Best Of 2013

Best Florida Insight by an Outsider

Monica Wendel

The Kerouac House

When Brooklyn poet Monica Wendel became the Kerouac House’s latest writer in residence in March, she didn’t waste time discovering our neck of the woods. Besides stealing the show from literary lights Philip Deaver and John King during May’s Functionally Literate reading at the Timucua Arts White House, Wendel also took road trips to tourist destinations like Kennedy Space Center and Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Her poetry picked up some Sunshine State stank along the way, illuminating Florida’s inescapable twinges of fear and hopelessness. In “Brain Science,” a new poem written during her stay, Wendel concludes a thought with “even as much as Florida feels like hell, or caves under its own weight into sinkholes that reach the slow-moving aquifer,” suggesting that three months here might just be long enough.