Thursday, March 14

Posted by Laurel Garver on Thursday, March 14, 2013 12 comments
The happy day has arrived! It's release day for my first-ever poetry collection.

Muddy-Fingered Midnights
poems from the bright days 
and dark nights of the soul

This thirty-poem collection is an eclectic mix of light and dark, playful and spiritual, lyric and narrative free verse. In an intricate dance of sound play, it explores how our perceptions shape our interactions with the world. Here child heroes emerge on playgrounds and in chicken coops, teens grapple with grief and taste first love, adults waver between isolation and engaged connection. It is a book about creative life, our capacity to wound and heal, and the unlikely places we find love, beauty, and grace. 

“In Muddy-Fingered Midnights, Garver seamlessly integrates unpredictable rhyme and alliteration to undergird the themes and strange beauty of these poems. The collection explores moments of cowardice and melting purity, ‘my only fruit / a cool ooze / that bubbles up / on blistering days,’  yet holds strongly onto faith as much as ‘Yankee girl grit.’ Even in dark times that are ‘glassy with misery,’ there’s a hidden reflection in the pane: hope.” 

—Jessica Bell, co-founder of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and author of Fabric, semi-finalist, Goodreads Readers’ Choice Awards 2012: Best Poetry.

The title comes from the final piece in the collection, "A Writer's Parable," which explores fear in the creative process, using imagery from the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 (the one where the cowardly servant buries his piece of gold in the ground rather than take a risk and invest it like his faithful co-workers do).

The collection includes a number of all-new pieces, plus previously published favorites that appeared in international literary journals. About 2/3 of the poems are general topics, a 1/3 have spiritual themes. I love using sound-play, but don't use traditional forms. Within free verse, rhythms emerge organically and rhyming is nearly always inside lines rather than at the ends.

Here are a few sample pieces:
Affliction, about the writing life
Storm Shelter, rom-dram fiction-in-verse
Not Quite Away, experimental narrative poem

Fun and soulful, dark and bright, Muddy-Fingered Midnights has a little something for everyone in small, bite-sized pieces.

Add it on Goodreads

The digital book is just $1.99. 
Find it here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords

Or get the paperback for $6.50 from CreateSpace, Amazon

Can you help me spread the word? Simply use the share links below. Thanks!! 


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you for your example, encouragement and awesome endorsement blurb! You're my poetry hero!

  2. Awesome, Laurel. So excited for you.

  3. Congratulations Laurel. I can't wait to read it.

    1. Thanks so much, Anne. And thanks again for inviting me to guest post next month! :-)

  4. Congratulations, Laurel! Well done! Looks beautiful!

  5. Milestone achievement! Encourages me to 'have a go'!
    Hearty Congratulations Laurel!