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Florida Book Awards honor FSU Professors

The results are in and two Florida State professors have been recognized by the Florida Book Awards.

The Florida Book Awards (FBA) have been around since 2006, when Dr. Wayne Weigand, Professor Emeritus and F. Williams Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies, co-organized the awards. The Florida Book Awards were created to recognize and celebrate Florida’s best books and literature about the State of Florida from the previous year. FBA was previously coordinated by the American and Florida Studies Program and is now housed by FSU Libraries. Each year, in early February, medalists are announced from nine categories and are awarded during an annual banquet in spring, with Gold Medal Award winners honored at the Florida Department of State’s annual Florida Heritage Awards Ceremony.

Lucia Fishburne
Lucia Fishburne

Often referred to as the “Dean of the American library historians,” Weigand retired from Florida State in 2010 and was the Director of the Florida Book Awards until 2012.

After juries worked through more than 200 submissions, the 2014 awards have been announced. Two professors from the English department were awarded for poetry. Erin Belieu received a gold medal for SLANT SIX, which “brings middle-aged awareness to the mess our desires make” according to NYTimes.com. Barbara Hamby received a silver medal for On the Street of Divine Love, praised in the Yale Review by George Bradley, “Hamby’s poems are good-natured, gossipy, and fun.”

In recent years, another College of Communication and Information faculty member has taken leadership at FBA. Lucia Fishburne, research associate and adjunct faculty member in the School of Communication, now serves as the Executive Director for FBA. Fishburne also serves on the board of directors for the state entertainment industry trade association Film Florida as chair of the organization’s Education Council. Prior to joining the FSU faculty, she served in the Executive Office of the Governor as Florida’s State Film Commissioner.

More information on the Florida Book Awards can be found on their website.