Planning An Evening with David Harrison and Friends for July

Hi everyone,

I’ve working with Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director, Springfield-Greene County Library District, to plan An Evening with David Harrison and Friends, 6:00-7:30, July 23 at The Library Center on South Campbell in Springfield.

Plans are not finalized but we’re thinking three roughly 30-minute segments. I’ll take one to read from of my work and provide a few back stories.

A second half hour will feature Byron Biggers Band, the musical group consisting of Chris Craig, Gale Clithero, and me that performs musical versions of my poetry. We’ve made occasional appearances around town for several years including a couple of times on KSMU public radio. The original idea was Chris’s who is, in addition to being Associate Provost for Faculty & Academic Affairs at Southwest Missouri State University, a fine musician with a great baritone voice. Gale, the dapper Dan of the group (as well as being a cool math teacher), adds voice and percussion. As for me? Well. I do what I do.

The third half hour will feature a tremendously talented group of equity actors that bill themselves as Resident Artist Ensemble (RAE for short). I don’t know yet the full cast but Sarah Wiggin and Michael Frizell are confirmed and there will be at least three others. What they do is perform selected poems and stories from my work. I’ve had the pleasure of watching them before and I guarantee you they’ll have you laughing the whole time. In my wildest dreams I never thought I’d see my work brought to life in such delightful ways. Everyone loves them.

More about these talented people later. They all have incredible creds and I intend to tell you more about them as we draw closer to the date. Needless to say, I’m excited about the program and hope that we’ll attract an audience of children and adults who want to have a good time celebrating the endless versatility of words and ideas.

July 23
The Library Center
South Campbell
Springfield, Missouri
Be there!

My work presented

Hi everyone,

The In-School Players, a theatrical group from Missouri State University under the direction of Michael Frizell, are presenting a play based on my work at sixteen Springfield elementary schools. They began on February 17 and will give the final performance on May 7.

So far they have appeared at Pershing, Williams, Fremont, McBride, Rountree, and Sunshine. Coming up are Boyd, Disney, Bissett, Robberson, Campbell, Jeffries, Delaware, Mark Twain, Weaver, and Harrison.

When the In-School Players perform at Robberson, I’ll be there too and talk to all the kids before the play begins. And naturally I’ll plan to attend David Harrison Elementary on May 7 when my work is presented there!

I’m eager to see the play crafted from the body of my work. My thanks in advance to Michael and his talented crew.

Illustrating poems

Hi everyone,

Our son Jeff Harrison  posted on Facebook yesterday’s article about the opening of a display of my work this Wednesday at Missouri State University. So, by the way, did my friend and wonderful actor Michael Frizell. Thank you, too,  Michael!

One of the comments under Jeff’s post is from Kathy Johnson Zwahl, who teaches art to elementary students in Atchison, Kansas. Kathy’s father, Ed, and I were fraternity brothers at Drury and spent more than one evening sitting behind the Lambda Chi house, pondering the mysteries of women in general and our sweeties in particular, wondering how we were ever going to persuade our beauties — Sue and Sandy — to marry us. Eventually we were both successful and we produced four wonderful kids, Ron and Kathy Johnson and Robin and Jeff Harrison.

So now Kathy is teaching art and at an upcoming school event called Poetry Palooza she plans for some of her students to illustrate poems of mine. Is this a great connecting of generations or what? I’m so pleased that my friends’ daughter is introducing her own students to something of mine.

This afternoon at 3:00 is the BUGS!! concert in Dayton, Ohio where, thanks to conductor Patrick Reynolds, Rob Shepperson’s witty art and my poems from BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS, will be featured. Too bad that Kathy’s student art couldn’t be displayed on stage, too, during the concert! Thank you, Kathy. Love to you and the family.