Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards is the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. It was established in 2006 to celebrate the best Florida literature. The more than 200 submissions for the 2014 awards were selected by juries of three members.

We are pleased to announce our six award-winning titles.

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FLORIDA NONFICTION, GOLD MEDALIST

La Florida: Five Hundred Years of Hispanic Presence

Edited by Viviana Díaz Balsera and Rachel A. May

Commemorating Juan Ponce de León’s landfall on the Atlantic coast of Florida, this ambitious volume explores five centuries of Hispanic presence in the New World peninsula, reflecting on the breadth and depth of encounters between the different lands and cultures.

Melding history, literature, anthropology, music, culture, and sociology, La Florida is a unique presentation of the Hispanic roots that run deep in Florida’s past and present and will assuredly shape its future.

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FLORIDA NONFICTION, SILVER MEDALIST

The Peace of Blue: Water Journeys

by Bill Belleville

Experience the thrill of traveling to the remote islands of Cuba and to sacred cenotes in the Dominican Republic. Contemplate the shores of Florida’s rivers and lakes, and marvel at swamps and seepage slopes. Immerse yourself in the underwater world of clear, fresh springs, and dive into the deep karst caves that are worlds unto themselves.

Through adventure and contemplative excursions, Belleville shares his contagious respect–and awe–for the singularity and transcendence of the natural world. We are companions in his search for a distinct sense of place, fellow journeymen in his quest to discover within the watery depths a greater awareness that informs and shapes our common identity.

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FLORIDA NONFICTION, BRONZE MEDALIST

Mr. Flagler’s St. Augustine

by Thomas Graham

Arguably no man did more to make over a city–or a state–than Flagler. Almost single-handedly, he transformed Florida from a remote frontier into the winter playground of America’s elite. Filled with fascinating details that bring the Gilded Age to life, Mr. Flagler’s St. Augustine provides an authoritative look at an intriguing man and a captivating time in American history.

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VISUAL ARTS, GOLD MEDALIST

Africa in Florida: Five Hundred Years of African Presence in the Sunshine State

Edited by Amanda B. Carlson and Robin Poynor

Through a critical evaluation of the influences and effects of the numerous African and African-influenced cultures that have been a part of the state’s history, this collection of essays and art explores how Florida both shapes and is shaped by the multiple African diasporas that move through it. Africa in Florida challenges the way American history and southern studies have characterized African contributions to the development of the United States by showing how Africans, both free and enslaved, asserted themselves as explorers, farmers, slave owners, artists, and more.

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VISUAL ARTS, SILVER MEDALIST

Everglades: America’s Wetland

by Mac Stone

Aerial views highlight the vast expanse of the River of Grass. Underwater images capture the endless wonders of the Everglades, including sharks darting through mangrove roots. Intimate close-ups showcase awe-inspiring flora and fauna such as the Florida panther, the endangered Everglades snail kite, and the majestic American alligator. With its stellar selection of essays, together with images that have wowed National Geographic, the BBC, NPR, as well as magazines and newspapers across the globe, Everglades provides a rare glimpse at the world’s most famous wetland.

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VISUAL ARTS, BRONZE MEDALIST

Surfing Florida: A Photographic History

by Paul Aho

Travel the entire coastline of the state and celebrate this deep-rooted surf culture. From dawn patrol to sunset beach camps, from bellyboarding to beach movies, and from surf music to the sport’s philosophical connection with environmentalism, this is an authentic journey into the heart of Florida surfing.

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CONGRATULATIONS, AUTHORS!

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