About Jack

Writer, Teacher, Archaeologist


Hello, Writer’s Digest readers! Thanks for finding me, and not that other Jack Cheng (who wrote a nice Middle Grade novel). Feel free to look around here to see what I’ve been up to, and to keep in touch, please consider signing up for my monthly email newsletter here. At the very least, go look at the archives to see how to hack a parking meter. 

I am a writer, teacher and archaeologist.

My writing has been published by the New York Times, Boston Globe, Orion Magazine, Brain, Child, and Cognoscenti, among others. You can use the Category pull-down menu on the upper right to find blogposts/articles by publication or subject.

I have taught at various colleges in the Boston area, including Harvard, MassArt, UMass Boston, and Framingham State College. I have a profile on Academia.edu.

Since 2011, I have been the Academic Director of the Clemente Course in the Humanities in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. I’ve also taught art history in the course since its inception in 2001. More about the course can be found on my Clemente Course page.

I’ve done many jobs on archaeological excavations, sometimes simultaneously. I’ve worked at Sardis and Gordion in Turkey, Tell Brak and Tell Ahmar in Syria, and currently am part of the team excavating El Kurru in Sudan. My experiences on digs and traveling in the Middle East often inspire my writing. More about my archaeological experience can be found on my Archaeology page.

In addition, I am the band leader and blogger for a family chorus called the Newton Family Singers.