Three Florida authors who will share their voices in the Florida Voices book series at the Society of the Four Arts King Library in Palm Beach are Les Standiford, Deborah C. Pollack and Rick Kilby.
The series, funded by the Brotherton Endowment, began again in 2014, bringing writers who live part-time or full-time in Florida to speak once a month, from October through April.
“Florida Voices started when Molly Charland (former director of Campus on the Lake and the King Library) decided to invite writers to speak,” says Rachel Schipper, director of libraries at the Society of the Four Arts.
“The series continues to be very popular and educational,” says Ms. Schipper.
Ms. Pollack, an art dealer who owns a gallery on Worth Avenue with her husband, Edward Pollack, will talk about her book, “The Sculptors and Their Work: 1880-2020,” published by Schiffer .
The book features well-known and lesser-known sculptors who have called Florida home, including Robert Rauschenberg, Duane Hanson, John Chamberlain and Augusta Savage.
“Even though we look at art, including public art, a lot of times we don’t really see what we’re looking at,” says Ms. Pollack, author of nine books, including “Laura Woodward: The Artist Behind the Innovator Who Developed Palm Beach.”
“To really understand a sculpture, we have to walk through it, examine it, think about the sculptor’s intentions and what messages he is trying to convey to us, the viewer,” he says.
“I hope this book will help people understand how to look at a sculpture,” says Ms. Pollack.
Likewise, Mr. Standiford, who loved the circus as a child in Cambridge, Ohio, wants people to understand the glamor and glory of circuses, which have disappeared from the landscape.
In “Battle for the Big Top: PT Barnum, James Bailey, John Ringling and the Death Defying Saga of the American Circus,” Mr. Standiford brings to life a piece of Americana that lives on in our nostalgia and collective memories.
“When the circus came to town, everything stopped,” Mr. Standiford recalled. “There was so much glamour, excitement and glory. Closed schools and shops. Everyone came down to Main Street to watch the parade.”
“I want to recapture the pleasure and excitement of the circus,” he says.
In May 2017, Mr. Standiford saw the last Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island and is saddened by its passing.
“I want people to remember how important the circus was to the country,” he says.
“Remember,” he says, “this was a time before professional football, before movie theaters or radio. It has been a popular form of entertainment for young, old and everyone in between for over 100 years.”
“When the circus came to town, it was a day to party, take a day off, and most importantly, see that you could come to this country and make yourself,” he says.
“The circus was more than diversion or entertainment, it was a reflection of the country and the principles that drew people to it,” says Mr Standiford.
He says the Feld family (the family behind the circus) has plans to revive the circus more along the lines of Cirque du Soleil, without the animals that sparked the animal rights protests.
The author, who has written more than 25 books, including “Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America’s Xanadu,” is already working on his next book about Don and Mera Rubell, tentatively titled , “World’s Greatest Private Collection of Contemporary Art.”
Another writer who writes about his passions is Orlando-based Mr. Kilby.
A Florida native and former creative director of the Church Street Station attraction in Orlando before starting Kilby Creative, Mr. Kilby became interested in Florida’s thermal waters in 2000 after visiting Ponce de Leon’s “tourist trap” at the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine and wrote his first book, “Finding the Fountain of Youth: Ponce de Leon and Florida’s Magical Waters,” which won a Florida Book Award in the visual arts category.
In “Florida’s Healing Waters: Gilded Age Mineral Springs, Seaside Resorts and Health Spas,” Mr. Kilby transports readers to Florida’s “Golden Age of Swimming” when tourists flocked here for restoration and renewal in its oceans and mineral springs. .
Mr. Kilby says he became obsessed with the subject and made pilgrimages to many of the sites in Florida, including White Springs in North Florida and Suwannee Springs on the Suwannee River in Live Oak.
“I love this era in Florida history,” says Mr. Kilby. “People came by steamboats and trains. I learned about sea bathing and the practice of hydrotherapy in large tourist hotels and visitors who came to bathe in our waters for medical reasons,” he says.
For those who want to “take the waters,” suggests Green Cove Springs on the St. River. John’s between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Safety Harbor Resort and Spa in Clearwater and Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, Sarasota County.
He and his wife recently bathed in the waters at Warm Springs in Bath County, Virginia, where Thomas Jefferson spent nine days in 1817.
He hopes to tour the springs and spas in Germany and the Czech Republic as part of a historic spa tour of Europe.
Noting that people are born in water, love to be near water and in water, Mr. Kilby says, “You can reach a level of relaxation in these springs that’s pretty amazing.” ¦