebration, DJs encourage female empowerment incumbent
By STEPHEN ARK CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Will Guzzardi ’09 paved the way to becoming one of the youngest Brown alums in elected office with his victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly. As he faces no Republican opponent in the November general election, Guzzardi has all but assured his entrance to the legislature by securing his party’s nomination. Guzzardi, a former Herald opinions columnist, defeated six-term incumbent Rep. Maria “Toni” Berrios, District 39, garnering the support of about 60 percent of the electorate. The primary’s result, some analysts have suggested, represents a defeat for Chicago’s political establishment. Guzzardi said he moved to Chicago to work for the Huffington Post after graduating from the University with a degree in comparative literature. In 2012, he waged an unsuccessful primary battle against Berrios, losing by 125 votes. Berrios, the daughter of the chair of the Cook County Democratic Party, had the backing of much of her party’s fundraising and organizational apparatus. A 26-year-old North Carolina native, Guzzardi spent several years promoting progressive causes in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, said Erica Sagrans ’05, his campaign manager. Working as a community organizer, the candidate fought a school closure and advocated for a ballot measure that would have established an elected school board, Sagrans added. Dick Simpson, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, wrote in an email to The Herald that Guzzardi’s victory is “one of the bright spots for progressive politics in Illinois.” Though Illinois continues to feature conflict between entrenched “machine” politicians and reformers, Guzzardi “won with a participatory grassroots campaign (that) will be an example for other young, new, progressive candidates,” Simpson wrote. “The machine has a chink in its armor now,” Guzzardi told The Herald, adding that grassroots campaigns like his connect people to government in a way that has been missing in urban life since the days of mass » See GUZZARDI, page 2
By MARGARET NICKENS STAFF WRITER
“It took me a while to even realize (DJ K-Swift) was a woman because her songs were pretty filthy,” said Jackson Morley, a local DJ and the workshop manager for the Avenue Concept, a public art program, at the Ladies DJ Workshop Tuesday night. Morley and Samantha Calamari, professionally known as DJ Sister Squid, co-hosted the workshop in the Underground as part of the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center’s Women’s History Month. This year’s Women’s History Month focused around the theme “Action, Activism and Advocacy.” Outside of » See W. HISTORY, page 4
ARTS & CULTURE
DAVID BRAUN / HERALD
Sage Snider GS and DJ Sister Squid participate in the Ladies DJ Workshop in the Underground Tuesday night. The event was co-sponsored by the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center as part of Women’s History Month.
U. expands UTRA program, increases stipend amount Award recipients receive extra $500 stipend for 2014 summer research projects By GABRIELLE DEE SENIOR STAFF WRITER
As students struggle to fund summer plans, the University has expanded its Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards program, accommodating 50 additional students and increasing the award from $3,000 to $3,500 for summer 2014, said Oludurotimi Adetunji, assistant dean of the College and director of Science Center outreach. The grant increased by $500 because of the emphasis in President Christina Paxson’s strategic plan on providing more research opportunities for students, Adetunji said. The UTRA program’s funding has jumped
by 40 percent since the 2012-2013 academic year, Adetunji wrote in a follow-up email to The Herald. Based on student feedback, the committee in charge of designating UTRAs decided to increase the grant amount, rather than further expanding the program’s number of spots, Adetunji said. Some UTRA recipients said the boosted funding level could drive greater interest in research. Though the extra $500 is not a “make-or-break” factor in Kei Nishimura-Gasparian’s ’16 summer plans, he said this extra money may encourage other students to pursue research over other opportunities. “It levels the playing field in terms of who can financially accept the UTRA,” said Miriam Hinthorn ’16, noting that these funds can incentivize students to conduct research instead of taking menial jobs paying $10 an hour.
The past two years have seen a surge in the number of applications for UTRAs compared to the three years prior, Adetunji said, adding that this rise is probably due to increased awareness of the program. The recent federal government sequester, which limits the number of grants to federally funded research institutions, also contributed to the increase in UTRA applicants, Adetunji said. “There were reduced opportunities for students, broadly speaking.” As UTRA applications surge, the program has become more competitive, he said. But it continues to grapple with accepting a range of students from diverse concentrations. The committee in charge of designating UTRAs is split into four sub-committees representing the humanities, social sciences, life sciences and physical sciences, Adetunji said. But proportionally more students
apply for UTRAs in life sciences and physical sciences, he said, adding that though the percentage of students receiving the award remains consistent across each field, the disproportionate number of applications in the sciences results in a larger number of grants for science research projects. Though the UTRA program has seen a slight increase in proposals for research in the humanities, administrators continually seek new ways of encouraging students outside the sciences to pursue research through workshops and events, Adetunji said. Students said they have learned about the UTRA program through diverse outlets on campus. Angelia Wang ’16, the Herald illustrations editor, said she heard about UTRAs even before coming to the University from an older Brown student who participated in the program. » See UTRA, page 2
Robertson ’14 inks contract with Hurricanes Deal with Carolina Hurricanes will send men’s hockey co-captain to minor league affiliate By ANDREW FLAX SENIOR STAFF WRITER
After four years playing hockey for Brown, captain Dennis Robertson ’14 has signed an entry-level professional contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. Once his deal is official, Robertson will become a member of the American
Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers, a minor league affiliate of the Hurricanes. Robertson was drafted 176th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, shortly after completing his first year at Brown. Ever since, he has racked up accolades, being named a Bears captain twice and recently earning First Team AllIvy honors. Robertson will join Garnet Hathaway ’14, the first player from this year’s Bears squad to go pro. Hathaway recently signed a deal with the
Abbotsford Heat, the AHL team for the Calgary Flames. Other alums are established pros, like the Dallas Stars’ Ryan Garbutt ’09, the Washington Capitals’ Aaron Volpatti ’10 and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Harry Zolnierczyk ’11. Before making his professional debut, Robertson said he was unsure what playing on this larger stage would entail. “I’m just going to have to go out there and see what it’s like,” he said. He acknowledged that the competition will likely be stronger but seemed unfazed at the prospect of
Women’s lacrosse team looks to remain undefeated, heading out west to take on U. of Denver
Blasberg ’17: Patriots and Broncos load up their rosters in what has become an arms race in the NFL
Rattner ’15: Leung Family Gallery should serve as social space for students
Upadhyay ’15: The University should transition to a grading system with pluses and minuses
With no Republican candidate in race, Guzzardi expected to win General Assembly seat
having to jump up a level of play. “It’s going to be a challenge, but I have to rise to that challenge,” he said. Like many seniors, Robertson was nostalgic about his time at Brown but also expressed enthusiasm for his future outside the Van Wickle Gates. “I’m excited about it,” he said, “and as much as I hate to leave Brown, … it’s going to be exciting, and I can’t wait to get up there.” Overall, Robertson said he was satisfied with his preparation for professional hockey. “I feel ready,” he said. t o d ay
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THE BROWN DAILY HERALD FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
Students hope UCS election prioritizes community engagement After Ray Kelly and coal divestment debates, undergrads seek inclusion, admin. responsiveness By CAROLINE KELLY SENIOR STAFF WRITER
In anticipation of the April 1 announcement of the list of candidates running for leadership positions on the Undergraduate Council of Students executive board, including president and vice president, many students said they hope the election will address issues — including community inclusiveness and administrative responsiveness — that arose from last semester’s charged campus debates over the protests of New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s lecture and the University’s decision not to divest from coal. UCS’s role as a vessel or facilitator of social activism is likely to arise as
» UTRA, from page 1 Michael Scheer ’16 said a faculty member who invited him to do research told him about the UTRA program, while Hinthorn said she heard of the grant through Morning Mail and information sessions about the program. While research remains popular on campus, students reported a wide range of uses for their grants. Elizabeth Jean-Marie ’15 received an UTRA for microbiology research working with common clinical bacteria this year. Jean-Marie said the UTRA made it possible for her to stay in Providence for an extended period of 10 weeks. Hinthorn received the UTRA for the second time in a row this summer. Though she is a political science concentrator, Hinthorn will be working with the Department of Sociology to investigate the effects of prenatal screening on abortion rates. Nishimura-Gasparian said he will be conducting research on disordered proteins, which are often linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
a key issue. “I’d really like for the new UCS body to continue working closely with social justice groups and activists on campus,” said Tammy Jiang ’16, a member of Brown Divest Coal, adding that she hopes to see “new UCS (executive) board members work on improving student input in really big University decisions.” “I think it would be useful for people who were running to take (last year’s political controversies) into consideration,” she added. Candidates “should capitalize on the momentum that has been generated.” “The more well-connected they are across the Brown spectrum, the better,” said Kevin Carty ’15, a UCS general body member and former
and Huntington’s. Though Scheer received an UTRA to officially work with the Department of Computer Science, he will use the grant to conduct neuroscience research, he said. Many students expressed frustration that the application inquires about unnecessary information. Wang said she does not see the purpose of the relevant coursework question, as first-year applicants may have limited options for what to fill out. Hinthorn said the application’s “daunting” length could discourage students from applying. She added that the questions on the application and the guidelines for answering them are too general, and the application should instead ask about how the UTRA furthers students’ long-term goals. Despite complaints, Adetunji said the University remains committed to helping students who are looking for academic opportunities outside the classroom. “The goal of the College is to support every undergraduate who seeks to engage in research,” Adetunji said.
Herald opinions columnist. “They absolutely need to be for student power and student representation at all levels of the University as much as possible. That’s not just a pipe dream, that can happen.” UCS member Justice Gaines ’16 said he hoped the candidates are able to maximize UCS visibility. “It’s important that candidates recognize how the administration sees UCS, and how that plays into what the UCS should be.” When administrators need student feedback, they often approach UCS. “In a lot of ways, UCS is naturally political, and I think it’s important for any candidate to understand that regardless of their personal feelings of what UCS should be doing and … the way UCS operates, it is representative of students,” he added. UCS Vice President Sam Gilman
’15 hopes to see a collection of candidates that “demonstrates throughout the campaign process that they are willing to actively engage parts of campus that are not necessarily the parts of campus where they hang out the most, engage different communities, hear different people’s concerns, ask questions and listen.” He also described how election season can “really set the agenda for the next year. A good campaign season is one in which the candidate learns something, learns about a new issue that they become passionate about.” As relevant issues come up, “hopefully people will look to UCS and go, ‘Well, what are you doing about it? What’s happening with that?’” said Maahika Srinivasan ’15, chair of the UCS Academic and Administrative Affairs committee. “I think that it’s about
time that we have robust conversation on this campus, and I think contested elections actually would provide that no matter what,” adding that “people aren’t running for the sake of running, people are running because they care.” UCS President Todd Harris ’14.5 said he hopes candidates continue “to make UCS a more general body, to make sure that we’re still bringing folks in and not just making it kind of a closed group.” He described the importance of candidates being “really open and receptive to the ideas that they hear from students as they’re collecting signatures and campaigning,” adding that “the great thing about Brown is that every student cares about a lot of different things, and so candidates have to be knowledgeable and gain a lot of feedback about a lot of different issues.”
» GUZZARDI, from page 1
suggesting Guzzardi would favor more lenient registration requirements for sexual predators, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The mailings were produced by the Democratic Majority, a political fund run by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, a supporter of Berrios. Guzzardi said the charges were false and based on a mischaracterization of a Herald opinions piece he wrote in 2006 in which he criticized the stigmatization of former inmates. In his victory speech Tuesday, he credited the win to a wave of support from within the district. “The result we saw here tonight is the result of a movement,” he told supporters, the blog Progress Illinois reported. “A movement that is striving for basic values of justice and fairness, right? And this is a powerful
movement in Chicago.” Paul Green, a Chicago radio commentator and director of the Institute for Politics at Roosevelt University in Chicago, said Guzzardi’s win has more to do with demographics than with his political message. “I wouldn’t call it a movement,” he said, adding that Guzzardi capitalized on votes from his district’s burgeoning pool of young, politically active voters. “What you have there is a changing electorate in certain areas.” Though some may conclude Guzzardi’s victory is a victory for reformers, Green said the Brown alum’s win may be an “isolated” event, pointing to the Chicago political establishment’s continued strength. “When it comes to votes in the City Council, Mayor (Rahm) Emanuel still wins 42-7 or 45-5,” he added.
political patronage and machine campaigning. “We’re really good at hitting doors and talking to people,” he said. “And no one else is out there doing that right now.” A heavy focus on online organizing and data analysis — implemented by a staff that included several Obama campaign veterans — separated Guzzardi’s approach from those used in typical Chicago races, Sagrans said. “We showed that a strong grassroots operation with passionate supporters really can rise up against machine candidates,” she added. Guzzardi’s writings from his time at Brown emerged as a contested issue in the race. Voters received mail pieces
URBAN ROCK AND ROLL
H E A LT H C A R E R E F O R M
ZEIN KHLEIF / HERALD
Ira Magaziner ’69 P’06 P’07 P’10 discusses health care policy reform in a talk at the Alpert Medical School Thursday.
TOM SULLIVAN / HERALD
Brian Knox, a member of the Providence band Way Out, sings at Urban Outfitters on Thayer Street during the store’s college night Thursday.
arts & culture 3
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
Musician explores gender in electronic genre Department of Music collective, opensignal, organizes events on gender politics in music
BY KATHERINE CUSUMANO AND ANDREW SMYTH, ARTS & CULTURE EDITORS Found Footage Festival | Friday, March 21, 9:45 p.m. | Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main St. VCR connoisseurs Nick Preuher and Joe Pickett return to the Cable Car Cinema for another round of “strange, outrageous and profoundly stupid videos” assembled from footage collected from dumpsters, garage sales and warehouses, according to the Found Footage Festival’s website. Selections this year include “How to Have Cybersex on the Internet,” a mashup of absurd exercise videos and “Special Delivery,” an instructional video for dog breeders.
By EMILY DUPUIS STAFF WRITER
Sound artist and electronic musician Laetitia Sonami visited campus this week as part of an event series organized by opensignal, an artist collective formed through the Department of Music’s Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments program. Sonami’s visit connects with opensignal’s interest in exploring “the state of gender (and) race in experimental electronic-based sound and art practices,” according to the organization’s website. Claire Kwong ’13, a series organizer, said artists like Sonami have been important in challenging the cult of masculinity in electronic music. “Often men are associated with technology. … Laetitia builds all her own instruments,” Kwong said. The group is “not just speaking about women but about gender diversity,” said Asha Tamirisa GS, an event organizer. “There is a certain privilege that comes with being able to identify, and we’re interested in a larger understanding of gender difference.” “Our events don’t exclusively feature (people) who are self-identified women specifically. … It’s about bridging the gap,” said Lizzie Davis, another event organizer. Caroline Park GS, another organizer, also emphasized the importance of gender diversity, adding that the event series is not intended to create a distinct binary but instead to show that electronic music is open to everyone. These types of events can be “very encouraging” for young women, Park said. Joseph Butch Rovan, professor of music and co-director of the MEME program, also praised Sonami as “a role model for women in technology,” adding that “she is an amazing performer, (and) under any circumstances she would be a treasure to have.” Sonami presented a lecture Wednesday detailing her journey through the electronic music world, emphasizing the importance of incorporating the audience and recalling
ON THE HORIZON
RI Philharmonic | Saturday, March 22, 8 p.m. | The Vets, 1 Avenue of the Arts The Rhode Island Philharmonic recently announced it will be welcoming internationally acclaimed cellist Yo Yo Ma to its ranks for a concert in June. This weekend, the orchestra takes the stage for a concert featuring Grammy-nominated violinist Philippe Quint. Among the works to be performed is Michael Udow’s “The Shattered Mirror,” a piece that employs percussion, a chorus and dancers in a thirty-minute spectacle. Following “The Shattered Mirror” will be Stravinsky’s “Violin Concerto in D” and Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique.”
SABRINA CHIN / HERALD
Laetitia Sonami plays the Lady’s Glove, an instrument she invented, for the last time before she retires the instrument. an early performance she staged of an unfinished piece. At the time, “I kept trying to do the perfect music piece,” Sonami said, noting that having to perform unfinished work taught her to “allow things to evolve through contact with the audience.” “The listener finished the piece,” she said. Sonami also spoke about her signature instrument, the Lady’s Glove, which was created in 1991, and with which Sonami is able to control sounds, mechanical devices and lights, according to the opensignal website. Since its inception, four subsequent versions of the Lady’s Glove have been developed. The Glove is now in retirement, as Thursday’s concert in the Granoff Center marked its last public performance. Sonami cited her familiarity with the glove as a main reason for its retirement. “I felt like I knew it ... I had mastered it, and it had been for so many years unclear how I would
think of music outside of the Glove,” said Sonami. “My imagination and the technology I was using were so interwoven, I was curious (to see) if I take that out, what would I imagine?” Sonami emphasized inefficiency, unreliability, adaptability and inexpensiveness as guidelines by which to create new instruments. Sonami spoke about one of her more recently created instruments, the Spring Spyre, noting that ideas on audio produced by coil and magnet were important in its formation. Several of Sonami’s works were highlighted during the lecture, including “Sounds of War,” wherein participants listened to voices of women and children in war-plagued regions, like Darfur, Palestine and Bosnia-Herzegovina, through headphones made from toilet plungers. Opensignal will host more events throughout the semester. It is hosting composer Tara Rodgers for a talk and concert April 11 in the Martinos Auditorium and presenting the opensignal spring festival the weekend of May 16.
Church of Providence | Thursday, March 27, 8 p.m. | Fete, 103 Dike St. Once a month, a raucous amalgam of artists gathers at Fete Music Lounge for a night of dance and debauchery. Past events have included an eclectic mix of wrestling, burlesque, freestyle rap and hip hop featuring artists with names like Armand Hammer and Neil Hamburger. This month, emcee B. Dolan returns to the stage to present Beans of Anti-Pop Consortium for a night too strange to forget. Pig Death Machine | Tuesday, April 1, 8 p.m. | AS220, 95 Empire St. “Pig Death Machine,” the latest feature from husband-and-wife filmmakers Jon Moritsugu ’87 and Amy Davis, a RISD graduate, will make its Providence debut Tuesday April 1 at 8 p.m. at AS220. An alum of the University’s Semiotics Program (later absorbed into the Department of Modern Culture and Media), Moritsugu directs Davis in her role as “a nerdy, yet doornail-dumb cutie pie who eats undercooked, parasite-laden, pink piggy and is transformed into dangerous genius,” according to the film’s website. Veronica Meadows | Opens Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m. | Trinity Rep, 201 Washington St. This Trinity Rep staging is the world premiere of Stephen Thorne’s play, which also features Brian McEleney, head of the Brown/Trinity MFA Program in Acting. With firmly-grounded roots in hard-boiled detective fiction, “Veronica Meadows” follows its titular character, a small-town sleuth, as she solves crimes alongside her best friend Ginny. But as she grows up, she evolves past the “girl detective” role in which she has been cast.
www.browndailyherald.com SABRINA CHIN / HERALD
Electronic musician Laetitia Sonami said incorporating audience input is crucial to her development as an artist, following an early, influential experience playing an unfinished piece live.
4 arts & culture » W. HISTORY, from page 1 the DJ workshop, the month’s events included movie screenings, readings and discussions on dieting, grieving and social justice. Juhee Kwon ’14, who led a screening and panel discussion about the role of women of color in activism, noted that this month’s theme captured the center’s efforts to bring together individuals actively involved in social change. “A lot of what we do on this campus is we sit around in a circle,” she said. “We should somehow transition from this closed-off intellectual conversation in an ivory tower to really bringing about change.” Herstory of DJing Students trickled into the Underground Tuesday to listen to the Ladies DJ Workshop discussion and were transported back in time by the fully equipped turntable — records included — dominating the center of the floor. As students glanced uncertainly at the display, Morley told the crowd that one of the biggest barriers DJs face is acquiring equipment, which can cost up to $400. Morley dove into a brief outline of the history of DJing, highlighting famous female DJs like DJ K-Swift, DJ Sheron, DJ Heather and Miss Kittin. “With all these women, there’s definitely a presence, but there’s not a majority role,” Calamari said. She went on to describe her own experience as a female DJ, which began spontaneously when she spun at a friend’s birthday
party as a child. She ended up joining an all-female artist collective, known as Herstory, in San Francisco in the early 2000s. “I guess I didn’t realize it was not just about showing up with a bag of records,” Calamari said. She discussed how she had to learn how to curate music and facilitate the party atmosphere. “I was getting a lot of attention just because I was a female and I was playing music.” As a member of the collective, Calamari hosted monthly speakeasies that promoted visual art, music and spoken word. She said the collective sought to promote music with a positive message, a characteristic not always present in hip-hop. The speakeasies were supposed to be a “nurturing experience,” where food was often provided and artists would paint live interpretations of spoken word pieces as they were presented. Calamari described the events as a “multi-sensory definition of who women were in an artistic space.” The collective also discussed the work of other female DJs like Pam the Funktress, who was known for using her breasts to spin records “as a sort of gimmick to show off,” Calamari said. Herstory members debated whether this action presented a positive or negative image, she added. Calamari described how technology often shaped her career as a female DJ. “It was really about having to prove oneself a little bit in a technical way,” she said. But after the shift to more digital equipment, there was no longer as much of a technology barrier. It
ALAN SHAN / HERALD
During the Sarah Doyle Center’s Women’s History Month celebration, Leslie Lindenauer ’80 reads selections from her book.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
HUNTER LEEMING / HERALD
The Sarah Doyle Women’s Center has sponsored events all month discussing women’s history and social change. Organizers have made an active effort to include speakers of different races and backgrounds. “shifted from me being a female DJ to just being a DJ,” she said. With so few students in the room, the lecture turned into an informal discussion where students contributed their own questions and observations. Later in the evening, participants had the opportunity to work with the turntables, experimenting with beat matching and sound controls. “It looks like we have a scratch DJ,” Morley joked as one of the audience members worked with the equipment. Scratching is a DJ technique where artists manipulate the playing of records to create a distinctive sound. Tagged-on identities? Throughout Women’s History Month, participants and coordinators have grappled with issues of diversity and representation. Kwon said it is important to ensure the conversations throughout Women’s History Month feature people from many different genders and races, adding that she believes women’s history often focuses on white women. She said she felt marginalized at other female-focused events on campus, citing FemSex, which she alleged fails to represent students with diverse identities. Comparatively, she said, the center has done a great job of incorporating other identities into its Women’s History Month programming. “We try to include speakers and workshops from people from all breadths of feminism,” said Elisa Glubok ’14, one of the coordinators of Women’s History Month. She
pointed to an event with Cristy Road, a Cuban-American graphic novelist, as an example of these efforts. Kwon helped coordinate a screening of “Mountains That Take Wing,” which also featured a discussion with activist Yuri Kochiyama and other local female activists. Now that the event has passed, Kwon hopes she and her fellow coordinators will continue to reflect on whether the members of the panel “view their identities as women of color as being really, really relevant to their work,” she said. “Was (woman of color) just an identity we tagged on? Who composed the panel? Were a lot of people more light-skinned than others?” Kwon said, citing several questions she hopes the coordinators will continue to address. Glubok noted that these events allowed the Women’s History Month coordinators to see problems students will need to tackle in the future. She said she especially enjoyed a film screening and discussion with Julia Liu ’06, who as a student codirected a film looking at various social movements throughout the University’s history. Glubok said the event was small enough to facilitate a productive discussion, which featured diverse perspectives — including those of a few Brown alums. “It was simultaneously really encouraging to see what progress we have made and discouraging to see a lot of the same battles being fought,” she said, noting that many of the issues surrounding sexual assault have remained the same for the past 20 years.
Overcoming barriers Certain celebrations, such as Women’s History Month or Black History Month, often give rise to fears about further marginalizing these groups by only allotting them a single month, organizers said. “Sometimes after we delegate that or allocate that month or that time to a specific identity, we forget what the ultimate goal is,” Kwon said. “The ultimate goal is to get rid of the boundaries and the barriers that allowed for the segregation or the need for that separation to happen in the first place.” One problem in achieving this goal is the narrow audience campus events for Women’s History Month often seem to draw, she said. But Kwon said she thinks these celebrations are important so long as the community can avoid perpetuating the barriers Women’s History Month is supposed to surmount. “Historically, the voices of women are grossly underrepresented and the history of women doesn’t get a lot of space in other contexts,” Glubok said. “This is a time to specifically focus on that and celebrate women of the past and the present.” The center will continue to focus on these issues throughout the year, Glubok said, especially going into April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. “The great thing about the themes that we chose is that they never stop being relevant to the campus environment,” she said. “A lot of what we tried to emphasize is that this is an ongoing history.”
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
Ten games in eight days give Bears chance to shape up After rocky start to season against Gamecocks and Patriots, Bruno seeks wins over easier competition By ANDREW FLAX SENIOR STAFF WRITER
After losing five of six games against tough opponents to open the season, the baseball team has an easier but busy slate over spring break, playing 10 games against five teams, including its first Ivy opponents during the break’s second weekend. The Bears (1-5) were swept by No. 2 University of South Carolina in their first three games of the season, failing to score a single run, and won just one of three games against George Mason University. Offense has been Bruno’s Achilles heel this season. The Bears are hitting just .202/.244/.212, having found their way into more double plays — three — than extra-base hits — two. The pitching has been polarized, with some pitchers excelling and others struggling. Anthony Galan ’14, regarded as the team’s ace entering the season, has made only one start, allowing seven runs in 4.1 innings. He did not start last weekend as a health precaution. Fellow starter Dave St. Lawrence ’15 has a 6.00 ERA in two starts, both losses. But Christian Taugner ’17 has been a welcome addition, with a 1.23 ERA in 14.2 innings over two starts.
Lucas Whitehill ’14 was similarly impressive in his lone start, shutting out George Mason over seven innings and earning the win. These two bright spots have carried the team thus far, but the rest of the team will have to step up to get some wins over the recess. Bruno’s first opponent of the break is University of Massachusetts at Lowell, which it faces Saturday and Sunday in Williamsburg, Va. The Riverhawks (8-3) are off to a hot start this season, but their competition has been weak, as they have not yet faced a team that has received any votes in official national polls. UMass–Lowell’s most recent game was a 1-0 loss to Yale, so it seems likely to be on par with Bruno’s Ivy competition. The Riverhawks have not hit particularly well this season, but their offense has been powered by plate discipline. So far this season, UMass–Lowell is hitting just .244 and slugging just .297, but it has posted a strong .353 on-base percentage thanks to nearly four walks per game. Its pitching is also strong, with a 2.30 ERA and 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings. While the Riverhawks seem strong on paper, they are 0-1 against the Ivy League this season, and Bruno certainly stands a chance. The Bears will also play the College of William and Mary Saturday, as part of a doubleheader with the Riverhawks, and again on Monday. The Tribe (14-6) has won 11 of its last 13 games, including recent 31-1 and
JESSE SCHWIMMER / HERALD
Anthony Galan ’14 unleashes a pitch. The senior struggled in his first start of the season, giving up seven runs in just 4.1 innings pitched to the No. 2 South Carolina Gamecocks earlier this month. 16-4 drubbings of Iona College (1-8). But, like the Riverhawks, William and Mary has played a weak schedule, facing just one ranked team, in which it fell 17-2 to No. 3 University of Virginia. As might be expected from the scores against Iona, the Tribe has a powerful offense. The team as a whole is hitting .323/.413/.494, with an impressive 21 home runs. But
where its offense excels, its pitching staff struggles. William and Mary has served up 14 long balls, and its 3.32 team ERA is less than impressive, given its competition. If one of Brown’s starters can keep the Tribe off the scoreboard, Bruno bats should be able to take advantage. Bruno’s final nonconference opponent of the break will be Richmond, which it faces Tuesday and
Wednesday. The Spiders (7-10-1) opened their season on a seven-game losing streak. But a 7-3-1 run since has seen the talented Spiders turn things around. Richmond seems to be in the Bears’ talent neighborhood: It fell 16-11 to William and Mary but swept Penn in a three-game series. The Spiders have one of the weakest statistical profiles of any Brown » See BASEBALL, page S2
Bruno flies west for mile-high showdown over break Hoping to defend record, undefeated Bears square off against Buffaloes and Pioneers on the road By CALEB MILLER SPORTS EDITOR
JESSE SCHWIMMER / HERALD
Attacker Janie Gion ’15 provides Bruno with another option on offense when opposing teams lock down Bre Hudgins ’14. Gion has displayed a vast offensive skill set, posting seven goals and seven assists this season.
The women’s lacrosse team is only six games into its 2014 campaign, yet the squad has already made program history. With four nonconference and two Ivy League wins, the squad is undefeated — the best start of all time for Brown women’s lacrosse. The blistering beginning has included a win over then-No. 16 Princeton and three blowouts by double digits. But the squad faces its toughest nonconference test of the season this weekend — a two-game weekend against the University of Colorado (44) and the University of Denver (6-1). Colorado is a respectable .500 in its inaugural season but recently dropped two games in an East Coast series against the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (17-4) and the University of New Hampshire (1411). Denver, on the other hand, has flirted with the national rankings this season, and its meeting with the Bears will be the first in program history. “We’re really looking to go out west and play our game,” co-captain Bre Hudgins ’14 said. She called the road trip a “great test to see if we
can stay true to Brown lacrosse” in difference circumstances and new styles of play. Hudgins has been at the center of the hot start, ranking first on the team and second in the conference in goals with 20. Hudgins spearheads the highest-scoring offense in the Ancient Eight. The Bears fill the stat sheet with a well-balanced attack. Four Bears — Ali Kim ’17, Janie Gion ’15, Hudgins and Danielle Mastro ’14 — rank in the league’s top 10 in shooting percentage, and Gion and Mastro are also among the premier assisters. The accomplished Bruno offense will square off against two of the country’s best goalkeepers. Colorado’s fifth-in-the-nation Paige Soenksen saves 10.75 shots per start, and Denver’s Hannah Hook boasts the seventh-best save percentage in Division I with a .534 mark. While the keepers have compiled impressive statistics, Hudgins said the Bears don’t worry about numbers, and they are used to facing top goalies. “We shoot against one of the best goalies in the Ivy League every day in practice,” Hudgins said. “We’re very fortunate to get that preparation.” But if the top-ranked goalies manage to contain Hudgins and the rest of the offense, the Bears’ defense might still keep them in the game. In the cage, Bruno has a playmaker » See W. LACROSSE, page S2
S2 sports commentary
SPORTS BULLETIN THE BROWN DAILY HERALD FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
NFL arms race between perennial powers reprises Cold War BY JACK BLASBERG sports columnist
A new Cold War is brewing, but it does not involve Russia’s recent attempt to annex Crimea. Rather, it pits two domestic superpowers against each other in one of the most exciting arms races in recent memory. The battlefield: the National Football League’s AFC. The combatants: the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos. The two sides most recently came face to face in last year’s AFC Championship Game. With a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, the Broncos’ offense proved too much for the Patriots as Denver cruised to a 26-16 victory. Two weeks later, Peyton Manning and company fell to the Seattle Seahawks, joining New England among the ranks of teams that have recently failed to achieve professional football’s ultimate goal. With eyes turned toward the 2014 season, both teams made significant splashes during the free agency period that began March 11. Championships are won and lost in the games played between September and February, but important steps in determining real winners and losers are made during the offseason. Keeping that in mind, let’s see who has gained
» BASEBALL, from page S1 opponent thus far, though they have faced the toughest schedule. Though their offense has been decent, hitting .252/.347/.376 with 12 home runs, their pitching has done them in. The Spiders’ 4.74 ERA is bad, but their 1.85 strikeout-to-walk ratio is even worse. Brown trails Richmond in both categories, with a 4.96 team ERA and 1.59 K/BB ratio, but in fairness, Bruno has encountered higher caliber competition. The Spider pitching staff may be just what the Bears’ offense needs to get going. Ivy League play commences for the Bears March 29 with a doubleheader against Columbia in New York City. The Lions (5-9) have also played a tough schedule and have
the upper hand in this rivalry. The first significant transaction involved a free agent jumping directly from one side to the other. Aqib Talib, former top cornerback for the Patriots who was sorely missed after a hip injury knocked him out of last year’s AFC Championship Game, inked a lucrative, six-year $57 million contract with Denver. After New England opted not to assign Talib the one-year franchise tag designation, this move made a lot of sense for the Broncos as their own top cornerback from last season, Dominique RodgersCromartie, also hit free agency. When healthy, the 28-year-old Talib is a definite upgrade for the Broncos, since he is widely considered to be one of the top five defensive backs in the NFL and is strong in both man and zone coverage. Further bolstering its secondary, Denver added former Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward to shore up the back end of a defense that gave up a whopping 48 points in the Super Bowl. Ward signed a four-year $23 million contract, and the hard-hitting 2013 Pro Bowl replacement will bring a new toughness to Denver. Another key development came after the Dallas Cowboys released seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Demarcus Ware. Denver’s General Manager John Elway was quick to pick up the former first-round pick
and his 117 career sacks on a threeyear $30 million deal. These three moves alone seem to have changed the identity of the Broncos from Peyton Manning’s pass-happy offensive juggernaut to a defensive force to be reckoned with. Tom Brady and the Patriots would be cowering on the East Coast if not for their own shrewd maneuvers. After ranking 18th in opponent passing yards allowed last season and having lost their top defensive back at the beginning of free agency, the Patriots found themselves in dire need of secondary help. Such aid did not take long to materialize. Just 24 hours after the Broncos announced their acquisition of Talib, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Darrell Revis, the consensus best corner back in football. Within the next day, Revis was spotted at Boston’s Logan Airport, and his two-year $32 million pact with New England was announced shortly afterwards. Revis’ contract is misleading in that it is actually a one-year deal for $12 million. The second year of the agreement carries an astronomical $25 million salary cap charge that makes it all but certain he will either be released or signed to a renegotiated contract following this season. But the quality of the player justifies the one-year rental. Just days after signing Revis, New England further improved its pass defense by signing
former Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner to a three-year $17 million deal. Though Browner will have to serve a four-game suspension to start the 2014 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, he will also bring a reputation as one of the NFL’s most physical cornerbacks. The defensive duo of Browner and Revis stands out with its skills in man-on-man coverage and will afford Coach Bill Belichick the luxury of essentially taking away the two best receivers from any Patriots opponent. These defensive maneuvers were accompanied by the Broncos’ addition of receiver Emmanuel Sanders and the Patriots’ signing and loss of pass catchers Brandon LaFell and Julian Edelman, respectively. But the ability of these teams and their Hall of Fame quarterbacks to put points on the board was never in question, and it is the defensive acquisitions that will make the difference in the teams’ 2014 performances. On that side of the ball, it seems clear that the Patriots came out ahead. The Broncos certainly addressed more positions of need, but they did so while committing a total of $110 million to three players while the Patriots essentially spent $29 million on two (assuming Revis’ second year does not come into play). The “throw gobs of money at star players” approach to free agen-
some impressive wins to show for it. They opened their season by splitting a four-game series with the University of South Florida, which received votes in the most recent national poll. Columbia also lost narrowly to No. 26 Texas A&M and No. 19 Texas. The Lions are hitting .247/.320/.312 as a team and have a 5.25 ERA. These numbers are less than inspiring, but they have come against strong opponents and should not be taken at face value. The Bears are better equipped to face Ivy competition, having encountered two of the best teams in the nation already this season. But Columbia is far from a pushover. The Bears keep their weekend road trip going with a doubleheader at Penn Sunday, March 30. Like
Columbia and Brown, the Quakers (2-9) have struggled against a tough schedule, but Penn has played just three games against teams receiving poll support and lost all three. Its other eight games have been against middling competition, and it has fallen mostly flat. Penn’s .240/.332/.391 line on offense is mediocre, though it has shown some power with 13 home runs. But the Quakers’ pitching has been gruesome, posting a 5.85 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .302. Penn may be the weakest opponent Bruno will face this season, so the Bears would do well to take advantage. The team’s first game of the break is against the Riverhawks at William and Mary Saturday at 1 p.m.
» W. LACROSSE, from page S1
cy used by the Broncos’ Elway works to win headlines in March, but when the season begins, it is a different story. One need only look to the 2013 Atlanta Falcons for a cautionary example. The Falcons lost in the 2012 NFC Championship Game, and many pundits considered them one or two missing pieces away from a 2013 Super Bowl. During the ensuing offseason, they committed big money to veteran running back Steven Jackson in the hopes that the move would put them over the top. Unfortunately, season-ending injuries to key players forced Atlanta to turn to its reserves — an area the Falcons had neglected in order to pay for starters. Lacking viable replacements, the Falcons limped to the end of the season, finishing 4-12. The Broncos are making the uncertain gamble that they will be blessed with good health this coming season. Across the country, the Patriots and their “next man up” philosophy came out ahead by making high upside moves that will not prevent them from filling the holes caused by inevitable injuries.
Jack Blasberg ’16 is not an NFL free agent, but if you want to throw gobs of money at him, you can contact his agent at firstname.lastname@example.org.
of its own. Kellie Roddy is the only Ivy goalie to corral more than half the shots fired at her, posting a .526 save percentage. Making the Bruno back line all the more dangerous, the Bears’ defenders have together scored a conference-high 7.33 goals per game. “Our success this season has honestly come from the defense. As attackers, we take a lot of the intensity from the defense’s turnovers,” Hudgins said. The contests give the Bears needed experience against the nation’s top tier before returning to Ivy play next weekend. Four conference foes rank in the top 25 in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index.
m. lacrosse S3
SPORTS BULLETIN THE BROWN DAILY HERALD FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
Bison stampede past Bears with second-quarter rout Though Tills ’15 tallies four goals, Bruno still fails to slow down potent Bucknell attack By ALEX WAINGER SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The men’s lacrosse team stalled in the second quarter of a midweek matchup against Bucknell, allowing the Bison to score seven goals to its one. Bruno fought valiantly in the second half but could not overcome the 10-2 halftime deficit, ultimately losing 13-8 Wednesday. “We fell apart defensively,” said co-captain Sam Hurster ’14, referring to Bruno’s play in the second quarter. “Offensively, our possessions were too short. Things quickly spiraled out of control. It was tough, and it’s too bad ,because it wasn’t until too late that we started showing those signs of brilliance that I know we have.” A quiet first quarter ended with Bucknell (4-4, 2-2 Patriot) holding a 3-1 lead over the Bears (3-3, 0-1 Ivy). Attackman Bailey Tills ’16 scored Bruno’s first goal of the afternoon off an assist from Hurster. Tills went on to net three more goals in the contest, giving him eight on the season. The junior comes off the bench but has netted the thirdhighest goal total on the squad. “Bailey was a bright spot in that game,” Hurster said. “He played well, and he finished the ball when others couldn’t. One great thing about this team is the depth we have offensively, and Bailey is a great example of that. He’s absolutely talented enough to be
starting, no question.” While Tills had a fruitful game, Bruno’s defense struggled to contain the Bison offense. Bucknell exploded in the second quarter, posting six unanswered goals and adding a seventh one seconds before the halftime whistle. Bison attackman Todd Heritage scored two of his team-high four goals against the Bears’ stumbling second-quarter defense. The playing time of goalie Jack Kelly ’16 was short lived, as he was pulled to start the second half in favor of backup Will Round ’14. Kelly managed to stop just two of the 12 shots on goal that he faced. “The goalie is the last man standing, so it’s easy to blame him,” Hurster said. “But we understand that it’s a collective effort. By no means did Jack have a worse game than anyone else on the team. We don’t ever blame a single person for a bad result, especially our goalie.” Round fared far better than Kelly, allowing just three goals and making four saves in his half hour in the cage. Bruno actually won the second half by three goals thanks to a stronger defensive performance, but the gap between the teams was too large for Bruno to overcome. Bucknell’s highpressure defense did not seem to bother the Bears, as they committed just one more turnover than the Bison. Tills notched a consolation goal with 50 seconds remaining in the game, as the Bison won 13-8. After the Bears’ 3-1 start to the season, they have lost two straight games and will face No. 12 Princeton (4-2, 1-0) over spring break. The Tigers’ two
KATIE LIEBOWITZ / HERALD
Goalie Jack Kelly ’16 looks for a teammate with an outlet pass. The sophomore keeper had a rough afternoon in the cage Wednesday, allowing 10 goals in the first half against Bucknell University. losses this season came at the hands of No. 8 Johns Hopkins University (5-1) and No. 6 University of North Carolina (6-2), two of the best teams in the nation. “Across the board, the Ivy League is
very competitive this year, and Princeton is probably one of the favorites to win it,” Hurster said. “They’re a very good team. They require a good amount of preparation. Luckily, our coaches do a lot of scouting, so we’re usually pretty
prepared for what they’re going to run.” Before the Tigers come to town, Bruno will face Providence College (3-4, 0-1 Big East) and Marist College (2-4, 0-1 MAAC) Saturday and Tuesday, respectively.
New Haven, Conn. - Saturday 9 a.m.
Boulder, Colo. - Saturday 7 p.m.
Stevenson - Saturday 7 p.m.
Williamsburg, Va. - Saturday 1 p.m.
Men’s Crew @ Yale
Women’s Lacrosse @ Colorado
Men’s Lacrosse vs. Providence
Baseball vs. Mass-Lowell
First meet of the season
First meeting between the two teams
Previous matchup Brown 7, Providence 6 (2013)
Last game Brown 1, George Mason 2
Los Angeles, Calif. - Saturday 7:45 p.m.
Hartford, Conn. - Wednesday 2 p.m.
Home - March 29 3 p.m.
Stevenson - March 29 3 p.m.
Softball @ Hartford (DH)
Women’s Lacrosse vs. Dartmouth
Men’s Lacrosse vs. Princeton
(5-8, 0-0 Ivy) || (13-7, 2-0 WCC)
Last game Brown 0, George Washington 3
Last game Dartmouth 8, Brown 7
Last match Brown 7, Holy Cross 0
Pizzitola - Thursday 5 p.m.
Boca Raton, Fla. - Tuesday 1:30 p.m.
W. Water Polo @ Loyola Marymount
(6-0, 2-0 Ivy) || (4-4, 0-0 Pac 12)
(3-3, 0-1 Ivy) || (3-4, 0-1 Big East)
Away Women’s Tennis @ Florida Atlantic
Men’s Tennis @ Florida Atlantic
Last match Brown 7, Holy Cross 0
Last match Brown 11, Bryant 0
(1-5, 0-0 Ivy) || (8-3, 2-0 AEC)
Philadelphia, Pa. - Saturday noon
Williamsburg, Va. - Saturday 5 p.m.
Gymnastics @ ECAC Championships
Baseball @ William & Mary
Hosted by Temple University
Second game of an 11-game road trip
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
SPORTS BULLETIN athlete of the week ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Morant ’17 dazzles on floor and beam, setting personal best First-year’s second-place finish propels Bears to win second consecutive Ivy League Championship By CALEB MILLER SPORTS EDITOR
The gymnastics team has set numerous program and personal records this season and repeated as Ivy Classic champions. Amid the success shines rookie Caroline Morant ’17, who turned heads last month with a fourthplace all-around finish at the Ivy Classic. She upped that performance last weekend with a personal all-around record of 39.025 that earned her second place against a talented field at the College of William and Mary meet. Morant brought home first place in the beam as well as the floor exercise, garnering her fifth ECAC Rookie of the Week award. For her stellar performance and growing pile of hardware, The Herald has named Morant the Athlete of the Week. Herald: How did you choose Brown? Morant: Obviously for the academics. I talked to (Head Coach Sara CarverMilne), and she made me feel really 1 Florida 16 Albany 8 Colorado 9 Pittsburgh 5 VCU 12 SF Austin 4 UCLA 13 Tulsa 6 Ohio St. 11 Dayton 3 Syracuse 14 W. Michigan 7 New Mexico 10 Stanford 2 Kansas 15 E. Kentucky 1 Virginia 16 Coastal Carolina 8 Memphis 9 G. Washington 5 Cincinnati 12 Harvard 4 Michigan St. 13 Delaware 6 North Carolina 11 Providence 3 Iowa St. 14 N.C. Central 7 Connecticut 10 St. Joseph’s 2 Villanova 15 Milwaukee
good about the whole program and about the progression of my career. I had one of those moments where you know it’s your fit. What’s your favorite event? It kind of depends on the day, but generally I like to compete floor. What’s your favorite move or skill? There are so many of them. I’ve got a new tumbling pass this year. It’s my last pass, and it’s kind of unique — my big finish. So it’s fun to do that. Do you ever get nervous before competing? Yes, I get really nervous. The transition from club to college is big, so there are a lot of nerves there. But we compete every weekend, so I feel like college is helping me get over these nerves a bit. How has the transition from high school to college been, as a student and a gymnast? I think every (first-year) would give the same answer. There’s a lot more independence, and you need to manage your time. As for gymnastics, it’s a lot more team-oriented, and there’s a lot more excitement. It’s very different to have meets every week, then trav-
DAVID DECKEY / HERALD
First-year phenom Caroline Morant ’17 has taken home five ECAC Rookie of the Week awards this season. Last weekend, she took home first place in both the beam and the floor exercise, which is her favorite event. eling and school work. It’s definitely different, but it is manageable and a lot more fun. What is it like competing on a team that has set two program records on the year and sets multiple individual bests every weekend? It’s incredible. Brown has been doing so well in the past couple years. We’ve been the underdogs, and now
we’re finding our stride. It’s really exciting to be part of the beginning of that. We know we have potential now. It’s exciting to see where we go in the future.
the team. I knew the sophomore class is very good, so I did feel like I could come in and impact. But obviously I was not expecting to have the season we’re having.
Did you know when you signed to Brown that you would make the impact you have in your first season? I definitely knew that I was going to do multiple events and potentially help
What is your expectation for the ECAC tournament this weekend? Brown is doing really well, so I am hoping we win. I don’t want to jinx us, but I have high hopes.
Sports Editor Caleb Miller predicts the 2014 Men’s NCAA Tournament
Louisville NC State
Iowa St. Iowa St. St. Joseph’s
St. Joe’s Villanova
The Final Four: Miller justifies his picks …
Weber St. 16 Gonzaga
Oklahoma St. 9
Oklahoma 5 N. Dakota St. 12
San Diego St. 4 New Mexico St. 13 6 Baylor Nebraska 11
Creighton 3 Lafayette 14 Oregon
Wisconsin 2 American 15 Wichita St. 1 Cal Poly
Kentucky 8 Kansas St. 9 St. Louis
NC State 12 Louisville 4 Manhattan 13 UMass
Tennessee 11 Duke
Arizona St. 10 Michigan 2 Wofford
ADAM TOOBIN / HERALD
Kansas: The Jayhawks have a proven coach and the raw talent to rival any team in the country, regardless of the questionable status of star center Joel Embiid, who may not return for next weekend’s games. They shouldn’t have trouble in the early rounds and should score way too much for Syracuse to keep up. I picked the Jayhawks to knock off popular Final Four pick Florida, because the the Gators have struggled to score at times this year, and I’m counting on Embiid’s return to bring a big boost.
Wisconsin: A weak region is Wisconsin’s best asset. Doug McDermott is my favorite player to watch, but Creighton strikes me as too mid-majory to knock off a streaking Big 12 team (Baylor). Arizona seems fragile to me with the injury to Brandon Ashley and loss in Pac-12 title. The Wildcats will falter against a high-scoring offense like the Badgers’, and don’t be surprised to see Marcus Smart and the Pokes shock them first.
Michigan State: With all the buzz Michigan State is getting, it’s hard to believe it is a four seed. I’m jumping on the Sparty parade because tournament runs are all about momentum. The injury-plagued squad is finally healthy and looked dynamic in the competitive Big Ten tournament. When you add Tom Izzo, one the best tournament coaches ever, the formula is right for MSU.
Louisville: (See Michigan State description.) Just like Sparty, Louisville is streaking into the tournament, and you cannot understate the value of momentum — just ask Kemba Walker. Rick Pitino is a proven winner and, thanks to last year, most of the players know how to make a tournament run.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
menu SHARPE REFECTORY
spring has sprung VERNEY-WOOLLEY
LUNCH Vegan Lentils with Roasted Vegetables, Quinoa with Kale and Olives, Slow Braised Tomatoes
New England Clam Chowder, Vegetarian Japanese Noodle Soup, Breaded Chicken Fingers
DINNER Vegan California Veggie Stew, Asparagus with Lemon, Spicy Black Bean Veggie Patty, Onion Rings
Kareem’s Catfish, Mexican Cornbread Casserole, Tartar Sauce, Steak Fries, Sweet and Spiced Baby Carrots
QUESADILLA OR GRILLED CHEESE
Clam Chowder, Minestrone, Beef with Bean Chili
Naked Burritos RYAN WALSH / HERALD
A beam of sunlight hits the Van Wickle Gates on the first day of spring, signaling the end of winter as students set off on spring break travels.
comics A & B | MJ Esquivel ’16
Against the Fence | Lauren Stone ’17
RELEASE DATE– Friday, March 21, 2014
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle crossword Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis ACROSS 1 Chess ploy 7 Antique cane topper 11 Home of the N.Y. Rangers 14 Fundraising targets 15 Wrath, in a hymn 16 Scarfed down 17 Annual Christmas party group 19 Small group 20 Brightened, with “up” 21 Bible book 22 “Let it be so!” 24 Thrice due 25 Wetlands protection org. 26 “Driving Miss Daisy” setting 29 Humor that won’t offend 31 Long poem 33 One of two Pauline epistles: Abbr. 34 “__ for Innocent”: Grafton novel 35 Pentecost, e.g., and what can literally be found in this puzzle’s four other longest answers 40 Same old thing 41 “This American Life” host Glass 42 Run 43 Exercised caution 48 Theatergoer’s option 49 Fla. NBA team 50 Maker of “3 Series” cars 53 “Beloved” author Morrison 54 Fromage hue 55 Yay relative 56 Part of a disguise 57 Singer with the debut solo album “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.” 61 Loan letters 62 Lisa’s title 63 Passes 64 Relaxing retreat 65 Against
66 Winning run, perhaps DOWN 1 Pens for Dickens? 2 Caine title role 3 Civilian garb 4 ASCAP rival 5 Grow 6 Jams 7 Social group 8 Org. co-founded by Gen. George Wingate 9 Knucklehead 10 Happen to 11 Got some attention 12 Flier that may have four lines 13 Prefix with thermal 18 “Right away!” 23 Key abbr. 26 “He makes no friends who never made __”: Tennyson 27 Grass-and-roots layer 28 ’50s Dem. presidential hopeful
29 Good, in Hebrew 30 Brilliance 31 Effort to equal others 32 Relative of a T-shirt launcher 36 Hill worker 37 Creamy spread 38 Flowing out 39 Tankard contents 40 Tach no. 44 Dark side
45 It’s hard to untangle 46 Fifths on a staff 47 Knifelike ridges 50 Support 51 __ ray 52 Chef’s tool 54 __ B’rith 56 Nintendo’s __ Mini 58 Finished on top 59 Dr.’s specialty 60 Distant
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
3 P.M. COGNITION SEMINAR SERIES
Northeastern University professor Matthew Goodwin will present on technologies, including pattern recognition algorithms and audio and video capture systems, that are used to enhance research on autism spectrum disorders. Metcalf 305 10 P.M. MARCH SALSA SOCIAL
Brown Salsa Club kicks off spring break with a free social, where dancers of all levels will come together for a night of salsa, bachata and merengue. Alumnae Hall
7 A.M. 19TH ANNUAL RHODE ISLAND ANESTHESIA CONFERENCE
Peter Davis, anesthesiologist-in-chief at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, leads talks on topics ranging from the management of complex trauma to the effects of anesthesia on children. Providence Marriott Hotel 12 P.M. THE VAULT MOBILE THRIFT SHOP
Brown’s thrift shop will set up camp in J. Walter Wilson, offering secondhand clothes and accessories, as well as the opportunity to donate items for store credit. J. Walter Wilson Lobby
1 P.M. FOUNDATION FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL RELIEF OF CHILDREN MEETING
The Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children is dedicated to healthcare abroad, giving Brown students the opportunity to travel together and go on medical rounds in other countries. The group will be discussing group goals and the 2014 summer trip. Wilson 103 3 P.M. SILVER+ AMERICAN By John Guzzetta (c)2014 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
American Smooth dance class sponsored by the Brown Ballroom Dance Team. Sayles Hall
6 diamonds & coal
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
DIAMONDS & COAL Cubic zirconia to the first-year who said he “should have been reading the Morning Mail.” Yeah, right after he went on the Facebook and watched videos on the Youtube. A diamond to Carolan Norris, associate director of athletics, who said of the One for Me program, “We just want these student-athletes to open themselves up to something new.” We hear the Poler Bears are hiring … A diamond to DJ Pam the Funkstress, who is known for using her breasts to spin records. We hear she keeps a party bouncing. Coal to Fiery Cushman, assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, who explained his decision to leave Brown for Harvard by saying, “This is what academics call the two-body problem.” Or as Harry Potter would call it, polyjuice potion. A diamond to the Alpha Epsilon Pi pledge who said, “Things got rowdy early and stayed that way the whole time” on St. Patrick’s Day. We can’t wait to hear how his Spring Weekend turns out. Cubic zirconia to David Walton ’01, who said, “I loved it from the first time I ever did it.” We’ll leave it at that. A diamond to James Allen, professor of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian studies, who said, “It is not easy to opt out of the family.” We haven’t seen the last person who tried. Coal to Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who said, “All living beings love their babies.” Someone didn’t even read the Sparknotes version of Medea. A diamond to Will Guzzardi ’09, winner of the Illinois Democratic primary for general assembly, who said “We’re really good at hitting doors and talking to people.” All the years on the taekwondo team are paying off!
A N G E L IA WA N G
Q U O T E O F T H E D AY
“It took me a while to even realize (DJ K-Swift) was a woman because her songs were pretty filthy.” — Jackson Morley, local DJ
See women’s history on page 1.
Coal to Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential life and dining services, who said the housing lottery “was the most stressful aspect of many students’ lives in the spring semester.” Clearly he doesn’t know any students taking orgo, dealing with breakups or studying for midterms. A diamond to Rep. Ray Hull, D-Providence, who said “My years serving the people of District 6 have been incredibly rewarding.” We’re happy you feel that way, but we’re still rooting for Katniss. District 12 for life.
CORRECTION Due to an editing error, an article in Wednesday’s Herald (“Researchers peg protein group as potential cancer culprit,” March 19) incorrectly attributed some information. Associate Professor of Medical Science Richard Freiman, not Jennifer Ribeiro GS, said he and his colleagues have identified some small molecules that may work as inhibitors of TAF proteins. The Herald regrets the error.
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THE BROWN DAILY HERALD FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
Leung Family Gallery should not be silent JAMES RATTNER opinions columnist
The University’s greatest resource is its students. We learn a tremendous amount from professors, but the most profound development comes from engaging with each other and forming meaningful friendships. Campus space should serve that purpose, and to that end, the Leung Family Gallery should not be silent. In 1983, Harry and Sally Leung P’83 GP’12 GP’12 GP’16 donated money to renovate the main room of Faunce House in honor of their daughter, Jacqueline, who had just graduated. The University imagined a place for events and theater productions. One hundred ten years after Faunce was erected and 31 years after the Leung Gallery opened, Brown students still do not know how it is to be used. At time of publication, a poll on the BlogDailyHerald recorded 49 percent of responses in favor of keeping the Gallery a silent space, compared to 50 percent opposed. The margin was 12 votes out of 864 cast. When I told Jacqueline Leung ’83 about the poll, she said for her family, the original purpose of the room was not articulated and it should be used however students today see fit. Last fall, I studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. A university with a per-student budget that is 5 percent of Brown’s, the Sorbonne has a nonexistent campus. Students commute in, attend two hours
of class and return home. Never developing a sense of community, it makes for an unfulfilling college experience. The debate over the Leung Gallery speaks to the larger question of the role of community and friendships in college. In addition to dorms and eateries, spaces like the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center, particularly after the 2009 renovation, encourage students to congregate and spend time with each other outside of class. Making the gallery a room for students to sit in silence, while nicer for everyond than being alone in a dorm or among the library stacks, does not take advantage of a great space at the center of campus. Faunce should foster and celebrate Brown’s community.
er than Yale because Providence was a nicer city. Faunce had envisioned the building providing the University with something beyond academics: “Whether it is called social or religious or aesthetic, it is all the same idea of a third greater and higher side of life,” with academics and athletics being the first two, he said. Over time, the building strayed from Rockefeller and Faunce’s vision. In the 1970s, administrative offices gradually moved in and took over what was meant to be a student center. In the early 1980s, the University drew up renovation plans that significantly increased space for student groups. Patsy Cole ’77, associate director for programs and co-chairwoman of
ovation, there was concern about the “sense of community and sense of liveliness” in the building, he said. The Leung Family Gallery, renamed to include Jay Leung ’84, Jerome Leung ’88 and two grandchildren, was designed to be a social space, partly to relieve some of the traffic and noise in the Friedman Study Center. The 2009 renovation was markedly successful in increasing capacity and student activity in Faunce. But entirely organically, as soon as the space opened the Leung Family Gallery developed into a silent study space. No one — not the Rockefeller family, President Faunce, the Leung family nor Gresh — envisioned a silent study space.
Faunce should foster and celebrate Brown’s community. On Jan. 4, 1902, John D. Rockefeller P’1897 committed $75,000 to erect and $25,000 to maintain Rockefeller Hall. In his letter to the Corporation announcing the donation, John D. Rockefeller Jr. 1897 called for “a building to be devoted primarily to the social and religious life of the students of the University,” The Herald reported at the time. Cheers rang out when President William H.P. Faunce 1889 read the letter in Manning Hall. The Herald’s frontpage headline the next day celebrated the donation as “$75,000 For Brown’s Most Needed Building.” In 1930, Rockefeller Jr. expanded the building and had it rededicated in honor of Faunce, the man who had initially suggested he attend Brown rath-
the Undergraduate Activities Board, told The Herald that the new design was “in line with the building’s original purpose.” Among the changes was the Leung family’s renovation of the main room. From 1983 until 2009 that space was used primarily for formal gatherings and often locked during the day. Ricky Gresh, director for campus life projects, who oversaw the 2009 transformation into the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center, told me that public space in Faunce was limited and “you went there when you had a reason to be there.” Gresh, whom I work for and consider a friend, said the driving purpose of the 2009 renovation was to create an open community space. Before the ren-
None of this is to say buildings cannot be repurposed over time. SmithBuonanno Hall better serves the community today as classrooms than as another gymnasium, as it was used until 1990. But there is no shortage of silent study space on campus: the Rockefeller Library’s Absolute Quiet Room and the Sciences Library’s zero-decibel section, not to mention the numerous stacks and empty classrooms. These spaces should be used as they were designed — let the Leung Gallery, which is often quieter than any designated silent area, be used for “social” purposes. The beauty of Faunce today is that students pass through for a number of reasons — whether eating, picking
Curbing grade inflation
JAY UPADHYAY opinions columnist
After The Herald reported recent Office of Institutional Research data regarding the grade distribution at Brown last week (“Fighting grade inflation: a cause without a rebel,” March 12), our grading system has come to the forefront of campus conversation. With over half of all students receiving As, our skewed distribution of grades indicates inflationary trends, especially when compared to the proportion of As given out a decade ago. In a recent column (“Grades — not inflation — are the problem,” March 14), Sam Hillestad ’15 argues that the very existence of a grading system is ill-suited for Brown and should be done away with. He claims sampling bias is fully responsible for the increase in As — a statement that is simply untrue. While one may argue about the strength of the correlation between grades and intelligence, grades serve as one of two potential signals: an indicator of one’s performance on an absolute basis, in which percentage cutoffs are set, or a measure of one’s success relative to his or her peers. Because Brown uses a mixture of these two systems across concentrations in a combination of curves and cutoffs, it’s fair to say grades accomplish both goals here at Brown. If one accepts that to be true, then the claim that students are simply smarter than they were a decade ago, as supposedly evidenced in lower acceptance rates, lacks factual support. This statement could only carry weight if Brown had a uniform grading system based on percentage cutoffs across concentrations, acting as a measure of academic achievement independent of how others perform. Insofar as Brown makes use of curves that gauge students on a relative basis, a common
system across economics courses, there must be more to the 53.4 percent of As than increasingly intelligent students on a standalone basis. Given this, the high preponderance of As at Brown diminishes the very purpose of grades as a means of differentiating oneself through success. Unless Brown plans to shift toward the London School of Economics system, where marks are entirely awarded based on numerical scores, something must be done to preserve the integrity of grades. At present, the lack of pluses and minuses fails to do just that. Scaling the proportion of students who received a letter grade to 100 percent of the proportion of all grades and treating As, Bs and Cs as 4.0, 3.0 and 2.0 gives us an average undergradu-
sense. How does one measure the intrinsic value of his or her Brown education if we do away with grades? Should it be the tuition we pay? Should it be how we’re ranked against other universities, which would be even more arbitrary than grading? Grades serve the essential purpose of signaling the efforts made and critical thinking skills utilized by students during their undergraduate educations. They allow us to be compared on a more normalized basis. Graduating with honors or high marks bestows a deserved sense of pride and rightfully positions students well in the search for a job. This should not be done away with just because we don’t go to Princeton. To remedy grade inflation, which limits differentiation and makes these signals harder for
Our current grading system has led to an environment in which the average student is a near-top performer, a paradox in and of itself. ate GPA of above 3.6 — an A-minus average across the student body. With so many students attaining high grades, how can one set himself or herself apart through academic performance? It becomes increasingly difficult to do so, and the brightest students often fail to distinguish themselves. Hillestad believes recommendation letters from professors and a GRE score can subsitute for a GPA and grades for those who want to exhibit their academic success. Yet the very purpose of these instruments is to augment grades to give graduate schools and employers a more holistic sense of our achievements and capability, not to replace them. Asking institutions to use writtenword evaluations and a single test score, as opposed to four years of performance, to make hiring and acceptance decisions is impractical. Hillestad claims there should be a focus on the intrinsic value of knowledge, not an “archaic” grading system. But this makes little logical
graduate schools to realize, a plus-minus grading system would serve Brown well. At present, professors are incentivized to give students the benefit of the doubt on the margin because the drop from grade to grade affects students’ GPAs significantly. Moreover, we treat students who score perfectly or near perfectly — a sign of mastery of the course material — analogous to those who score in the low 90s. The same can be said for the rest of the letter grades, and the ultimate result is students of appreciably different skills and coursework quality receiving the same recognition for their classwork. Introducing pluses and minuses would resolve this issue and allow top performers to set themselves apart, perhaps even with an A+ counting as 4.3 like at other peer institutions, while making the drop-offs among letter grades less daunting for professors and students alike. Like Hillestad, many will argue the issue lies
up laundry or meeting with student groups — and run into friends unexpectedly, not unlike libraries and eateries but in a more relaxed and better-lit building that seems to distract people from schoolwork. The Leung Family Gallery should enhance and expand that environment. It should be a spillover for the Blue Room where people can congregate around the large tables and couches and enjoy the view of the Main Green and Brown’s first buildings. At its inception, some imagined Faunce spreading beyond the undergraduates to become a place for alums and professors to visit. The room could fill a need on campus for places to meet with prospective students and families. Indeed, unlike any other place on campus, the Leung Family Gallery could be a room that brings together a broader Brown community than what we see in the eateries and libraries. Speaking at the announcement of Rockefeller’s donation in 1902, F.L. Janeway, the general secretary of the Princeton association, said, “We can hardly appreciate how much friendships mean to us during our college days. But it is inevitable that we will be influenced by our friendships in some direction.” At the heart of Brown’s campus, the Leung Family Gallery should foster such friendships and sense of community that are so critical to our college experience.
James Rattner ’15 can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
not with Brown’s system, but with the outside world of graduate schools and employers who are GPA-centric. Nevertheless, failing to remedy the current system will do more harm than good in the long run. With the current inflated average GPA and increasing allocation of As, GPA will become less of a differentiating factor and more of a minimum threshold for hiring. Students will then have to compete more intensively on items that aren’t based on merit, such as ability to find internships and build work experience. A plus-minus system, in addition to providing the aforementioned benefits to students and professors, would offer an additional means for successful students to set themselves apart. While Brown undoubtedly emphasizes learning over grades through the generous satisfactory/ no credit system, with no officially computed GPA and the lack of a Dean’s List, a plus-minus system is still necessary to alleviate the pressures placed on professors and to allow top performers to truly set themselves apart. Our current grading system has led to an environment in which the average student is a near-top performer, a paradox in and of itself. The last time a plus-minus system was proposed in 2006, it was struck down before reaching the faculty. All four students on the College Curriculum Council voted against it, and the proposal fell short by one vote. Students at Brown should undoubtedly have a say in such a proposal, but it should be through direct democr14acy across the student body rather than four representatives speaking on an issue that necessarily affects every undergraduate. Given the decade-long increase in distribution of As at Brown, the discussion of our conversion to a new system is a conversation worth having.
Jay Upadhyay ’15 is an economics concentrator.
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
BROWN DAILY HERALD arts & culture IN CONVERSATION
Weaver MA’87: ‘Poetry has been the vehicle for me to realize myself ’ Poet wins mid-career award for works on race, adversity in working-class America By EMILY PASSARELLI STAFF WRITER
Afaa Michael Weaver MA’87 became the most recent recipient of the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award last week, a prize for mid-career poets from Claremont Graduate University. A professor of English at Simmons College, Weaver was once a factory worker and a member of the Army Reserves. He grew up in Baltimore but has spent extensive time abroad in Europe, China and Taiwan. Weaver recently completed a collection of 13 poems entitled “Hard Summation” that will be published this summer and has 12 other books of poetry already in print. His recently published collection, “The Government of Nature,” is second in a trilogy, the third installation of which is currently being edited. Commonly known for his success in spite of adversity, Weaver spoke with The Herald about the more diverse origins of his inspiration as well as the importance of tenacity in the face of hardship. Herald: Throughout your literary career, you have written in many different media, from essays and short fictional works to news articles and, of course, poetry. Where did your writing career begin? Weaver: Well, I was in the sixth grade and my teacher, Mrs. Lewis, asked us to write something about our lives and bring it in over the next few days. And I went home and wrote 12 pages, and I brought it to school and she said, “Oh goodness, Michael, I didn’t ask you to write that much.” And so I think I’ve always had a love of books and writing, and also, when I was a child, I had made-up languages. I took the old MerriamWebster dictionaries and looked at the phonological symbols in the back, and I used them to create languages. So by the time I got to the university I was 16 years old — I entered the University of Maryland. As a matter of fact, Brown sent me an invitation to fly me up to campus, but I was scared, I didn’t want to be too far from home. So I chose to go to the University of Maryland for engineering, which is what my high school was all about. And when I was there, that first year, I started writing poetry. They were love poems to a young lady who would become my first wife. So yes, I started writing with love poems. And they were sappy, you know. You mentioned that you didn’t want to go far from home — did your childhood experience and relationship with your family at all influence your poetry? Even though I live here in Massachusetts, which is a good seven- or eighthour drive to Baltimore, my perspective on home and my relationship to it is still important to me. And my most recent book, “The Government of Nature,” is a more critical examination of my relationship to the family
and the ideal family. My sense of the world throughout all of my life radiates outward from my sense of home and my sense of community. Since leaving Baltimore, you have lived in many areas of the world, including Taiwan and China. Did exposure to these cultures influence the themes of your writing or your style? The greatest influence on my writing style per se has been my travels in Taiwan. Studying Mandarin has affected the way I use English. I was there for eight months, and I studied Mandarin at a private school there with two teachers. And that was transformational. I went over there and had the immersion experience, and when I came back, I found that my word order in my sentences of English had been affected. I found the associative method of writing in poetry — meaning you indulge your associations, you write freely from an associative strain — was taken to another level. One poem that I wrote that way, “American Income” — it got a Pushcart Prize, it felt almost as if I was able to replicate thought with a kind of simultaneity of the happenings of thought in some of those moments, which did surprise me. Studying Chinese and practicing Tai Chi and Taoist sitting meditation for a long time — these things were just effects on my sense of continuity. I went to France, and that had a really big effect on me. There’s a poem of mine in my book “My Father’s Geography” about Luxembourg Garden. And while I was there I just felt a sense of freedom. Freedom from identity politics, and, I mean, you’re never born quite free of race, but you can get a break from it — at least from people who support it. But going to France and being there in Paris was one of the best choices I made. My new book, “The Government of Nature,” I tend to see as a return to “My Father’s Geography,” but an investigation of the things that I wasn’t really conscious of at the time. “The Government of Nature” concerns my traumatic childhood. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and I realize now that memories I had half of my life, what they actually were. Now, I wasn’t able to name those things until I was much older, and once I did, I started to recover. So “The Government of Nature” is about investigating my life experience, the idea of realizing myself in the context of my experience in Chinese culture. When I left Brown, I had a determination to try to write more personal poetry. I think the first book was more about culture. And so when writing my first narrative I lost my first job, and I will tell you, it had a huge impact on me. I had a very severe episode of PTSD and had to be hospitalized. The factory story is only one part of my story — the other big part is having to deal with trauma after trauma of life. How did you find the tenacity to continue through the series of misfortunes you encountered throughout life? Did your writing at all play a role in this? My parents grew up during the Depression. My dad was raised as a sharecropper and his parents and his grandpar-
ents were sharecroppers, and it was a very harsh life. And my mother — her father owned his own farm, but he was not a rich man at all. I guess what I’m trying to say is, in my parents I had models of perseverance. And the way that generational influence works is that you are affected even when you don’t know it, because you know you grow up in this household, and that’s just the way it is. And my mother always told me, “Don’t get involved in a whole lot of debt,” and my father worked in a steel mill in Baltimore for 36 years. I think that he might have missed five days of work in those years. So it was the model of my parents — my mother always told me, “No matter what job you choose, always do it well.” And I think that I’ve done it despite the struggles because of this strong optimistic urge inside of me. But also the poetry, the writing, the joy continues to give me fulfillment. My faith in my writing, my faith in my art — I’m a man of faith, and the force of God drives our lives. And so I keep on going. I’ve enjoyed working, I’ve always liked to work, and I got that from my parents. When did you decide you would be a writer? Well, when I was working in the factory in 1978, I started to publish a small magazine in the Baltimore-D.C. area. But also one in New York that is still around today. I was also writing short stories when I had time to. And I set up an office upstairs where I was living at the time and I said to myself, “Okay, this is what I am going to do.” And then in 1980 when Ronald Reagan won his first term, I wrote an op-ed piece for the Baltimore Sun. And so for the last five years that I worked in the factory I was also a freelance journalist. And at this time I also started a small publishing company. So I was a literary worker, at least as much as I could be. Also in that time in Baltimore in the early 1980s, we had a huge literary renaissance, and Baltimore had a huge poetry community, but I was the one poet who was working in a factory. It was an amazing time in Baltimore. So I had established for myself then that no matter what else I did I would primarily be a poet and a writer. Why has poetry become your focus out of all the other disciplines you have explored? What does it offer that the others do not? Poetry seems like it’s the thing I do best in. And not only that, but when I write other things, I can see the poetry working into them. When I was doing playwriting for Paula Vogel, (former head of playwriting at the University), she said to me, “You know, you have some trouble with plot, because you write poetry, and in poetry, everything is circular.” So poetry is the center of my writing. It fulfills me and gives me a satisfaction. When I write an essay, I feel like I’m just explaining poetry. And so my poetry is a little about expressing myself and a little about teaching. It’s a little of both, and the ratio changes. When I write about myself, I try to write in a way that is art. It is not therapy. When I write to teach, I
ELIZA GRIFFITHS / HERALD
Afaa Michael Weaver MA’87 started a publishing company while working a day job at a factory. His versatile writing career includes 13 poetry books. try not to be presumptuous. You never really know how your poetry will affect someone. It’s almost always a surprise to me. And so I think the thing I don’t try to do is write to predict or assume an impact on the reader. For me, poetry is the center of the fire. And the next thing from there is playwriting. And then essays are just all about explaining things — that’s too utilitarian for me. From our conversation, it seems that your poems explore many diverse subjects, from the politics of the family to the politics of the nation. Do you find inspiration to write poems of different subject matters in the same forces? Oh, I could get inspiration from something I hear, very often from a poem that I read. When I go to a poetry reading, I hear someone else read and I am very often moved by the flow of language. But it could be also something whimsical, like sitting here watching “Dr. Who.” And as I have gotten older, I have been able to see things more in their context. For example, I was sitting in a poetry reading listening to Gerald Stern and it was really a lovely poem, but sitting there a whole section of my life just sort of became clear in its context. Those moments of inspiration allow me to have a whole vision. I can look back and say, “Oh, okay now I can put together that part of my life or a particular event.” That’s how it works for me. The Kingsley Award you just received is given to poets who are in
the mid-career to help them reach the “pinnacle of their craft.” You already have such breadth and depth in your literary career — what will you do to reach your “pinnacle”? Well, I want to write my big book of poetry. Other poets have written a big book, and I want to write something about America from the working-class perspective. A book that is a book of national cultures. That’s what I want to do. A book that will radiate outward from a black man’s experience of living in the city and working in the factory to talk about the country — that’s my big project. But I think of myself as just finishing up my mid-career. As you’ve described, there was never a period of your life in which you were not writing. How would you describe the influence of the poem in your life? I mean, it’s what I do. And if it weren’t there I would find something else to do, but I would feel awful if I didn’t have my poetry. I think also that my poetry has been the vehicle for me to realize myself in conjunction with everything else that I do. You know, people have compared me to Walt Whitman. But Walt Whitman was different because he began with a sense of himself. He put forth the ideal from day one, from the very beginning of his work. For me it’s sort of the reverse. I’ve worked my way to this ideal of myself. So if anything, I’m backwards — like a reverse Whitman. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.