Kirk Westphal has been a regular contributor of poetry to the Dunes Review, the premier literary forum for poetry and short stories in Northern Michigan (his home state). Copies of current and past issues of the Dunes Review can be found on their website; they also have a Facebook page here. Kirk has also published poetry in The Road Not Taken, an online tribute to the stylings of Robert Frost, and the journal Albatross. In 2012, he was a winner of the Plein Air Poetry Contest in Massachusetts, sponsored by the Fruitlands Museum and Concord Poetry Center. The poems were published in a chapbook entitled 'Lines in the Landscape.'

One of Kirk's proudest literary achievements was penning a cathartic poem in honor of the Chicago Cubs and their demise in the 2003 playoffs, just five outs away from the World Series. Kirk read the poem on NPR's "Only A Game," hosted by Bill Littlefield.

Kirk is currently working on four new projects—look for these in coming years:

Common Ground: The Forest Through the Trees [NATURE WRITING / MEMOIR]:  Anything we build might someday crumble, and sometimes we must die to keep on living.  This is a poignant and humorous book about our human need to preserve what we have, and the ironies of our efforts to endure.  Told on a two-acre stage of decrepit backyard forest (common ground, indeed), the story chronicles the author's efforts to restore vitality to this small patch of land and its inhabitants, while the human relationships beneath the leaves both prosper and perish as a result.  But they perish only so they might endure, because we all share common ground.  It is a book of hope.

Face of the Light [A NOVEL]:  This story tells how any one of us can become the Face of God, if we open ourselves to listening for the right voices.  It is told through the eyes of Sebi, an obsessive-compulsive city librarian who suffers from anxiety, depression, and attendant reclusiveness.  His world of order and ritual is upset one snowy day by the appearance of a mysterious woman at the library.  The two begin an unlikely conversation through written notes left in specific books, the significance of which only becomes clear with time.  Throughout, Sebi struggles to find intimacy with a long-time female friend, but his neuroses prevent this until he ultimately begins to understand who the mysterious woman in the library might be, and who he is himself.  The book begins in the third person so that readers might recognize pieces of themselves, and then switches to the first person to bring them inside a mind that is "restless and autonomous, always meandering along its fringes."  A persistent motif throughout the book is shadow and light, and the same adjective is never used twice for light because, as Sebi himself learns, it is beyond words.

Mile High: Friends and Foes at 36,000 Feet [NONFICTION]:  This is a book about intercourse with strangers.  No, not that kind - the other kind.   This is a collection of conversations (with one notable exception, and a few near misses).  Commercial airliners equalize all people by strapping us into uncomfortable seats that are too close to each other, and hurtling us through our atmosphere in an aluminum tube.  No passenger is any greater than any other.  We are all going to exactlyl the same place, at the same time, and we have all assumed the same risks.  We all have to pay $7 for our drinks.  We are known no by our names nor our professions nor by any credential except our seat assignments.  23E.  14F.  11C.  We mightr as well be naked, such is the equivalency.  But instead of doing that, sometimes it helps to simply turn our head and say to whoever sits down beside us, "Hello."  Despite the complications of airline etiquette, the conversations that ensue can be far more more moving or entertaining than anything that happens in the aft lavatory.

Wood and Water [COLLECTED POEMS]:  This is a collection of metaphorical, metaphysical, and image-rich poems on the themes of wood and water.  Many have been previously published in various journals, including Dunes Review, The Road Not Taken, Albatross, and the chapbook Lines in the Landscape, a collection of winning poems from the 2012 Plein Air Poetry Contest in Massachusetts.