IN PERSON: Tom McNeely & Leslie Contreras Schwartz


We are very excited to welcome Tom McNeely and Leslie Contreras Schwartz to the shop. Tom will share his new book, Pictures of the Shark. Leslie, Houston's Poet Laureate from 2019-2021, will share her poetry collection, Black Dove.

We are asking all event attendees to mask and we have surgical masks on hand if you find yourself without one. Given the rapidly shifting circumstances surrounding COVID, please check this page to confirm that the event will take place in person.

NOTE: Books will be available for pick up at the event.


Saturday, July 23rd, 2022 at 4:00 PM Central Time


Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079

In order to go through the signing line and meet Tom McNeely or Leslie Contreras Schwartz for book personalization, please purchase one of their books from Blue Willow Bookshop. At the time of your purchase, we will issue a signing line ticket that indicates your place in line. Your book and signing line ticket can be picked up at the event.

Blue Willow Bookshop expects all participants to maintain an atmosphere of respect and fairness. Any comments or questions that violate this standard of behavior including any form of harassment, may, at the discretion of the organizers, be immediately removed.

About the Authors:

An East Side Houston native, Thomas H. McNeely has published short stories and non-fiction in The Atlantic, Texas Monthly, Ploughshares, and many other magazines and anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories and Algonquin Books’ Best of the South. His stories have been short-listed for the Pushcart PrizeBest American Short Stories and O. Henry Award anthologies. He has received National Endowment for the Arts, Wallace Stegner, and MacDowell Colony fellowships for his fiction. His first book, Ghost Horse, won the Gival Press Novel Award and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize in Writing. He currently teaches in the Stanford Online Writing Studio and at Emerson College, Boston. Kirkus's starred review of Pictures of the Shark calls it "an emotionally taut and often haunting collection."

Leslie Contreras Schwartz is a multi-genre writer, a 2021 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow, and the 2019-2021 Houston Poet Laureate. She is the author of four collections of poetry, including Black Dove / Paloma Negra (FlowerSong Press, 2020), which was named a finalist for the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for 2020 Best Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters; Fuego (St. Julian Press, 2016); and Nightbloom & Cenote (SJP, 2018), a semi-finalist for the 2017 Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, judged by Ilya Kaminsky. She has collaborated or been commissioned for poetic projects with the City of Houston, the Houston Grand Opera, and The Moody Center of the Arts at Rice University. Contreras Schwartz is currently a poetry and nonfiction faculty member at Alma College's MFA low-residency program in creative writing. For more on her work, visit


Payment type must be "CreditCard." Shipping will be charged if you want the book shipped to you. If you'd prefer to use our curbside pickup program, we ask that you please collect your book(s) within one month of the event date. After that date, your book will be donated to a Houston-based literacy organization.

International shipping can run from $25-50US in addition to the cost of the book and can take up to 3 months to reach its destination. Additionally, we can only ship to certain regions and countries. If you'd like to pursue international shipping, please email

Event date: 
Saturday, July 23, 2022 - 4:00pm
Event address: 
Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
Pictures of the Shark: Stories By Thomas H. McNeely Cover Image
ISBN: 9781680032710
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Texas Review Press - July 29th, 2022

“An emotionally taut and often haunting collection.”
Kirkus Reviews(starred review)
“[An] always compelling novel in short stories.”
Foreword Reviews
“[A] powerful family portrait … heartbreaking authenticity.”
Booklist Online Exclusive

Black Dove/Paloma Negra By Leslie Contreras Schwartz Cover Image
ISBN: 9781953447753
Availability: Special Order
Published: Flowersong Press - November 21st, 2020

Poetry. Latinx Studies. Women's Studies. In stunningly varied forms and voices, BLACK DOVE/PALOMA NEGRA, examines the individual versus public bodies and documents narratives of those usually silenced, including people with mental illness, sex workers, women who are trafficked, and children in custody.