Arts and culture

This month’s Versed in Florida is with Lola Haskins. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, and The London Review of Books. She’s won numerous poetry prizes, was included in Billy Collins’ 180 project and was featured by Ted Kooser and Garrison Keillor. She has published 14 collections, recorded a CD of poems with cello, appeared in multimedia pieces at the Hippodrome State Theater in Gainesville and wrote numerous other poems blended with voice and music. She and WGCU’s Amy Tardif talk about those kinds of pieces and more today. 

Sanibel Island Writers Conference Presents Nathan Hill

Nov 4, 2016

Most writers labor years without even getting published but a local presenter at the Sanibel Island Writer’s Conference this weekend has hit the jackpot with his psycho-drama.  

Naples writer Nathan Hill’s first book The Nix is not only selling globally with translations in 22 languages, but he said Warner Brother’s Television has picked it up and Oscar Winner Meryl Streep is producing and starring in the film.

Smells of North River Road

Oct 14, 2016

Following another sweltering subtropical summer, this week’s breezy and slightly cooler weather has been a reprieve prompting some locals to give the air conditioning a break and open up the windows. The same goes for celebrating the return of driving with the windows down and enjoying the return of sweet temperate breezes. That’s the inspiration for this week’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams as she takes us on an olfactory tour along North River Road and reveling in the tell-tale smells of both the wild and agrarian spaces of far eastern Lee County.

A Falling Star

Sep 13, 2016

Chantel Acevedo is a poet and novelist whose books speak eloquently about the Cuban-American experience. An Associate Professor of English in the MFA program at the University of Miami, she has been honored with the Latino International Book Award. “A Falling Star,” reviewed today by Sally Bissell, was awarded the 2012 Doris Bakwin Award for writing by a woman.

Popular Twitter accounts like “Florida Man,” have helped to spread some of the Sunshine State’s strangest stories and encounters to readers throughout the country and even the world.  The unusual (and sometimes criminal) exploits that occur here coupled with the dangers of hurricanes, sinkholes, shark encounters and lightning strikes have helped give the state a reputation that can make Florida seem like a national punchline and prompt outsiders to wonder why so many people continue to relocate to a place that seems bent on killing its residents.