Wee Cowrin' Timorous Beastie

Wee Cowrin' Timorous Beastie is an original Scottish epic story written by Karla and produced as a book/CD project with

Canadian composer Howard Baer. Baer, who has produced hundreds of CDs, written numerous TV themes and scores, and

worked on several IMAX films, read Morton's story and was inspired to compose a musical score to accompany her work—

including performances by some of the finest Celtic musicians in the world. The result is a unique and beautiful mix of

poetry, story and music.

Wee Cowrin' Timorous Beastie is a Scottish epic story written in rhyme about a 17th century Scottish pirate named John Murray and his love, Vashti. It's an exciting story about longing and love and the mystery of the beautiful foggy dew of Scotland.

The musical underscore to Morton’s  Wee Cowrin' Timorous Beastie was created by Canadian composer Howard Baer and includes performances by some of the world's finest Celtic musicians. Other music by Howard Baer is heard regularly on network television across Canada, used in schools throughout the USA, England, Germany, China, Malaysia and Korea, and has been played in the UK, Australia, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and Japan. During his career Mr. Baer has had over 7000 of his arrangements recorded, has received a total of 7 JUNO nominations for album production including a win in 1999, has composed and conducted numerous scores for TV and film, and has written and produced extensively for children.


"The epic poetry of Karla Morton… the exquisite music of Howard Baer and the haunting photography of Walter Eagleton are combined into a lush, romantic experience. This is a work you will want to listen to all in one sitting. The story, the words, the music will carry you to a place that is all too rare in this world of over-analyzed and non-accessible poetry. This is magic and sensual fog and eternal yearning in the style of Shelley and Byron.”~ Alan Birkelbach, 2005 Texas Poet Laureate 

“There are no words to describe how powerful this is! It's a veritable happening that sweeps you away and holds you in its clutches until it's finished with you, and at the end you shed some real tears….it's that powerful. What a tribute to culture and poetry worldwide.”~ Gerald Hausman, Award-Winning Author and Storyteller 

"Together, the music and verse are surprisingly visual. Mr. Baer has a light touch, adding just a throb of drums to suspenseful verses and dipping into murkier tone colors when the action turns dark. He uses bagpipes, strings, percussion and even accordion to shroud the story in mist, soak it with rain or let in the light."~ Dallas Morning News, July 19, 2007

“Listen to this piece just once, and I'm sure that you will listen to it again and again.”~ Carl Peterson, Scottish Folksinger

"I love it! It tells such a story. It takes the listener on such a voyage. It is supremely evocative."~ David Greenberg, Author

“Wonderful work like this just doesn't come along that often."~ Gary Pattison, Owner, The Old Hastings Gallery, Ontario, Canada​     

"But I needed more," she says. "I needed some grit, a leather strap between my teeth. And when I couldn't find what I needed, I simply wrote my way through it." 

Morton wrote her way through diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatments and the PET scan that showed her to be cancer-free. She wrote her way through the loss of her hair, bone-crushing pain, insensitive sentiments, bald fashion statements and a fierce determination to live. Redefining Beauty is the winner of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Women's Issues category.


"We have never seen a book like this for those going through cancer or those with loved ones in the fight. The poems are powerful, playful and genuine. Anyone who knows Karla will immediately recognize her outgoing personality shining through the words, even in the darkest poems; those who don't know her will sense that 'survivor' is not strong enough to describe her. Try 'warrior' instead."~ Scott Wiggerman, lead editor for Dos Gatos Press 

"Imbuing her poems with the intimacy, candor, and unfiltered emotional honesty of a diary, Morton clasps her reader's hand and walks her through all five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance."~ Larry Thomas, 2008 Texas State Poet Laureate 

“Morton’s Redefining Beauty presents a fresh perspective on cancer. In effect, it is a redefining of more than just what is beautiful concerning our bodies, relationships, and poetry; it’s a redefining of cancer in those spaces as well. Her ability to combine beauty and ugliness, sickness and sweetness, and humor and fright makes her collection an intriguing and entertaining one.”~ full review - 'Stung Like a Bee'  Laura E. Decker, Texas Books in Review 

"Karla K. Morton is perseverance personified."~ Dallas Morning News

"Redefining Beauty declares a universal manifesto for the rage to live."~ Michael Price, arts editor for the Fort Worth Business Press

Order: Redefining Beauty can be ordered online directly from the publisher or at amazon.com and at bookstores across Texas.

8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the American Southwest

8 Voices is a collaborative work written by 8 prominent contemporary poets:

Alan Birkelbach, 2005 Texas Poet Laureate.  
Dr. Nathan Brown, 2013 Oklahoma Poet Laureate.  
Dr. Jeffry Delotto.  
Tony Mares 
Ronald E. Moore  
karla k. morton, 2010 Texas Poet Laureate  
Elizabeth Raby  
Dr. Gary Swaim

​The book features 15 poems from each poet and encompasses a broad range of topics, styles and voices.

"The wide open spaces and freedom of the American Southwest can breed a different sort of mindset. '8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the American Southwest' seeks to demonstrate the best of the Southwestern poetry flavor and brings many poems from eight poets who have been exemplified in representing the region. '8 Voices' is a strongly recommended addition to American poetry collections." ~ James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review

​"Here are poems about landscapes both familiar and foreign, childhood, young (and old) love, friendship, regret, loss, old age, sickness, and death, as well as about the miracle of poetry itself--poems you will want to read, and reread, savoring them for years to come."~ Michael McGaha, Yale B. and Lucille D. Griffith professor emeritus of modern languages at Pomona College

"The poets of 8 Voices transform the details encountered in everyday life into playful poetic landscapes that vibrate with a refreshing sense of humor."~ Rainer Schulte, professor of humanities and fine arts at UT Dallas, director of The Center for Translation Studies and editor of Translation Review

"This volume of poetry challenges the common expectations of many readers, as it demonstrates definitively that there is more to Southwestern poetry than wild horses, branding irons, arrowheads, and creaking windmills. I feel privileged to have read and lived with these poems during this process. I have gained much. And I believe that anyone who picks up the volume will feel the same."~ Dan Williams, editor of 8 Voices in his introduction

Order 8 Voices may be purchased directly
from the publisher.

​During the tour, she visited 32 secondary schools. Along the way, she also spoke at universities, conferences, civic organizations, 
bookstores, libraries and cancer support groups, visiting a total of 42 towns for more than 70 speaking engagements. 

​Twenty-four Texas towns are featured in the book: Amarillo, Arlington, Bastrop, Beaumont, Brenham, Bonham, Bowie, Comfort, Cleburne, Denton, Euless, Granbury, Hardin, Justin, Kyle, Krum, Laredo, Mansfield, Marfa, Mesquite, Port Aransas, Round Rock, Salado and Texarkana.  Each poem and piece of art was inspired, in some way, by the student's hometown. ​

​Order: Purchase on
Amazon.com, TCU Press or contact TCU Press at 817.257.7822.

A Betsy Colquitt Award Winner, Eric Hoffer Award Winner, a two-time Indie Book Award Winner, a North Texas Book Festival Award winner, a nominee for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Karla has been widely published in literary journals and is the author of eleven books of poetry and the photographer for an ekphrastic collection of photography and poetry. Her books are available at booksellers all over the world. Below are links to purchase her books:

NEW Book Available!
Accidental Origami  is now available.
Order below.

Hometown, Texas: Young Poets and Artists Celebrate Their Roots  

Published by TCU, Hometown, Texas is the culmination of Karla’s 18-month, 80,000-mile Little Town, Texas Tour, which includes poetry, photography and artwork from Karla and students across Texas. 


Texas Poet Laureate, speaker, author and photographer.

Names We've Never Known

Names We've Never Known, published by Texas Review Press, explores life, love and the rebirth of spirit in every living thing."This is poetry that opens us back up, to rediscover the beauty that lies in wait all around us. It gives us permission to feel emotions that run deep and real and tangible, whether we name them or not,” says Morton.


"There is a subtext that runs through Karla's work, an in-the-moment hunger, a realization that yes, all life is fleeting - but look how glorious and rich it can be. She knows how to give the most common items a special magic and meaning. She takes images we all know and understand and, in her hands, they are transformed into something deeper, something that transcends the moment. That is what good poetry is supposed to do. And Karla's poems do it - again and again and again."~ Alan Birkelbach, 2005 Texas Poet Laureate

Order: Purchase online at Texas A&M University Press or local bookstores.

Stirring Goldfish

Karla K. Morton's poetry knows no limits in its form or subject matter. In Stirring Goldfish, she expresses and explores every human emotion through her original Sufi poetry collection.

Sufi poetry, now popular in western cultures, is an ancient form of poetry that originated in the Middle East. The Sufis believe that love is the greatest thing in the world -- greater than education, greater than religion, and that love is the only thing we take with us into the next world. These poems embody the love between humans and humans and God -- a mix of the sensual and the spiritual; the earthly and the eternal.


"Every emotion from passion to grief is treated with the same exquisite reverence and skill... leaves the reader feeling he or

she has experienced a revelation."~ Sue Ranglack

"Meditational gems - hold these poems as invitations inside your skin, your spirit - to grow calmer. To float."~ Naomi Shihab Nye

Order: Stirring Goldfish is available for purchase at amazon.com and local bookstores.

Redefining Beauty

Redefining Beauty, now in its third printing, is a unique, award-winning poetry collection written during Karla K. Morton's diagnosis, treatment and survival of breast cancer. In a series of passionate and powerful poems, accompanied by photographer Walter Eagleton's black and white images, Redefining Beauty offers readers hope and comfort through its intimate candor, good-humored defiance and unfiltered honesty. 

A lifelong poet, as well as a wife and mother of two, Morton was diagnosed with breast cancer in May, 2008. In search of information to help her fight the disease, Morton turned to books. She found facts and statistics. She found self-help books.

While her poems range in style, topic and region, they capture each universal emotion, delving into our desire to know our place in this world; the reason for our very being. Her words are comfort and wonder and hope. 

She writes: "This is a book of poems to swallow, to seep in your bloodstream/ and pound open the chamber doors/ of your own heart, reminding us of our huge capacity for love, guiding us through each tiny fold of synchronicity to discover the big picture--what it means to truly be alive.​"

​Order: Purchase on
Amazon.com or via Texas A&M University Press.

Accidental Origami

Karla's 11th book, Accidental Origami, features Morton's best work to date from her ten collections. Published by Texas Review Press. 

No End of Vision: Texas As Seen by Two Laureates

The book No End of Vision: Texas As Seen by TwoLaureates is a collaborative work between Karla K. Morton and 2005 Texas Poet Laureate Alan Birkelbach. Published by Ink Brush Press, No End of Vision is a unique, ekphrastic effort combining black and white photos from Ms. Morton’s portfolio with poems (inspired by her photos) from Mr. Birkelbach. The collection is art and poetry about Texas.

Using a combination of quotes, mythological images and exquisite metaphors from nature, Morton delivers poems that describe the absolute urgency of giving one's heart over to life, the burning drive to have faith in the world and the insistence that everything, in its own way, is holy. This book is unfettered joy. Cover art by Donna Howell-Sickles, a renowned artist and inductee into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Winner of the 2015 Eric Hoffer Award (1st Runner Up in poetry), a Montaigne Medal finalist and a North Texas Book Festival Award Winner (1st place in poetry category).



"These poems are thoughtful, witty and deeply graceful." ~ Kevin Prufer, author of National Anthem and In a Beautiful Country 

​"The poet's simple and direct, free verse draws the reader into every aspect of her life with concrete images that vibrate with emotion..."

~ US Review of Books. Read the full review.

"A masterpiece by a poet you will soon not forget, Constant State of Leaping  will leave you wanting to live life to its fullest."  

~ David Bowles, author of Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry.  Read the full review.

Order: Order Constant State of Leaping on Amazon.com.

Karla was commissioned by The City of Denton Public Art Committee and The Greater Denton Arts Council to write poetry n the history of Denton, and after it was written, artists from the Denton community were commissioned to create art inspired by her poems. A book was created and launched at an accompanying exhibit at Meadows Gallery at the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Art that featured the original works in the book (paintings, photographs, stained glass, prints and collages), accompanied by the poem that inspired it. 

Order: Passion, Art, Community may be purchased by contacting the Greater Denton Arts Council at (940) 382-2787.

Karla K. Morton: New and Selected Poems

Published by Texas Christian University Press as part of its Texas Poets Laureate Series, and with an introduction by Billy Bob Hill, Karla K. Morton:  New and Selected Poems includes new poetry as well as selected favorites written by Morton. From the Introduction by Billy Bob Hill… “As the 2010 Texas Poet Laureate, Karla K. Morton believes that poetry is everyone’s art, and has carved her place in Texas Letters with this stunning collection.

With well-loved titles such as: For Love and Michelangelo, The Closer, Why God Needs a Shotgun, Alamo Coastline, Woman in the Pipe Shop and  

When Texas No Longer Fits in the Glove Box

"... Morton's poetry will take you on a journey; her flowing style sparks memories and stirs emotions… 

It's no wonder she has been called ''one of the more adventurous voices in American poetry.” ~ Billy Bob Hill

​"Her work often sparkles, at turns clever, amusing, sensual and sad, but always deeply perceptive of human nature, of the webs that bind us and keep us apart. Accessible and imagery-rich, Morton's poems have an appreciable emotional heft." ~ David Bowles, author of Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec: Aztec and Mayan Poetry 

Order: Karla K. Morton:  New and Selected Poems can be ordered online or by calling 800.826.8911.

Passion, Art, Community: Denton, Texas in Word and Image

Passion, Art, Community is the history of Denton, Texas told in poems. It is a 2013 North Texas Book Festival winner in the category of adult non-fiction and was selected as an award finalist in the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Constant State of Leaping

Karla's 10th book, Constant State of Leaping, is about delving into risk...and unfettered joy. Published by Texas Review Press. 


"Karla K. Morton's photographs are as sharp-edged as some of the tree branches and animal bones they depict. They are carefully composed and at the same time luminous. Each of Alan Birkelbach's poems takes its cue from a Morton picture... This combination of photograph-and-poem is highly satisfying. The two art forms are a perfect fit."~ Richard Sale, Editor, The Trilobite Press

"No End of Vision is a collection of poetry and images that are subtly but inextricably connected. The book is well done and is a fascinating read!~ Wyman Meinzer, State Photographer of Texas

"See how art gives us fresh perspectives on what we already know, reminds us of what's really important, of what should persist in our lives. This collection is a love letter to Texas from two exceptionally talented poets."~ H. Palmer Hall, author of Foreign and Domestic and Into the Thicket

OrderNo End of Vision is available for purchase at amazon.com and at local bookstores across Texas. 

Touring Exhibit
The book’s photos and poems are also part of a touring photography and poetry exhibit, shown at museums and art galleries across Texas. 
Learn more or book the exhibit here.