bugs in concert

Hi everyone,
I just ran across some pictures in my files sent to me by Patrick Reynolds, conductor of the Dayton, Ohio Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in 2014. I must say they perform in some nice digs!concert-hall The program read:

Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Together with Dayton Ballet II Present BUGS!, the Final Concert in the 2013-2014 Family Series

On Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 3 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Conductor Patrick Reynolds and the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will present the DP&L Foundation Family Series Concert entitled BUGS!. This final Family Concert of the 2013-2014 Season is sponsored (rather fittingly) by Extermital Termite and Pest Control Company, because BUGS! in costume on the Mead Stage dancing to music performed by a highly talented orchestra of accomplished students are a must-see for families, while bugs in your house are not.

The concert will also feature delightful poems from David Harrison’s children’s book, “Bugs: Poems about Creepy Things”. Illustrated by Rob Shepperson, the book will be available for purchase in the Wintergarden before and after the concert.img_0835

How I wish I could have been one of the 1,200 who attended that concert! Maestro Reynolds conducted some of the numbers with a fly swatter. BUGS was on the NCTE awards list for Notable Poetry in 2007.

bugs everywhere

Hi everyone,

I’m told that the audience had a fine time at the “bugs!!” concert in Dayton. Conductor Patrick Reynolds was kind enough to send me a sound recording of him reading various poems from the book. He did a great job and the kids in the audience loved him. He was excellent at drawing the audience into the readings. Wish I could have attended but these pictures and the sound track helped me enjoy the event. My thanks again to Pat.


Concert Hall







For the love of bugs


Hi everyone,

Dr. Patrick Reynolds sent a couple of pictures from yesterday’s BUGS!! concert in Dayton and promises more when they’re ready. All the copies of bugs sold out so Rob Shepperson and I are doing a victory dance somewhat off stage.

Thanks, Pat. Thanks, Rob. Thanks, all you little buggies.


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.


bugs on stage

Hi everyone,

Remember this little book? Our pal Rob Shepperson illustrated it and we’ve had fun with it since it appeared in 2007. Early on it was selected for the “Seeing Stories” exhibition at the Westchester Art Center and appeared on the New York Public Library’s annual list of 100 titles of “Children’s Books for Reading and Sharing.” In 2008 BUGS was chosen as an NCTE Notable Poetry Book. So yay for BUGS.

A friend of Rob’s is music director Patrick Reynolds who conducts the youth symphony orchestra in Dayton, Ohio. This is an old and honored musical program that dates back many decades.

This Sunday, March 30, is the symphony’s final performance of this season, one that is billed as the annual Family Concert. Patrick has chosen to bill this particular concert as BUGS. The musicians will be joined by the Dayton Ballet II. Here’s the scoop. https://daytonperformingarts.org/content.jsp?articleId=3248.


Here’s a sample from the book, one that’s named in the program description and will presumably be floating on the screen above the musicians’ heads.

by David L. Harrison

A flea known as Ralph
Swallowed a cow.
It’s a mystery how.

And after the cow
He swallowed a horse.
(A huge one of course.)

But with a giraffe
He ran out of luck –
Its legs got stuck.

It’s impossible now
To understand Ralph
Wif giraffe in hif mouf.

As he always does, Rob greatly enhances the poem with his droll drawings.

If you live in the Dayton area or have friends or family there, tell them to check out the BUGS concert on the 30th. I wish I could be there to join the fun!