Signing on a crew

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to report that Boyds Mills Press, my publisher of PIRATES, has reached an agreement with Cynthia Gonzales, associate professor of music theory at Texas State University, that will allow her to set “Signing on a Crew” as lyrics for a men’s choir piece. I’ve already seen the first few pages of the score. At one time in my youth I was assistant choir director for Grace Methodist Church in Springfield (got married there too) but these days it’s a stretch for me to read sheet music and hear all the sounds in my head.

Dr. Gonzales has earned three degrees in Music Theory: the Ph.D and A.M. from Harvard University and the M.M. from the University of North Texas. She has been a professional singer for over 20 years, company manager for four seasons with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

If you aren’t familiar with the book (brilliantly illustrated by Dan Burr) or the poem, you can go to, click on the cover, and scroll to “Signing on a Crew.” Cynthia found it on the Poetry Foundation website:

In 2013 PIRATES was selected by Missouri Center for the Book to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington, DC. Other recognitions include Kansas State Reading Circle List, 2009; NCTE Notable Poetry Books, 2008; nominated for Cybils Award; VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List, 2009; Texas Bluebonnet Master Reading List, 2010-2011; and Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List, 2011-2012. I’m delighted to see a poem from the book transformed into song, sung like no pirates could ever hope to match!

Back tomorrow

Hi everyone,

Sorry I can’t play today. I’m in Texas having a fine time!
David and Dan at TLA
This is me the last time I was here. PIRATES had just come out so artist Dan Burr and I were there introducing it. We had no idea who the guy dressed like a pirate was. He just wandered by, muttered “Argh,” and got in the shot.

More soon.


Digital Pirates


Hi everyone,

I’ve just signed a contract for PIRATES to be released in a digital format. I’m pleased that the book will now be available in hard and paperback editions plus as an e-book. I don’t have a pub date yet but will let you know.

As I write this I’m gazing at a large framed picture from PIRATES on the wall about thirty inches from my face. It’s Dan Burr’s rendering of a pirate who has just been marooned. He’s on one knee, his hat and sword on the sand beside him. Here’s the poem.

David L. Harrison

There go me mates,
gone for good.

I’ll never leave this
speck of sand,
this hump no bigger
than a whale at sea.

I’ll never see another soul,
never sail another ship.

Break the rules,
you pay the price —
marooned for life,
however long
or short
me life may be.

The Missouri Center for the Book reception

Hi everyone,
My thanks to Missouri Center for the Book board and to Naomi Williamson in particular for planning and hosting a wonderful reception yesterday in Warrensburg. The event was to recognize my book, PIRATES, which was selected this year to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair.
As part of the celebration, PIRATES artist Dan Burr was flown in from Idaho. As if that weren’t enough, our friends Larry and Maryann Wakefield made the trek with us and Cheryl Harness and Vicki Grove drove in to join the festivities. AND, when I walked in the first thing I saw was a large glassed-in case that contained each and every one of my 89 books listed on my website!
Cathy Clear somehow managed to find every book that wasn’t already in the university’s collection. How she did it I don’t know. What I do know is that I was speechless when I saw her handiwork.

Pirates, argh!

Hi everyone,
I’m pleased that PIRATES has been selected by Missouri Center for the Book to represent Missouri this year at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C. I read that about 200,000 people attend the event. I don’t plan to go but my book will be there and I’m happy about that.

It won’t hurt my feelings if you decide to get a copy. Promise.