Friday, October 25, 2013

David L. Harrison at USBBY/IBBY conference 2013

I had a great time at the biennial USBBY/IBBY conference last week in St. Louis and was able to make a few video snippets of speakers-- particularly those who shared some poetry! I plan to share them here in segments. First up, my co-presenter, poet David L. Harrison, who did such a marvelous job talking about  his work, about sharing with students and teachers, and how to nurture responding and writing. Here he reads his poem, "He Was So Little," from our collaborative work, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School, co-edited by my partner-in-poetry, Janet Wong. 

It just so happens that we also have a "printable" postcard version of this lovely poem that you can download at our website, Here it is:

For a bit of background on David:

David L. Harrison was born in Springfield, Missouri, and earned his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Drury College, his master’s degree in parasitology from Emory University, and completed graduate studies at Evansville University. He has worked as a pharmacologist, editorial manager, business owner, and as a professional musician, music teacher, and principal trombonist in the Springfield Symphony. He has served on school boards and as a college trustee and is active in several literacy organizations. He has led several literacy service projects including raising 181,000 new books for school libraries. 
He has published more than sixty-five works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young people. His first book of poetry, Somebody Catch My Homework (Boyds Mills Press 1993) became an International Reading Association Children’s Choice book and inspired a play adaptation. Two other poetry books were also honored on the Children’s Choices list including When Cows Come Home (Boyds Mills Press 1994) and A Thousand Cousins (Boyds Mills Press 1996). His poem, “My Book,” is even sandblasted into the sidewalk at a library in Phoenix, Arizona. 
I love the pithy poems of Bugs, Poems about Creeping Things as well as the spot-on family poems of Vacation, We’re Going to the Ocean!, two books in a small trim-size that are child-friendly in both style and content.
He has also written an engaging autobiographical poetry collection, Connecting Dots: Poems of My Journey (Boyds Mills Press 2004) with poetic snapshots of his past which he describes as "dots" to connect in order to create a picture of his life. His collaborations with Dan Burr, the illustrator, are compelling and engaging, too, including the poems-plus-portraits collections, Cowboys and Pirates.
He maintains a lively blog with opportunities to write poetry and learn about teaching poetry, too, and his created several excellent resource books for teaching poetry that I've mentioned before. And he’s a lovely collaborator in our Poetry Friday anthology series. Here we celebrate the conclusion of our session! Such a fun time and what a responsive audience!

More to come... from Pat Mora, Ashley Bryan.... Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! 


David Harrison said...

Sylvia, many thanks for these kind words. I loved presenting with you and look forward to a next time. Looking at our picture, I'd say it was clearly the highlight of the session for me!

Janet Wong said...

What a master reading, David--you convey so much emotion and yet all so subtly!

Linda B said...

I just had the wonderful experience of working with David at a Highlights Foundation workshop, and love hearing about his other adventures, too. There were many good things at this workshop, but David made it safe for each of us to really work and write! Thanks for sharing this one poem.

Irene Latham said...

Awww, what a sweet picture of two people I hope to meet someday!

David Harrison said...

Thank you, Janet. It was a pleasure to read the poem aloud and I was glad that Sylvia recorded it. My thanks to you, too, Linda and Irene.

MariannetheLibrarian said...

Great reading! So sorry I read this right this second. Being weepy at work is not ideal!

Thanks for sharing Sylvia!


Charles Waters said...

Man that was good. Especially the ending. HARRISON POWER. Proudly representing the Show Me State!

David Harrison said...

Hi Marianne,
I'm glad you liked the poem. I admit it's a little weepy.