A New Way of Life Founder Susan Burton Discusses Her New Memoir, "Becoming Ms. Burton"

Written by stephanie case on . Posted in Front News

Susan Burton joined us in studio to discuss her new memoir, "Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women."

After cycling in and out of the criminal justice system for nearly 15 years, Susan Burton gained her freedom and sobriety. In 1998, she founded A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project, an Los Angeles–based organization dedicated to helping women rebuild their lives and heal from the experiences of incarceration.

In the foreword to Burton's memoir, Michelle Alexander deemed Susan a "modern-day Harriet Tubman."

Listen to past shows here.

Photo: Becoming Ms. Burton.

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A Note From The Editor Of The Offing

Written by Super User on . Posted in Front News


by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein


Hello, I'm Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, theoretical physicist and now, Editor in Chief of this esteemed publication. As many of you now know, over the summer there were changes here at The Offing. We went independent of the Los Angeles Review of Books and slowed down our submissions review in order to create a more sustainable and equitable journal. I'm happy to say that we are now back with the stunning writing you've come to expect from The Offing  — with many of the same departments, plus a new science department. We have also launched a Patreon campaign. Please consider becoming a monthly sustainer at $5 or $10 or more per month to support our fledgling independence! The funds will help us establish ourselves as an independent non-profit that continues to offer honoraria to writers and hopefully can begin offering them to our phenomenal content editors as well. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite pieces from the last few months at The Offing. Also, visit us today to see our first piece from the Back of the Envelope department!

New Work at The Offing

FICTION Trespassing by Nghiem Tran

"I was horrified: instead of a farm, our backyard was going to be a gravesite."



I HAVE QUESTIONS by Khadijah Queen

"What does a new narrative look like?"



This Cave by Ginger Ko

"For years, she fought to articulate difference and that singlemindedness threw disdain on frivolity. She is done fighting so much. White people were always in the landscape first, even if they weren’t."



from the Koreana Cycle by Scarlett Ji Yeon Kim

"This girl who was lustful who was cunning in particular who had a yellow attitude

who received the seed that has been come she nearly died of too much sex."



The Violence Inherent by Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil

An exploration of indigenous identity in the documentary INAATE/SE/ [it shines 

a certain way. to a certain place./it flies. falls./], which premiered earlier this year at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


In Service of Staying Alive by Lynne Procope

"I know how it would look if I ever began moving,

sure and swift and cruel, under its impetus.

But I can't stay still or silent and hope to survive."



What Perfume Is, by Riane Konc

"Perfume is wearing a wedding dress to someone else’s wedding."



Bond Voyage by Catherine Bresner

"Duplication is deadweight."




Introducing Back of the Envelope by Arianne Shavisis & Mark Zastrow

An introduction to the new science department at The Offing



The Offing is a member supported online literary magazine with non-profit status pending. Your contribution matters. 

Pledge a monthly sustaining donation via Patreon


Support us with a one time donation today via PayPal 

Copyright © 2015. The Offing. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is: available upon request.

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Activists Urge USDA to Block ArborGen's Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Trees

Written by stephanie case on . Posted in Front News

Over a quarter of a million people submitted public comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, urging the organization to say no to the possibility of ArborGen Inc.'s genetically engineered eucalyptus trees in the United States.

The project, if approved, would create the country's first GE tree plantations, a move that would have a negative impact on the environment.

Our guest is Anne Petermann, Executive Director of the Global Justice Ecology Project and Coordinator of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees.

Listen to past shows here.

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All-Out War' in North Dakota as Police Arrest 141 Water Protectors

Written by Super User on . Posted in Front News

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer


All-Out War' in North Dakota as Police Arrest 141 Water Protectors

Activists vow to keep up resistance to Dakota Access Pipeline

Police arrested 141 people in North Dakota on Thursday, moving in with pepper spray and armored tanks on Native American water protectors and other activists who for months have waged resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Tara Houska, an Ojibwe attorney and director of the rights group Honor the Earth, told Democracy Now! on Friday that the raid was an act of "all-out war...waged on Indigenous protectors."

Houska, who was reportedly shot in the face with a beanbag round during the onslaught, also said in a separate statement released by a coalition of Indigenous groups on Friday, "Yesterday was a shameful moment in American history. Law enforcement is supposed to serve and protect the people, not corporate interests. Police enacted violence on people who were armed only with prayer."

"I'm still in shock and keep waiting to wake from what's surely a nightmare though this is my reality as a Native woman in 2016 trying to defend the sacred."

—Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environment Network

Thursday's raid of the Cannon Ball site came amid months of Indigenous-led resistance to the $3.8 billion pipeline, which opponents say violates Native Americans' treaty rights and threatens their access to safe water. The militarized response also signals that recent escalation of police tactics, which reportedly include brutality and excessive criminal charges against protesters and journalists, may continue. Altogether, police have made about 260 arrests since the demonstrations began to pick up momentum and media coverage in August.

Rose Stiffarm, a Native American cinematographer, told the Guardian that the response Thursday was unnecessarily harsh. "The government is attacking us for protesting, for protecting the water," she said Friday. "We are innocent people—women, children, and elders."

Despite the raid, pipeline opponents have sworn to remain steadfast in their actions. "Everybody is still standing strong. We are still holding the lands," Dean Dedman, Jr., a member of the Standing Rock Hunkpapa tribe from South Dakota, added to the Guardian. "We're all just trying to keep the prayer and keep the singing."

Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network described the scene as being "a war zone. I was sprayed in the face with pepper spray, the guy next to me was shot by something that didn't break the skin but appeared to have broken the ribs, and another guy beside me was randomly snatched violently by police shoving me into the officers who held me off with batons then tried to grab me."

"I'm still in shock and keep waiting to wake from what's surely a nightmare though this is my reality as a Native woman in 2016 trying to defend the sacred," she said.

    #OcetiSakowin Treaty Camp Violently Attacked by Multi-State Police & Military Forces - 100+ Arrests (VIDEOS) https://t.co/XvSewcd7UL #NoDAPL pic.twitter.com/30mpsK1bGu

    — Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) October 28, 2016

    pick your side #NoDAPL pic.twitter.com/Gw4ZBXAtSY

    — Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) October 27, 2016

    Happening now: 100+ Police in ND approaching #NoDAPL frontline resistance camp with multiple MRAPs, sound cannon, armored truck, bulldozer pic.twitter.com/QzqEhO4Kgk

    — Democracy Now! (@democracynow) October 27, 2016

    These incredible images show #NoDAPL protesters standing strong as police move on their camp: https://t.co/qKvmuEiGLA pic.twitter.com/rStjUjyunY

    — Fusion (@Fusion) October 28, 2016

Houska recalled similar scenes. "I saw an officer raise his gun to my face and was pulled back by another protector just as a beanbag round ricocheted off a trailer next to my head. As that was happening, several teenagers a few feet a way were maced as some police officers smiled and laughed. The original peoples of this country have rights—yesterday we were treated like animals for the benefit of Dakota Access. Construction resumed as night fell."

Eryn Wise of the Indigenous Youth Council said, "I have no words for what happened to any of us today. They are trying to again rewrite our narrative and we simply will not allow it. Our youth are watching and remember the faces of the officers that assaulted them. They pray for them."

Environmental law firm Earthjustice, which represents the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, also noted that the Obama administration still has "a tremendous amount of responsibility and control" over what happens at the DAPL site. That includes making a decision on the easement which could prohibit the pipeline company from building under Lake Oahe. The government has requested that the oil company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, cease construction within 20 miles of the easement, but the company has been ignoring that request as it creeps closer to the water's edge and fueling tensions between police and protesters.

Regardless of the easement decision, Earthjustice added, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the authority to order that work stop on the pipeline in the immediate area of Lake Oahe.

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Alongside Sanders, New York Governor Announces First-in-Nation Free Tuition Plan

Written by Super User on . Posted in Front News

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer


Alongside Sanders, New York Governor Announces First-in-Nation Free Tuition Plan

'Our job is to encourage every person in this country to get all of the education they can, not to punish them for getting that education,' Sanders says in New York


With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at his side, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced a plan to offer free tuition at state and city colleges for middle- and low-income New Yorkers.

Under the Excelsior Scholarship, described as the first of its kind in the nation, students whose families make $125,000 or less per year would be eligible to attend all public universities in New York for free. More than 940,000 middle class families and individuals would qualify for the program, according to a statement from Cuomo's office.

"A college education is not a luxury—it is an absolute necessity for any chance at economic mobility," said Cuomo, a Democrat, "and with these first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarships, we're providing the opportunity for New Yorkers to succeed, no matter what zip code they come from and without the anchor of student debt weighing them down."

The governor said that in 2015, the average student loan debt in New York was $29,320. Once passed by the state legislature, the proposal would be phased in over three years.

Of the progressive senator from Vermont, who was present at the LaGuardia Community College announcement and made tuition-free higher education a key plank of his presidential campaign, Cuomo added: "I am honored to have the support of Senator Sanders, who led the way on making college affordability a right, and I know that together we can make this a reality with New York leading the way once again." 

Indeed, it was Sanders who pushed his one-time rival, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, to put forth a means-tested college affordability plan that Sanders praised as a "bold initiative" that would "revolutionize the funding of higher education in America."

In his remarks in New York on Tuesday, Sanders declared: "It is basically insane to tell the young people of this country, 'we want you to go out and get the best education you can, we want you to get the jobs of the future—oh, but after you leave school, you're going to be 30, 50, 100 thousand dollars in debt...and you're going to have to spend decades paying off that debt...and if you don't pay off that debt when you're old they may garnish your Social Security payment to pay off that debt.'"

"Our job is to encourage every person in this country to get all of the education they can, not to punish them for getting that education," said Sanders, a Brooklyn native. 

Online, Sanders expressed confidence that New York would pave the way for other states to make similar moves:

While the New York Times describes Cuomo as "a centrist with rumored presidential ambition," the Buffalo News reports: "Officials were already pitching the plan as a continuation of Cuomo's 'progressive' agenda for New York, which the governor counts as including a sharp rise in the minimum wage, the marriage equality law, and stronger gun control provisions known as the SAFE Act."

But to really prove his progressive bona fides, Cuomo must "lead his own state party into unified opposition to [President-elect Donald] Trump's toxic agenda," as Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org," told The Atlantic in December.

Indeed, a coalition of labor and environmental groups gathered in Albany last month to urge Cuomo to stand up to Trump by embracing renewable energy as well as a broader pro-labor, social justice agenda on the state level.

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