Poet, Jeffrey Harrison visits Clarkston to share his work with students.
Jeffrey Harrison read his poetry to a crowd of about 50 on the Clarkston campus on Nov. 2. The reading held in the Jim Cherry Learning Resource Center lecture hall was the perfect space and an intimate setting for students to get up close and personal with Harrison while listening to his poetry.
The reading began around 2:30 p.m. after an introduction from Jeffrey Portnoy, the Director of GPC Honors Program. Harrison was able to provide an articulate, dry wit to his presentation. “If I seem unorganized, it’s because I have this really unorganized list.” said Harrison on stage.
All 13 of Harrison’s poems varied in topic, length, and substance. The audience favorites seemed to be “Breakfast with Dan” and “My Worst Job Interview”, both stocked with real life experiences and ironic humor.
“I appreciated his different views on different situations,” said Bernard Malone, an undeclared major on the Clarkston campus. How Harrison became a writer in general was interesting and inspiring. Harrison stated that at age 12 he announced he wanted to write but did not actually begin doing so until he was about 16.
Harrison made a great connection with his audience by providing a brief summary or backstory of the poem before reading each one each, as well as his inspiration of all of them, making the reading more engaging.
“The way he found deeper meanings in simple things was something that stood out to me,” said James Hawkins, a journalism major on the Clarkston campus. “His ability to pay attention to the little details in life was something that was significant to me,” said Chelsea Bradley, a journalism major on the Clarkston campus.
After the reading, Harrison took some time for questions and comments from the audience and, much like his work, his responses were both refreshing and original. For those who may not have known about the author and poet, Harrison being at Clarkston was definitely a one of a kind experience and could be enjoyed by lovers of poetry all over. The event was followed by a reception and a book signing featuring copies of Harrison’s’ books.
Poetry events will be held on GPC campuses in the spring semester on Feb. 8 and 9 featuring poets Margot Schlipp and Jeff Mock.