Many University Press of Florida authors are participating in this year’s virtual Miami Book Fair. We’ve created a list so that you don’t miss any of their interviews!
James A. Kushlan’s Seeking the American Tropics unearths stories of the explorers and adventurers who – for better and for worse—helped open the unique environment of South Florida to the world. He’s joined by Julie Wraithmell, executive director of Audubon Florida, as they dialogue about the reverberations and repercussions wrought by those early travelers, the effects of which are still being felt today.
Through dozens of black-and-white images, photographer Gary Monroe takes readers on a time-traveling journey to an oft-forgotten moment in Miami Beach history: when it was a retirement haven for American Jews. The Last Resort: Jewish South Beach, 1977-1986 scratches at Miami’s present-day persona as a cosmopolitan global destination to reveal an earlier iteration, fondly recalling a people, place, and community that’s now faded from view. He’s speaking with Miami Beach native Mitchell Kaplan, Miami Book Fair co-founder and owner of iconic local independent bookstore Books & Books.
In Florida’s Healing Waters: Gilded Age Mineral Springs, Seaside Resorts, and Health Spas, Rick Kilby explores the Victorian belief that water promoted healing and rehabilitation, and a little-known time in Florida history—well before South Beach became an international getaway for cocktails and clubbing—when tourists poured into the state in search of good health, rather than a good time. Speaking with him is Joy Wallace Dickinson, who has written hundreds of “Florida Flashback” features in the Orlando Sentinel chronicling Central Florida’s past, and is the author of several books.
Gary Monroe’s Alfred Hair: Heart of the Highwaymen is a long-awaited testament to the life and work of the man and artist who was the driving force of the Florida Highwaymen, a group of young Black artists who painted their way out of the despair awaiting them in the citrus groves and packing houses of 1950s Florida. He and Joanna Robotham, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Tampa Museum of Art, share their thoughts on the Highwaymen canon.
In The Greenway Imperative, Charles Flink argues that open green spaces are increasingly critical. They serve as essential infrastructure with many benefits, including boosting the economies of cities and towns. He has plenty to chat about with Meg Daly, founder and president of Friends of The Underline, a nonprofit organization leading the initiative to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile urban trail and linear park.
Introduced by award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat; moderated by Geoffrey Philp, author of Hurricane Center, and MJ Fievre, ReadCaribbean coordinator.
Through poetry, fiction, and reportage, Caribbean writers share with the world the fury of hurricanes, showing how fierce winds and torrential rains frequently help determine national—and individual—courses of action. In this panel, authors from Dominica, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica explore the experiences and emotions following the wake of Hurricane Maria. Celia A Sorhaindo brings us Guabancex, a poetry collection that blurs the lines between realism and mythology; Orlando-based journalist María T. Padilla and retired first responder Nancy Rosado discuss Tossed to the Wind, the gripping account of the wreckage, despair, and displacement Maria left behind; and from Kereen Getten comes When Life Gives You Mangoes, the story about a young girl who can’t remember anything from her previous summer after a hurricane.
In Jacksonville and the Roots of Southern Rock, journalist and media historian Michael Ray FitzGerald brings detail to his in-depth story of how the River City became the breeding ground for acts such as The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He’s joined by legendary Florida radio DJ Glenn Richards, known for giving airtime to unknown musical artists who went on to make it big, including Marilyn Manson.