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University of Iowa News Release


University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 3, 2006

UI Press Book Named Outstanding Academic Title

"Walt Whitman and the Earth: A Study in Ecopoetics" by M. Jimmie Killingsworth and published by the University of Iowa Press has been named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice magazine. The book is part of the Iowa Whitman Series edited by Ed Folsom, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver Professor of English at the University of Iowa.

"We're honored to have Jimmie Killingsworth's fine book receive the Choice Award, in part because it reinforces the need for a press that focuses on scholarly communication," said Holly Carver, director of the University of Iowa Press. "Without publishers like the University of Iowa Press, it's quite possible that this outstanding title would not have been published."

The first book-length study of Whitman's poetry from an ecocritical perspective, "Walt Whitman and the Earth" reconsiders both Whitman's language in light of an ecological understanding of the world and the world through a close study of Whitman's language. Of particular interest to scholars and students of Whitman, 20th century American literature and poetry, and ecocriticism, the book was published in hardcover in December 2004. The paperback edition became available in November 2005.

According to Choice, "'Walt Whitman and the Earth' is noteworthy for two reasons: few scholars in the field of ecocriticism have concentrated on the work of a single author, and few have focused on poetry rather than nonfiction prose." The book is deemed "essential [for] all collections; all levels."

Killingsworth is a professor of English at Texas A&M University, author of "The Growth of Leaves of Grass: The Organic Tradition in Whitman Studies" and "Whitman's Poetry of the Body: Sexuality, Politics, and the Text," and coauthor of "Ecospeak: Rhetoric and Environmental Politics in America."

A publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, Choice publishes reviews of current books and electronic media of interest to those in higher education. It is recognized as an essential tool for collection development in academic libraries.

This year's Outstanding Academic Titles list includes 682 books and electronic resources chosen by the Choice editorial staff from among the 6,964 titles reviewed by Choice during the past year. All were selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as an important -- often the first -- treatment of their subject.

Comprising less than 10 percent of the titles reviewed by Choice during the past year and less than three percent of the more than 23,000 titles submitted during the same period, Outstanding Academic Titles are "the best of the best," according to the magazine's editor and publisher, Irving E. Rockwood.

The book is available for sale in bookstores and directly from the University of Iowa Press online at and by calling 800-621-2736.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,; Program: Deidre Woods, UI Press, 319-385-2008,