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Noted slam poet Taylor Mali to present reading Oct. 18 at Whitworth

October 4, 2011

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Mali known best for "What Teachers Make" YouTube video
What: A reading by slam poet Taylor Mali

When: Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.

Where: Cowles Auditorium at Whitworth University

Cost: Free admission. For more information, please call (509) 777-3253.

Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and is the author of two books, The Last Time As We Are and What Learning Leaves. Mali is perhaps best known for his poem "What Teachers Make," which has been viewed more than 4 million times on YouTube and was quoted by The New York Times' Thomas Friedman during one of his commencement addresses. View the video at

"Mali is a rollicking showman; he’s witty, amusing, and inspiring," says Casey Andrews, an assistant professor of English at Whitworth. "He is an electrifying performer and a YouTube sensation, and I think the audience will have a great time."

Mali studied drama at Oxford University with members of The Royal Shakespeare Company and uses those presentation skills during his performances. He also draws heavily on his nine years spent in the classroom teaching a variety of subjects. He has performed and lectured for teachers all over the world and has a goal of creating 1,000 new teachers through "poetry, persuasion, and perseverance."

Mali is currently working entirely as a spoken-word and voiceover artist, traveling around the country performing and teaching workshops.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Annie Stillar, program assistant, English, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3253 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or