Rebecca Gayle Howell, Ashley M Jones, and Emily J Jalloul

Mar 2, 2023

What Things Cost

An Anthology for the People

University Press of Kentucky 2023

What Things Cost: An Anthology for the People (UP of Kentucky, 2023) is the first major anthology of labor writing in nearly a century. Here, editors Rebecca Gayle Howell & Ashley M. Jones bring together more than one hundred contemporary writers singing out from the corners of the 99 Percent, each telling their own truth of today's economy. In his final days, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called for a "multiracial coalition of the working poor." King hoped this coalition would become the next civil rights movement but he was assassinated before he could see it emerge as the Poor People's Campaign, now led by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis. King's last lesson--about the dangers of dividing working people--inspired the conversation gathered here by Jones and Howell. 

Fifty-five years after the assassination of King, What Things Cost collects stories that are honest, provocative, and galvanizing, sharing the hidden costs of labor and laboring in the United States of America. Voices such as Sonia Sanchez, Faisal Mohyuddin, Natalie Diaz, Ocean Vuong, Silas House, Sonia Guiñansaca, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Victoria Chang, Crystal Wilkinson, Gerald Stern, and Jericho Brown weave together the living stories of the campaign's broad swath of supporters, creating a literary tapestry that depicts the struggle and solidarity behind the work of building a more just America.

All proceeds from the book will be donated to the Poor People's Campaign.

Stephen Pimpare is director of the Public Service & Nonprofit Leadership program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

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Stephen Pimpare is a Senior Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

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