Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Neil Harrison

IN A RIVER OF WIND
INTO THE RIVER CANYON AT DUSK
STORY



In a River of Wind
Copyright © 2000
by Neil Harrison
Bridge Burner's Publishing

Neil Harrison has created some of the finest poems to come out of Nebraska. His voice is insistent, his images precise and the sensibility behind the poems is generous and smart. No one since Don Welch has done the short poem so perfectly. These are poems to mark the passage of time, to note change and to ask what remains constant. — from the jacket


Into the River Canyon at Dusk
Copyright © 2005
by Neil Harrison
Lone Willow Press

This is my kind of poetry, from a writer who understands how nature and survival run together in the heart and make personal history universal. — Tom Snyder, Author of Two Dogs and a Cigar


Story
Copyright © 1995
by Neil Harrison
Logan House Press

Smack dab in the middle of America. Wayne, America, that is. Somewhat home for now cause of college and personal business I keep to myself. Anyhow, I've seen it this past semester — 4,980 miles in the last four months. From the City That Never Sleeps to the Big O, jumped to the tail end of our neighboring Hawkeye state, and returned home to where the corn grows. Been there, seen this and that. Cowboys and Poets, farmers and city folk, gamblers and fishermen, and a whole lot more.
This ain't about me, though, it's about Mr Harrison. That's what I first called him in an Intro to Poetry class some time ago. He and I being the only two males to share the room with the 15 women. It was one of those first years that I saw might broaden my horizon here at Wayne State College, where those bright futures begin.
Neil, that's what I call him now, showed me a way of life long since forgotten in most eyes. Reminded me of the past taught me of the present and gave me a true reason to push on in this hell forsaken country.
I know Neil. At least enough to write home to the city, with yet another new tale. Here's one man, livin' off what he's got. Training, teaching, and doing what he does best.
I could go on and on about the stories we've shared. The one about Neil's stubborn horse. He calls her Ghost. I call her otherwise. Maybe the time he Slim, Zeke, Jim and I swapped the spit over coffee and cards. Or maybe even the time I took my friend Staci along to meet up with Neil, she'd just heard of him before. Well, Neil's been there. Seen this and that, taught her or him, and has been takin' it all in.
I told JV just yesterday that I had something for him. I think I've got it, and it ain't no May basket. Na, it's this. A Story. Whether it'd be about last night alone, fighting off hopefully the last of the damn April showers, or the latest in US News, where they've the newest and coolest video clips that look like the "old times" or newest headline reading "It Wasn't Supposed To Happen Here in the Very Heart of America." Well, folks, that heart lies here. Just west of Wayne, and a few steps from Winside. Here lies life. Population whatever, off to left or right. The simple, the honest, and the few that are still trying to keep it all together. Don't believe me, go ask Sam. He's the dog here up north, and we've been talking tonight knee deep in mud. Or ask Trey, there on the right. Some nights he still swims out at Blue Hole.
Mr Harrison, he knows. — Jim Reese

Neil Harrison has created some of the finest poems to come out of Nebraska. His voice is insistent, his images precise and the sensibility behind the poems is generous and smart. No one since Don Welch has done the short poem so perfectly. No other poet knows the various parts of the state — their topographies, their flora and fauna — so intimately. These are poems to mark the passage of time, to note change and to ask what remains constant. — JV Brummels


redball.gif Bibliography
redball.gif Selection
redball.gif Buy a Book
redball.gif Neil Harrison's Page
redball.gif Writers On-Line



Return
to
The Rock

Nebraska Center for Writers