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.

Update on COWBOYS

Cowboys cover, 4-9-12

Hi everyone,

I was pleased to learn yesterday that COWBOYS has been selected for the South Dakota reading list for the 2014-15 Readers’ Choice books. Copies of the book will be made available in schools across the state so that kids can read titles on the list and vote next March for their favorites.

I’m flattered to have another book on a state reading list and grateful to the individuals who selected COWBOYS for the South Dakota list.

Anyone who is familiar with this book knows about Dan Burr’s wonderful artwork. Here’s a picture of Dan and me signing together when the book came out in 2012.David and Dan at TLA We were at the Texas Library Association conference. Our earlier collaboration, PIRATES, was on the Texas Bluebonnet list so we signed a lot of those too. The guy posing with us happened to wander by and got himself into the picture. Argg! Here’s an interior picture. I think you can tap on it and make the image large enough to read the poem.



BULLETIN: Taylor McGowan has posted a new poem in the Young Poets section. It’s terrific! I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Hi everyone,

As some of you know, I teamed for the second time with artist Dan Burr (first time resulted in PIRATES).

This time the result was COWBOYS. I’m pleased with the book and it has sold out at the two conferences where copies were available for purchase. I’ll speak to kids at the Literature Festival of the Ozarks in October and keynote Missouri SCBWI in November so I’m hoping for good receptions then too.

My thanks to those who have fetured the new book on their blog sites. I promised Renee LaTulippe a video of me reading something so I’ll probably select a poem from COWBOYS. Promoting one’s own work is time consuming. I set out with good intentions but before long my mind wanders to other projects and I let too much time pass before getting back on task. I think most of us suffer from the same problem.

If you haven’t checked out COWBOYS yet, and would like to, you can find it on Amazon and B&N websites. And please don’t forget GOOSE LAKE, my lone venture into e-book Land. No one has bought a copy lately so it’s about to slip off the top 100 list. I’m too old to cry but I might sniff a little.


Cowboys and Pirates in Texas

Hi everyone,

This photo was taken at the Texas Library Association Conference by Kerry McManus at the Boyds Mills Press booth. Dan Burr and I were signing COWBOYS and PIRATES when a pirate came strolling by and posed with us. I’m sorry that I don’t have his name but he made a convincing pirate and we enjoyed the chat.


Voting time is short this month

Hello everyone,

This is to remind you that the voting period for Hall of Fame Poet and Young Poets is reeeeealy brief this month. Thanksgiving, the day after, a weekend, and suddenly it’s Monday and voting cuts off at 10:00 CST that night. Tuesday is the last day of the month, which is when I announce our honored poets and give you the word of the month for December.

SO! Every vote counts, especially in a low turnout month, which this may be unless a lot of voters cast their ballots between now and Monday night. I’m especially concerned that students and their support groups may overlook the need to vote on Monday latest. Spread the word!

This week I had good news about Pirates, my book of piratey poems illustrated by Dan Burr. The title has been selected as one of the 20 intermediate books on the master reading list for next year’s Young Hoosier Book Award. Pirates is on this year’s master reading list for the Texas Bluebonnet Book Award so I’m delighted to see the book doing well. Last year in Indiana more than 73,000 students read enough books on the master list to qualify to vote for their favorite. In Texas the number of voting students was 191,000.

Pirates has previously been selected by Language Arts (NCTE) as one of the notable books of poetry in 2008, by VOYA (magazine for librarians) for its 2009 Nonfiction Honor List, and was on the Kansas State Reading Circle List for 2009.