Prof. Campbell McGrath and MFA program alumnus Dennis Lehane have each won gold medals in the Florida Book Awards for books published in 2012. The awards are coordinated by the Florida State Libraries and co-sponsored by a number of Florida literary and cultural institutions. The medals will be presented at the Florida Heritage Awards ceremonies in Tallahassee on March 20, 2013.
McGrath’s In The Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys won the Gold Medal in Poetry. This is McGrath’s third win in the Florida Book Awards. Shannon won the 2009 Poetry Gold Medal, and Seven Notebooks the 2008 Silver in Poetry. “It feels great, it’s an honor,” McGrath said. “I love the idea of the Florida Book Awards, they bring attention to Floridian literature, the arts and culture. This is an award unique to our home state, so it’s important.”
The Gold Medal for General Fiction went to Live By Night, Lehane’s eleventh book, tenth novel and the second in his historical series that follows Joe Coughlin, the son of a Boston police captain turned mobster during the prohibition era of the 1920s.
Other FIU Creative Writing winners in past years are: Lynne Barrett, Gold Medal, General Fiction 2011, for Magpies; alumna Patricia Engel, Silver Medal, General Fiction 2010, for Vida; Denise Duhamel, Silver Medal, Poetry 2009, for Ka-Ching!; alumnus Jesse Millner, Bronze Medal, Poetry 2009, for Neighborhoods of My Past Sorrow; John Dufresne, Gold Medal, General Fiction 2008, for Requiem, Mass; James W. Hall, Silver Medal, Genre Fiction 2007 for Magic City; and alumnus Leonard Nash, Silver Medal, General Fiction 2007, for You Can’t Get There From Here. The Florida Book Awards were established in 2006 to recognize, honor, and celebrate the best Florida literature published each year.