Literature: Jeff Klinkenberg

Klinkenberg's Sunshine State reflections

What is so Florida about Florida? Local award-winning journalist/author Jeff Klinkenberg, a Floridian through and through, answers these questions about our state's culture every week in the St. Petersburg Times, where he's been a reporter since 1977. He's also authored several collections of essays on the subject: Real Florida, Dispatches from the Land of Flowers, Seasons of Real Florida and his latest, Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators: More Stories about Real Florida. Drawn in part from his award-winning columns, the lighthearted and occasionally nostalgic book focuses on the Sunshine State's most distinctive settings and characters, like the original Coppertone girl and the actor who portrayed The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Klinkenberg reads from and signs copies of his new collection this Thursday evening at Inkwood Books. On Saturday at the Studio@620, an ensemble of local actors performs Folk, a series of dramatic narratives derived from stories in Seasons and Pilgrim and held in conjunction with the studio's current folk art exhibition. A question-and-answer session with Klinkenberg follows, and books will be available for purchase. Signing, Thurs., May 15, 7 p.m., 216 Armenia Ave. S., Tampa, 813-253-2638,; and Folk, Sat., May 17, 7:30 p.m., 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg, free admission, 727-895-6620.

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