Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Books

What's Michael Slicker reading?

Nightstand

Michael Slicker

Slicker, owner of Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg, is gearing up for a busy March that includes the SunLit Festival (March 4-15) and the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair (March 11-13) at the Coliseum. Slicker is co-founder of both events. (See story, Page 8L.) The SunLit Festival came to be after discussions between Slicker and T. Allan Smith, a former Tampa Bay Times employee. "I give the lion's share of the credit for the SunLit Festival to Allan,'' said Slicker, 68. "We had been talking about the strength of the literary community (in St. Petersburg), and he came into the store and said, 'We've got to do this.' "

Lighthouse Books, itself antiquarian by design, specializes in American, Florida and Caribbean-Latin American history. It is located at 1735 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

What is on your nightstand?

I'm reading Michael Lister, an author from the Panhandle. I'm reading Blood of the Lamb. I've read one or two of his other books. There are horrendous crimes committed, so I read them with long gaps in between. I read a buffet of books. Business, theology, and I read a lot of history, particularly Florida history. (Lighthouse Books) emphasizes Florida and Caribbean history.

When did Caribbean history become part of the equation?

When Lighthouse Books first opened here, I thought our specialty would be Florida and the Southeast, but what I learned was that Florida has a much longer history with the Caribbean area than it does with the U.S., and so we've emphasized that.

Are there authors from the Caribbean that easily come to mind?

Actually, right now I've got out The Bounty. It's Derek Walcott's, a poet (from St. Lucia).

Do you remember how long ago you were introduced to him?

It was before he won the Nobel Prize (in 1992). I heard of him probably more than 25 years ago. I'll also add that, when it comes to poetry, one of the things I always do is every New Year's Day I get out a poem by A. R. Ammons, Corsons Inlet, and I go off by myself and think about the coming year.

Why is the poem part of your traditions?

Just because I like how it's about walking along the coastline and the various fauna and flora, and what he says. For example, at the end, he writes "... tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.'' It was just a poem, something I stumbled onto that has stuck with me.

Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.

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