Syracuse University Magazine

Cover to Cover

Following is a sampling of recently published books written or illustrated by SU alumni and faculty:


All the Poets (Mostly) Who Have Touched Me (Living and Dead. All True: Especially the Lies)

By Lyn Lifshin ’60

234 pp. World Parade Books. $10.95

Lifshin’s collection of poems pays tribute to the poets who have influenced her, from Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman to Dylan Thomas. With humor and wit, she describes real and imagined encounters with her literary heroes to explore the relationship between poet and audience.


The Art of GravityThe Art of Gravity                     

 By Jay Rogoff G’78, G’81

96 pp. Louisiana State University Press. $17.95

In Rogoff’s fourth book of poems, he writes about dances of all kinds. The poems, both traditional and experimental in form, ultimately reveal dance as an “art of gravity.”

A Sudden Gift of Fate

By Mary Pat Hyland ’77

340 pp. CreateSpace. $20

A sequel to Hyland’s first novel, this book follows two young couples as they face life’s challenges. One couple, Irish newlyweds, tries to turn around a failing Finger Lakes winery, while the other works through a budding romance complicated by long periods of separation.

Bck at Your BestBack at Your Best: Balancing the Demands of Life with the Needs of Your Body

By Dr. Jay M. Lipoff ’90

378 pp. Back At Your Best. $19.95

This book proposes simple solutions for avoiding such common ailments as headaches, back pain, and muscle tension. Instructions, pictures, and personal stories explain how your body works and how to take care of it.

Chocolate MeChocolate Me!

By Taye Diggs ’93 and Illustrated by Shane W. Evans ’92

40 pp. Feiwel & Friends. $16.99

In this children’s picture book, good friends Diggs and Evans present the story of a young boy who is teased for looking different than other kids. When he tells his mother he wishes he could be like everyone else, she helps him appreciate his differences and see how beautiful he really is. 

Boeheim StoryColor Him Orange: The Jim Boeheim Story

By Scott Pitoniak ’77

256 pp. Triumph Books. $24.95

In his biography of SU’s legendary basketball coach, sports columnist and author Pitoniak identifies the sources of Jim Boeheim’s competitive drive and loyalty to Syracuse. He also discusses the people who influenced Boeheim, the great players he has coached, and his work in the fight against cancer.<

Crashing The CommissionCrashing the Commission: Confessions of a University Twit

By Mark D. Harmon G’81

Tellico Books. $18

Harmon, a professor of journalism and electronic media at the University of Tennessee, recounts his experiences as an elected county commissioner, serving during a time of great dysfunction in local government that included term-limits avoidance, lawsuits over violations of open meetings law, and even a politically motivated shooting at his church.

House SignsHouse Signs and Collegiate Fun: Sex, Race, and Faith in a College Town

By Chaise LaDousa G’97, G’00

256 pp. Indiana University Press. $24.95

LaDousa—a linguist, anthropologist, and professor at Hamilton College—analyzes house signs at off-campus student residences in a Midwest college town. He uses the signs to explore issues of identity and public space, as well as the development of cultural messages and how they are mediated in everyday life.

Fantasy SportsHow Fantasy Sports Explains the World: What Pujols and Peyton Can Teach Us about Wookiees and Wall Street

By AJ Mass ’92

256 pp. Skyhorse Publishing. $24.95

This book shows readers that advice for winning in fantasy sports leagues can come from anyone or anywhere—Shakespeare, Stephen Hawking, or Star Wars. But it also goes beyond tips for winning to the core of what makes fantasy sports so compelling in the high-speed information age.


By Caroline Bock ’84

224 pp. St. Martin’s Press. $9.99

Inspired by real events on Long Island, this novel is the story of teens and a vicious hate crime, told from 10 different characters’ perspectives. The accused teen’s girlfriend must decide whether to speak up about what she knows, while his accomplice wrestles with whether to turn in his friend to save himself.

Lincoln's GiftLincoln’s Gift from Homer, New York: A Painter, an Editor, and a Detective

By Martin A. Sweeney G’81

216 pp. McFarland & Co. $40

Sweeney, Homer’s town historian, explores the stories of three residents who played a significant role in President Lincoln’s White House and shares insights into the complexities of presidential image making. He also provides details on the Central New York town’s role in shaping these men and how it has become a popular destination for Lincoln historians.

The Medici Legacy

By Greg Ahlgren ’74

279 pp. Greg Ahlgren. $4.99

A deputy inspector for the Italian police discovers that seemingly random victims of a serial killer may be linked. His superiors pressure him to leave the closed case alone, but the inspector works with a young American scholar to unlock a secret that spans three continents.

Mimesis in a Cognitive Perspective: Mallarmé, Flaubert, and Eminescu

By Nicolae Babuts

256 pp. Transaction Publishers. $39.95

Babuts, a professor emeritus of French who taught at SU for more than 30 years, analyzes the concept of mimesis—imitation, representation, mimicry, the act of expression, and the presentation of self—from a cognitive perspective. He identifies the two main strands: the relation of art and poetry to the world, defined in terms of reference to an external reality, and the importance of memory in the making of plots or storytelling.

No Girls AllowedNo Girls Allowed: The Jock and Jill Mentality of Sports Broadcasting

MaxQ Enterprises. $28.95

Silas chronicles her journey as one of the first women to host a national sports talk radio show. She hopes telling her stories will help other women earn more respect in the world of sports broadcasting.

The Olympian: An American Triumph

By Craig T. Williams ’96

260 pp. $16.95

In 1908, little-known athlete Dr. John Baxter Taylor Jr. became the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal, just five decades after the abolishment of slavery in the United States. His accomplishments, both in sports and off the field, helped American progress toward overcoming the racial divide.


By Greg Ahlgren ’74 Inc. $17.95

This sci-fi novel explores what 2026 would be like if the Soviet Union had won the Cold War and occupied the United States. As part of an American insurgency, two scientists develop a time-travel technology and plan to return to the early 1960s to alter history.

Signing RightsSigning Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the U.S. Constitution

By Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese

256 pp. Quirk Books. $19.95.

This lighthearted book for history buffs of all ages shines a spotlight on the quirks and flaws of the 39 men who signed the U.S. Constitution in 1787. The authors’ previous book, Signing Their Lives Away, introduced readers to the signers of the Declaration of Independence.


By Kirsten Kaschock G’02

330 pp. Coffe House Press. $16

A director reunites two estranged sisters, who are performers of the fictional art form “sleight,” to appear in a show based on a national tragedy. Sleight explores performance, gender, and family to ask the question: What is the role of art in the face of tragedy?

Sweet HopeSweet Hope

By Mary Bucci Bush G’80, G’84

402 pp. Guernica Editions. $25

An Italian family and a black family live and work together on a Mississippi Delta cotton plantation in the early 1900s. As they learn about race and friendship in America, the families deal with a vicious overseer, an absentee plantation owner, an interracial “Romeo and Juliet” love affair, a murder, a rape, and a federal investigation.

Tackling FootballTackling Football: A Woman’s Guide to Understanding the College Game

By Sandra Caron G’86 and J. Michael Hodgson

60 pp. Maine College Press Inc. $14.99

This guide explains football terms, definitions, strategies, and regulations, as well as how to listen to play-by-play and what happens before, during, and after a game. Although written primarily for women, Tackling Football contains information that can interest any football fan who wants to learn more about the game.

Ten LettersTen Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their Presidents

By Eli Saslow ’04

304 pp. Doubleday. $25.95

Each evening, President Obama reads 10 pieces of mail from the thousands sent to him. Saslow, a Washington Post staff writer, tracked down the personal stories behind 10 letters to which Obama responded. The letters shed light on the president’s character and how ordinary Americans cope with extraordinary circumstances.

Threads of InfluenceThreads of Influence: The Visual History of a Life in Graphic Design

By Tom Morin ’66

352 pp. plus 90 min. DVD. Galisteo Press. $80

Using more than a thousand images, Morin traces the major influences in his journey as a graphic designer to corporate America and design teacher. He documents how teachers, colleagues, and students continually reshaped his thinking and his life (

—Compiled by Sarah Jane Capper