Early this month LESLIE BULION and I recorded a video moderated by the store’s SOPHIE NOGAR, to be aired at a later date in Denver by the Second Star to the Right Books. That day was yesterday. I heard it go live and thought it went well. It was a pleasure to meet Leslie and partner with her on the presentation. She read from her book,SERENGETI, PLAINS OF GRASS, and I read from THE DIRT BOOK. After our readings, we talked about how we work and why we think poetry is important in the lives of young people. Here’s the video.
Last night I was one of a group of five poets who read from our work to recognize National Poetry Month. We met at Hold Fast Brewery in Springfield. It was a venue where I hadn’t been before. Here’s a shot of former Springfield Mayor ROBERT STEPHENS reading his work in partnership with Ozark Literacy Council to remind people of the importance of reading. There were many more people there than you see in the picture. We were outside so the wind was a small problem, as was the sun in my eyes when I was at the mike earlier, but not as bad as the time I read at a literature conference while standing atop the third-base dugout in the Springfield Cardinals baseball stadium on a gusty day that sent pages flying into the bleachers. Earlier that day I’d listened to BILLY COLLINS read from the same spot so I knew it could be done.
Last night I read from THE DIRT BOOK (And Now We Know), THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS (Cow Pie Jewels), BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS (A Tick’s Friends), CONNECTING DOTS (Something Happened Over Summer), and finished with the last poem in CONNECTING DOTS (Wishing You Bright Paint.) It’s a personal favorite of mine. Here it is.
WISHING YOU BRIGHT PAINTSometimes I feel --
I don’t know –
like a tube of toothpaste toward the end
rolled up tight against the cap
for a few last brushings.But if I say the tube is paint
used in pictures of my life,
that makes me feelI’ve accomplished something,
used the squeezes
to make things happen.I like that better
So as we go on, you and I,
you to your life, me to mine,
I wish you tubes of bright paint
for all the pictures of your life.
Take off their caps,
squeeze them well,
(c) 2004 David L. Harrison, from Connecting Dots, Poems of My Journey
This morning I look forward to recording a poetry reading with a nature theme to be shared virtually later this month by the noted book store Second Star to the Right in Denver, Colorado. Poet LESLIE BULION and I will read from our work, talk about poetry, and perhaps respond to prepared questions from our host for the program, SOPHIE NOGAR.
I’ll read from THE DIRT BOOK and from other titles if time permits. I need to get out to Colorado before much longer.
This morning at 10:00 CT I’m in for a new experience. I’ll to a Artistree Pottery, on 1423 E. Cherry Street, Suite 103, and read from my latest book, I WANT AN APPLE, HOW MY BODY WORKS, to children who will be painting designs on pottery of their own making.
We’ll finally resolve the age-old debate: which is more compelling — listening to a story or painting one’s own pot? Or something like that. I have a feeling I’d better give my best reading ever.
Historical fact. Sandy grew up a block away at 1329 E. Cherry. When we started dating, I lived on the next street over at 1329 E. Elm Street. Sandy’s home is a memory replaced by apartments. A fraternity rocks on where once I exhibited my collections on my bedroom walls.
When THE DIRT BOOK came out in June, programs at Springfield public libraries were all virtual so we decided to hold off for a while. This Wednesday evening at 7:00 at The Library Center on S. Campbell, we’re finally going to have that program.
I’m excited about the evening’s program. Jordi Raos from the Conservation Nature Center will be there with animals to show the audience. So will Jamie Williams from Dickerson Park Zoo. These will all be animals that use dirt for nesting, hunting, or hiding during at least part of their lives. Most if not all of the creatures also appear in THE DIRT BOOK. The popular folksinger, Judy Domeny, is coming to sing songs inspired by poems in the book.
Following my all-star cast, I’ll talk briefly about THE DIRT BOOK and how/why I wrote it, read two or three poems from it, and answer questions. Copies of the book will be available for purchase in the lobby after the program and I’ll be happy to sign for anyone who wishes. This is a busy time of year with families getting their students back in school so I hope you’ll pass this information along to anyone you know in our area. The more parents and teachers who know about the opportunity, the better. Thank you!