Allan M. Jalon

Arts reporter and critic

Allan M. Jalon is a long-time reporter and critic writing about the arts, focusing on literature, the visual arts, classical music, theater and film. A former fellow with the National Arts Journalism Program, he has been on staff at The Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. His work as a freelancer has appeared in The New York Times, the Soho Weekly News, the Los Angeles Times, the Jewish Daily Forward, the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, Poets and Writers magazine and other publications. His book criticism has run frequently in the San Francisco Chronicle. As a general assignment writer and critic, he’s written about American poets, writers, critics. journalists and others in the world of writing, including C.K. Williams, Marie Ponsot, Carolyn Kizer, David Ignatow, Lawrence Joseph, Robert Olen Butler, Allen Ginsberg, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Albert Goldbarth, Joan Didion, Nelson Algren, Jim Bellows, I.F. Stone, Francis Steloff, Randolph Bourne and Holland Cotter. Pieces on the visual arts have included essays and profiles on Anselm Kiefer, Chris Burden, Charles Burchfield, Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Conner and John Sonsini. His writing on film has included profiles of the Romanian director Christi Puiu, the documentarian Ric Burns and others. In classical music, he’s written on the composers Leon Kirshner and Gian Carlo Menotti, as well as the conductors Alan Gilbert, Gustavo Dudamel and Zubin Mehta, along with many singers and instrumentalists.

During years as a reporter in Washington his reporting on the federal government appeared often in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Boston Globe and other papers. Political pieces have included ones on Zen Buddhism, militarism and the writing of Brian Victoria (The New York Times), the still-unsolved break-in of FBI offices that resulted in the Cointelpro revelations (The Los Angeles Times) the importance of building (before one was built) a Holocaust memorial in Berlin (Christian Science Monitor) and a profile of Jonathan Tasini, Israeli-American anti-war candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York (The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.)

Jalon, who graduated from Columbia College in 1978, also writes short fiction. His stories have appeared in The Southwest Review, Manoa and elsewhere. In 2004, he organized a day-long conference at Columbia University on the work and life of the essayist Randolph Bourne—called Randolph Bourne’s America—and helped build a Webby-winning website about the conference and Bourne’s contribution to American letters and thought. After more than 20 years in Los Angeles, he lives in Manhattan.