Erica Dawson of the University of Tampa faculty has won the gold medal for poetry in the Florida Book Awards.
The book-length poem When Rap Spoke Straight to God earned the award for Dawson, who is director of the low-residency MFA in creative writing program at UT.
Dawson wrote in an email: "When Rap Spoke Straight to God was inspired by, and written in response to, my almost-nine years in Tampa, FL — the good and the bad. I am incredibly honored to receive this recognition. It means the world to me."
Two Tampa Bay area authors won bronze medals in the 2018 awards. St. Petersburg resident Gale Massey won in the general fiction category for her debut novel, The Girl From Blind River. Rob Sanders of Brandon took bronze in the younger children's literature category for his book Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights.
The awards, now in their 13th year, are coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries and co-sponsored by a group of educational and literacy organizations. For 2018, more than 200 books were entered in the competition. Authors must be Florida residents, except in the Florida nonfiction and visual categories; those books must be about a Florida subject matter.
The 2018 winners will be honored at an awards banquet in Tallahassee on April 11. For information about the Florida Book Awards, go to floridabookawards.lib.fsu.edu.
HERE ARE THE WINNERS:
Younger Children's Literature
Gold: Silvia Lopez, Just Right Family
Silver: Margaret Cardillo, Just Being Jackie
Bronze: Rob Sanders, Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights
Older Children's Literature
Gold: Ryan Calejo, Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows
Silver: Jennifer Swanson, Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Intersect
Gold: Dawn Davies, Mother of Sparta
Silver: Kevin Begos, Tasting the Past: The Science of Flavor and the Search for the Origins of Wine
Bronze: Luis Martínez-Fernández, Key to the New World: A History of Early Colonial Cuba
Gold: Kimberley Lojewski, Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart
Silver: Ron Cooper, All My Sins Remembered
Bronze: Gale Massey, The Girl From Blind River
Gold: Gilbert King, Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found
Silver: Jim Ross, ed., In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places in Between
Bronze: Bruce Horovitz, Gamble Rogers: A Troubadour's Life
Gold: Erica Dawson, When Rap Spoke Straight to God
Silver: D.M. Aderibigbe, How the End First Showed
Bronze: Erin Hoover, Barnburner
Gold: Michael Jordan, Company of Demons
Silver: Veronica H. Hart, The Knife
Bronze: Tom Lowe, The Jefferson Prophecy
Gold: Hernán Vera Álvarez, La librería del mal salvaje
Silver: Glenda Galán, Ventanas: Entrevistas de Glenda Galán a escritores latinoamericanos
Bronze: Félix Anesio, Los cuervos y la infamia
Gold: Richard Shieldhouse, William Morgan: Evolution of an Architect
Silver: Sharon Koskoff, Murals of the Palm Beaches
Bronze: Andre Frattino, A Land Remembered, a Graphic Novel
Young Adult Literature
Gold: Tara Lynn Masih, My Real Name Is Hannah
Silver: Kristina Niehouse, Knowing When to Leave
Contact Colette Bancroft at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8435. Follow @colettemb.