Jul 24, 2010

Unspoiled - Florida Writers collaborate on Book about Oil Drilling off the Florida Coasts

 Here's a short review of a book that is a collection of essays and poetry offered by Florida based writers entitled "Unspoiled" that speaks of how oil drilling could change the Florida as we know it.

Last November a network of environmental writers, outraged by the cries of “Drill, baby, drill” resonating in the state legislature as Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, proposed a bill to repeal the ban on oil drilling off the coast of Florida, donated their words to a book that would become Unspoiled: Writers Speak for Florida’s Coast.

The poets, essayists and writers of fiction and nonfiction contributed personal experiences and passions to communicate the loss that could occur should the lobbying efforts of Big Oil succeed in overturning the legislative ban on drilling.
“The intent was to present an argument, both intellectual and poetic,” against the proposal, says Bill Belleville, a writer, environmental activist and documentary filmmaker who contributed to the book.

“I think the paradigm of wealthy oil executives and corporations with no true world ethic have created a sort of alternative reality that most folks have bought into. After all, BP did sink $16 million in lobbying for their cause (i.e. allowing them to do whatever they want) in 2009.”
Bill Belleville, a Seminole County resident, was one of 38 authors, including students and notable writers alike (bylines include Connie May Fowler, Janisse Ray and Lola Haskins) who contributed to the Unspoiled project.

The book offers a short course on the history, politics and environmental impact of drilling off Florida’s coast.

Belleville’s piece is an essay called “The Great Blue River,” which describes in detail the process of coral polyps spawning and building their “great castles of limerock.”

Diane Roberts, an eighth-generation Floridian, author of the book Dream State and commentator for National Public Radio, gets down to the economics of the situation in her essay, called “Selling Florida.”

Fiction writer Connie May Fowler harps on the claims by drilling proponents that the oil-extraction industry is so innocuous that it’s practically unseen.


Balancing the pieces on the business of the drilling industry are personal recollections, such as “Keeping Watch” by Dawn Evans Radford, a descendant of local lighthouse keepers. In “I Dream of Florida” by Marty Ambrose the writer riffs off a poem called Florida, written in the 1940s by the late Elizabeth Bishop....the lone poem in the book, “The View From Cedar Key” by Lola Haskins,


The book also contains a reminder of the ephemeral state of nature, including human life. A piece by Native American activist Oannes Arthur Pritzker, “Ganawenia Nimamainan Aki,” reminisces about the state’s culture, dating back to its ancient native roots. As readers discover upon reading the author’s bio, Pritzker “passed on to his creator just before the Deepwater Horizon explosion.”

Here's the website on the book

source Orlando Weekly
lshepherd@orlandoweekly.com

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