Yesterday I received the news that CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS has been selected to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C. in September. I feel honored and very grateful.
The selection was made by Missouri’s Center for the Book, which also picked my book PIRATES to represent Missouri at the 2013 National Book Fair.
I’m looking for a list of previous honorees. Cheryl Harness, I know you’re on the list and I think Judy Young is also. I’d like to post the whole list when I find it.
I’m looking down the list of titles that Boyds Mills just took out of their line. I’m going to miss PIRATES and those wonderful paintings by Dan Burr. Its recognitions included: 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; Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List, 2011-2012; selected by Missouri Center for the Book to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C., 2013.
Dan and I introduced PIRATES at Texas Library Association in 2008. We had no idea who the guy dressed like a pirate was. He just appeared and stood in behind us for the picture. The Center for the Book held a reception in Warrensburg for Dan and me. Here’s the link. What a great party that was! http://books.missouri.org/content/david-harrison-and-dan-burr-book-signing I didn’t attend the National Book Fair in Washington, D.C. Sandy said I should have gone. Cheryl Harness did you go the year your book was chosen? I think I heard that more than 100,000 people go to those affairs. Here's a poem from PIRATES, published by Wordsong, 2008, (c) by David L. Harrison, all rights reserved.
WHAT’LL THE KING SAY, CAP’N?
Nice and easy, Cap’n.
Do nothing you’ll regret.
We’re helping ourselves to all your gold
And we’re not finished yet.
I’ll have your pistol, Cap’n.
Your knife will also do.
Ah, those rings are pretty things!
Hand them over too.
What’ll the king say, Cap’n?
Seems you lost his loot!
Seems you lost your pistol, Sir,
Your knife and rings to boot.
What’ll the king say, Cap’n?
Your kindness can’t be matched!
Let’s hope the king’s as kind as you
And leaves your head attached.
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 Amazon.com, 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!
Sorry I can’t play today. I’m in Texas having a fine time!
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.
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,
me life may be.