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Hal Kibbey
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Monday, June 30, 2003

Book Marks

Notes about new books from Indiana University

An unconventional look at weeds is provided by IU Bloomington botanist Charles Heiser, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, in his new book Weeds in My Garden: Observations on Some Misunderstood Plants. Heiser champions not only the weeds that have emerged victors in their evolutionary battles with plant competitors and animal grazers, but also the weeds that make great salad ingredients, decorations and medicines. This book isn't a botany primer. It's an unabashed celebration of Saturday afternoon's biggest garden headache. For more information, contact Heiser at 812-855-5822.

Poet Kevin Young's latest work, Jelly Roll: A Blues, is a rollicking collection of blues-based love poems that has drawn comparisons to the legendary Langston Hughes. Like Hughes' poetry or the songs of the great blues singers B.B. King and Robert Johnson, the book contains a mixture of humor and sadness, love and loss, sexiness and sorrow. Deliberately organized to fit within the classic blues framework, the book chronicles a doomed love affair, but Young says it's not strictly autobiographical. In fact, like the blues themselves, these poems can be funny and often uplifting. Young is the 32-year-old Ruth Lilly Professor of Poetry at IU Bloomington. His To Repel Ghosts, based on the works of the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, was a finalist for the James McLaughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His poetry and essays have appeared in The New Yorker and the New York Times Review of Books. In April he was named a Guggenheim fellow. Young can be reached at 812-855-6943 or

Willis Barnstone's new book, Life Watch, is a collection of poems reflecting a lifetime of globe-trotting and people-watching. Barnstone, 75, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and Spanish and Portuguese at IU Bloomington. He has published over 50 books of poetry, literary criticism and translation and received many honors over the years, including two Fulbright fellowships, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship and two Pulitzer Prize nominations. In Life Watch, he ticks off the people, places and events that have left an indelible mark on his life spirit, from childhood memories of his father to summers in Manhattan, train rides in Paris, wartime cafes in Buenos Aires, the silk roads of China, the crowded sidewalks of Greece, and evening chats with the late Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges. "Because these are my life experiences, this is a very personal book," Barnstone said. "I could not have written Life Watch without having done all of these other things." Last year he released The New Covenant, a groundbreaking translation of the New Testament from Greek to its Judaic origins. The New Covenant has been heralded by critics and scholars for restoring the poetry of the original text and inviting readers to re-examine the New Testament without the misconceptions that, over centuries, have crept into this work and become part of Western tradition. Barnstone can be reached at 812-855-9780 or

Working-class Americans in movies is the subject of a new book, Blue-Collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy and Working People in American Film, by John Bodnar, Chancellor's Professor and chair of the Department.of History at IU Bloomington. More than 200 films from such eras as the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War and the Vietnam War are covered in the book. Bodnar said the book is expected to interest social and cultural historians, sociologists, followers of the cinema and American studies, and the general public. For more information, contact Bodnar at 812-855-3226 or

Public forest land policy is discussed in the second printing of Forest of Discord that is co-authored by Bruce Hronek, a professor of recreation administration in the IU School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Hronek said the book, published by the Society of American Foresters, covers options for governing our national forests and other federal public lands. Recommendations in the book deal with clarifying the purpose of the national forests and public lands, improving the land management planning process, and financing federal land management. "Several of the issues raised in this book have impacted pending legislation in Congress," Hronek said. For more information, contact Hronek at 812-855-7819 or

Empowering non-technical users to update Web sites is the subject of a book written by Shaowen Bardzell, director of instructional consulting and technology services for the IU School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and Jeffrey Bardzell of Information Technology Training and Education, University Information Technology Services at IU. Mastering Macromedia Contribute focuses on the use of Macromedia's newest software, Contribute. Shaowen Bardzell said the book is a Web-content maintenance tool that meets the varying needs of Web developers, non-technical content contributors and site administrators. For more information, contact Shaowen Bardzell at 812-855-5435 or