Local Bird in the Flesh

Yesterday, my very own copy of Local Bird showed up at the house.

Local Bird Cover HoldI was most excited to see how the poems looked on the page.   Here below is “Deliberation,” a poem I wrote after our friends Jean and Steve told us a story about an animal communicator talking to rats.  Also on the facing page, “Learning,” a poem on learning by doing.

Deliberation and Learning Page

And here below are two poems from the 4th section, “Reading and Writing.”

Reading and In a Book

And here’s the first table of contents page.

Talbe of Contents Page

So, yes, I very much like the way the poems and text look on the pages.

Executive Summary Section Page

I was also curious about how the section title illustrations by daughter Myra would look in the collection.  Here’s a few more:

Reading and Writing Section Page


Local Bird Section Page


Here and Now Section PageI’m quite happy how all of this turned out, and once again, I’d like to thank Jerry Craven and Lamar University Press for the excellent editing, layout, and publishing of Local Bird.

And also to Myra for the wonderful drawings that have added so much to these pages.

Get your copy here!




Local Bird Now Available!

I’m happy to report that my new collection of poetry, Local Bird, from Lamar University Press is now available for purchase via a number of online vendors, including Amazon.

Cover Illustration


I’ve dedicated this book to my wife, Marie-Clare Prisco, who saves my life every day.

I’d also like to thank Jerry Craven for his excellent stewardship of my book at Lamar UP, Terry Dalrymple for inspiring me to submit the manuscript, and Chris Ellery for his generous reading of my poems.

There are 106 poems in this collection, and it’s divided into the following 8 sections:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Biography
  3. Teaching and Learning
  4. Reading and Writing
  5. Here and Now
  6. Local Bird
  7. Wanderers
  8. Amen

Each of these sections has an introductory illustration by my daughter Myra Musgrove.  Here are a few of these illustrations.


Here and Now Illustration

Wanderers Illustration

Three related events also worth noting:

1. Special Editions of Local Bird.  Myra and I will be creating special editions of Local Bird this summer.  These will include both of our signatures, a special protective book jacket cover designed by Myra, plus her illustrated version of my poem “My Song.”  I’ll post more on this later, but I’ll offer these for sale online and at house reading concerts this summer.

2. House Reading Concerts.  I will also soon be scheduling house reading concerts in Houston, Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and elsewhere.  If you would like to host a house reading concert, please let me know.  It would be an opportunity to invite a dozen or more of your friends and family over for a potluck or wine and cheese party, and a chance for me to bang on my ukulele, lead a sing-along of some favorite old tunes, and read selections from Local Bird and new poems.  We’d work out a suggested donation, and I’d sell and sign some books, all to cover my travel expenses.  If you’d like to host a reading at your church or school, I’d be happy to do that as well; I’d also be happy to lead a poetry writing workshop.  So again, contact me if you’d like to chat about hosting a house reading concert.

3. Book Release Party and Gallery Showing.  I’m also working with the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Angelo State University here in San Angelo to schedule a Local Bird book release party in conjunction with a gallery showing of Myra’s illustrations and other text/image collaborations of ours.  (Myra and I co-authored a recent article published by JAEPL titled “Drawing is Learning,” and she and I collaborated on a comic poem soon to be published by INKBRICK.)  This event will probably occur near the beginning of the new school year in September.  More to come on this.

Some exciting stuff.  Stay tuned!