Award-Winning Columnist Jeff Klinkenberg To Relate “Tales Of Real Florida”

Nov 7, 2014

by Staff

The touching, tawdry, and just plain odd events that take place in the Sunshine State have been the source for the writings of award-winning journalist Jeff Klinkenberg for more than 35 years. Now Polk County residents will get to hear Klinkenberg relate some of his experiences in person.

Klinkenberg, who writes the Real Florida column about Florida culture for The Tampa Bay Times, will be the next lecturer in the Florida Lecture Series at Florida Southern College. His lecture, “Improbable Tales from the Real Florida,” will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Hollis Room on campus. The lecture, sponsored by the Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History at FSC, is free and open to the public.

Klinkenberg grew up in Miami and started working at The Miami News when he was 16. A graduate of the University of Florida, he has worked at The Tampa Bay Times since 1977. Among his many awards for his writing, he has received a Green Eyeshade Award for work that was judged the best feature writing in any Southern newspaper. He is a two-time winner of the Paul Hansell Distiguished Journalism Award, highest honor in state journalism, given annually to the writer with the best body of work by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. He is also in the UF Journalism College’s Hall of Fame. Esquire, Outside, Travel and Leisure, and Audubon are among the magazines that have published his stories. His latest collection of essays, Alligators in B-Flat, was published by the University Press of Florida. Previous books, including Pilgrim in the Land of Alligator, Seasons of Real Florida, and Dispatches from the Land of Flowers, have been best sellers.

“For 37 years until he wrote his farewell column last week, Jeff Klinkenberg has written on all things Florida,” said James M. Denham, director of the Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History. “Provocative, zany, but always informative, Klinkenberg’s probing, informative insights on the Sunshine State in the St. Petersburg Times and its successor the Tampa Bay Times have enriched our lives while enhancing the understanding of our state.”