Off we go

Hi everyone,

I enjoyed my time off. It came at a price though. I’m so far behind with so many people and projects that it will take a week to get caught up. Some nice things happened that I want to tell you about. If I owe you an answer to something, please be patient with me for a while. I promise to ge to you as soon as I can work through the backlog.

For one thing, thanks are do to everyone who has purchased a copy of THIS LIFE, AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, especially those who have shared such warm comments about what you think of it. That means a lot. If you still intend to get a copy, here’s the link.

As you know, April is National Poetry Month. For the second year, former Springfield mayor, BOB STEPHENS, and Director of the Ozarks Literacy Council, AMY JARDELL, are leading a group of local poets in a series of poetry readings throughout the month. Tonight leads off the series of 13 locations, at One Parkway Place at 7:00. I think there are to be four of us, or five. I can only make three of the readings but look forward to each and will let you know when and where they are as they come up.

Last night’s reading

Hi everyone,

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.


Sometimes I feel --
I don’t know –
squeezed out
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 feel
I’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,
keep painting.

(c) 2004 David L. Harrison, from Connecting Dots, Poems of My Journey

April poetry readings

Hi everyone,

April is shaping up as a good month to read, write, and listen to poetry. It began on the 4th when LESLIE BULION and I recorded a session about nature-themed poetry that will be shown soon at the Second Star to the Right Book Store in Denver, Colorado.

Tonight (Thursday), I’ll join LORA KNIGHT, KAREN CRAIGO, and BOB STEPHENS to read to an audience at One Parkway Place in Springfield.

On the 14th, I’ll join all or most of the same poets to read at Hold Fast Brewery. By the time I get out of there, maybe I’ll have a rhyme for orange.

On the 21st, it’s a virtual reading for Children’s Book World, a book store in Los Angeles.

On the 27th, I’ll do a local radio show.

The next one is a virtual reading and school visit for Copper Dog Books in Beverly, Massachusetts. Date to be set.

After that I’ll do a virtual reading for Fairfield University Book Store in Connecticut on the 30th with Leslie Bulion and CHARLES R. SMITH.

My thanks to SARA DISALVO, senior publicist with Holiday House Publishers and BOB STEPHENS, former Springfield mayor, who is working with AMY JARDELL and the Ozarks Literacy Council. What a lovely month!

Last day of my poetry display

Hi everyone,

Today is the last day of my display in the entrance hall of The Library Center in Springfield, Missouri. It has been a pleasure to know that a lot of people have seen my samples during April and I’m grateful to everyone at TLC for inviting me to put my poetry related books and materials in the showcase to celebrate National Poetry Month.
If you live in the area and would like to see the display, it will be up all day today and I’ll go out at 10:00 in the morning to put everything back in boxes and take home.

Happy Poetry Month

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the good wishes yesterday. Our event went well and I think the kids who came with parents and grandparents had a fine time. Some brought their own poems and others preferred to read poems from my book. Kathleen O’Dell was everywhere doing everything to make it all happen smoothly (including taking pictures and video) and Melinda Arnold came with two staff members and a volunteer from Dickerson Park Zoo to wow the audience with a milk snake, a corn snake, two screech owls, and a hawk. It was a beautiful way to spend a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in spring and I’m grateful to everyone who came to join the fun!

Here’s my display for National Poetry Month. It’s in a case in the entrance hallway at The Library Center. I hope you’ll stop to see it if you’re there this month.