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Doug Booher
Indiana University Auditorium

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Union Board

Last modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Best-selling author Michael Pollan highlights IU's 2010 ArtsWeek

WHAT: Michael Pollan Lecture, presented by Union Board, ArtsWeek and IU Auditorium
WHEN: Feb. 26, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.
TICKETS: Free general admission tickets will be issued to IU Bloomington students with a valid student ID beginning this Thursday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. at the IU Auditorium Box Office. Free general admission tickets will be available to non-students beginning on Monday, Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. at the IU Auditorium Box Office. Ticket limit: four per person. For more information call 812-855-1103.

January, 26 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- To best-selling author Michael Pollan, good health begins with good food. If you want to change your diet, improve your health and fight a "Nutritional Industrial Complex" that fosters chronic diseases such as diabetes, Pollan says, "eat food, not edible food-like substances." Pollan will appear at IU Auditorium Friday, Feb. 26, in a signature event of Indiana University's 26th annual ArtsWeek. Pollan is also the scheduled guest on tomorrow's "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (Wednesday, Jan. 27).

Michael Pollan

Photo by Ken Light

Michael Pollan

Free general admission tickets for Pollan's lecture will be issued to IU Bloomington students with a valid student ID beginning this Thursday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m. at the IU Auditorium Box Office. Non-students will be able to obtain free general admission tickets beginning on Monday, Feb. 1, at 10 a.m. at the IU Auditorium Box Office. There will be a ticket limit of four per person.

In his autobiographical talk, titled "Out of the Garden and Onto the Plate: One Writer's Path," Pollan tells the story of the path his writing and thinking have taken since he first planted a (disastrous) vegetable garden under the influence of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The folly that ensued convinced him that all the great books about humans and nature he had read in school hadn't prepared him -- or our culture -- for practical work in nature. Pollan discovered that a literature of the garden and farm might offer a useful addition to the wilderness tradition, and that an exploration on the messy places where nature and culture mix it up -- including agriculture -- might help guide us through current challenges, especially those related to healthful eating and the environment. Pollan's talk includes brief readings from several of his books.

A contributing editor to the New York Times Magazine and the Knight Professor of Journalism at University of California, Berkeley, Pollan is also the author of three New York Times bestsellers about food: The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.

"Indiana University students are extremely passionate about furthering sustainability efforts. The numerous student organizations on campus are prime examples of the fervor and dedication our students have concerning this pressing societal issue," said Union Board Lectures Director Erika Hall. "Pollan's lecture will not only appeal to the strong sustainability base at IU, but through his creative use of language, he will also appeal to a wide range of students from a variety of academic programs."

"I am delighted that Michael Pollan is bringing his unique voice to the Bloomington campus during ArtsWeek," said Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson. "His books have captivated the attention of the nation and challenged our assumptions about consumption. As our campus community seeks to become more sustainable, Pollan's insights will be all the more valuable."

"From the daily classroom to 'The Daily Show,' Michael Pollan is one of our country's most engaging and electrifying public intellectuals," said Vice Provost for Research Sarita Soni. "I'm delighted that Union Board, ArtsWeek and the IU Auditorium are able to make this important thinker available to the IU and Bloomington communities."

IU Bloomington's Office of the Vice Provost for Research coordinates the ArtsWeek winter festival, with participation from the larger university and City of Bloomington communities. The theme of this year's ArtsWeek is "Arts and the Environment."

Named by Newsweek magazine as one of the top 10 new thought leaders of the 21st century's first decade, Pollan has won numerous awards for his writing. His articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing, Best American Essays, and the Norton Book of Nature. In 2009, Pollan appeared in the documentary Food, Inc. and the PBS documentary "The Botany of Desire." Most recently, he has been interviewed on "Good Morning America" and Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." For more information, see

IU Auditorium

Since opening its doors in 1941, the IU Auditorium has presented a diverse array of world-class artists, entertainers, musicians and lecturers in an opulent 3,200-seat theater. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket information is available for all Auditorium events by phone at 812-855-1103 and online at


Begun in 1984, ArtsWeek is a significant annual showcase for the creative work of artists from Indiana University and the city of Bloomington, with prestigious performers, artists, and writers from across the country taking part. For more information and a complete schedule of events, see the

Union Board

The Indiana Memorial Union Board is IU's largest student programming organization and also serves as the governing body of the Indiana Memorial Union. Founded in 1909 by John Whittenberger, Union Board is currently celebrating its centennial year. The Board is composed of 16 student directors, four non-student directors, and student committee members. Union Board provides the IU Bloomington campus with an array of event and activities, including concerts, lectures, films and a campus arts magazine. For more information, see