Dr. Ann Browning Masters will speak on Floridanos, Menorcans, and Cattle-Whip Crackers at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in Meeting Room A of the Headquarters Library, 401 East University Avenue. As part of her talk, Masters will read from her book Floridanos, Menorcans, Cattle-Whip Crackers: Poetry of St. Augustine. Masters describes a rich slice of Old Florida in mullet-netting, datil pepper-growing, pilau-eating, rum-running St. Augustine. Bold, humorous, sometimes heart-tugging oral traditions tell a story of raw beauty and voices not often recorded in history.
Now in its second printing by the Florida Historical Society Press, her book has been described by Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke as “...no better introduction to America's oldest city. These poems and commentaries are knowledgeable, eloquent and affectionate, capturing St. Augustine's history, beauty, people, and food, along with its magical ambience.” Beloved Florida poet Lola Haskins has said that “ Ann Browning Masters is not only an authentic Floridian but also a talented and generous writer who can bring the many voices of our past as alive as if they were sitting on our porches beside us, right here, right now, telling us stories. Do. Not. Miss her. “ Former St. Augustine City Commissioner Sandra Parks has linked Masters to another well-known poet: “Good to see a contemporary Minorcan poet in the tradition of another St. Augustine Minorcan poet- Stephen Vincent Benét! “
A St. Augustine native, Masters is a 12th generation Floridian. She is also a Floridana, a descendant of the Spanish settlers who came to Florida during the First Spanish Period, and a Menorcan, a descendant of Mediterraneans who settled in St. Augustine during the Florida's British Period. She has been interviewed about her work on Floridanos and Menorcans and recorded for the Florida State Historical Archives. She continues to read from her writing on Floridanos and Menorcans in the Eckerd College Road Scholar program. In 2015 Dr. Masters was knighted by the St. Augustine Easter Festival for her dedication in promoting St. Augustine's Spanish heritage.
Ann Browning Masters is a Quad-Gator (B.A, M.Ed., Ed.S., and Ph.D. from UF).