Kodac Harrison has worn many hats. He's studied textiles, served in the military, is a singer, songwriter and musician, and now has published his first book, much of it inspired by his time hosting poetry readings at The Sentient Bean or singing at Loggerheads on Tybee.
The Atlanta-based writer and spoken word poet will be at The Book Lady on Nov. 9 to read from "The Turtle and the Moon," a retrospective containing 40 years worth of poems, songs and paintings.
Harrison spoke with DO leading up to the event. Copies of Harrison's book will be available at The Book Lady, or online through Amazon and Poetry Atlanta Press.
How did you get your start? Was it difficult?
I always knew that what I wanted to do was be involved with music. At a young age, growing up in Jackson, Ga., there was no example close by, then, though there were a lot of things going on in Macon, but I didn't know about it.
And so it was a stretch to believe I could be a musician.
Not such a stretch to believe anymore, is it?
It's a funny thing. When I first got into it, I was thinking I would be a guitar player.
I found that I had to train my ears. So I started writing my own songs to practice and play and I was also very stage shy in those days, so I played by myself a lot. Most of the musicians I knew were better than me, which turned out to be good because I learned a lot.
As a result, I started writing songs. Over the years, I believe my writing has grown way past my guitar playing.
"The Turtle and the Moon" has a very distinct narrative. Is it somewhat autobiographical?
It's somewhat. Usually there's some little something in there that is the original spark, but more often than not, it's fiction.
I wouldn't say they're autobiographical, even though there's a little bit of me in everything in there.
And this is a retrospective, somewhat, so there is a progression of my life and philosophy that you can pick up by going through the forms and the lyrics.
Will you be singing, reading or performing at the book signing, or all?
This time I'll be performing some spoken-word pieces that I've memorized and some reading from the book.
Pretty much everything I'll do will be from the book. I'm going to focus on pieces that were influenced or had some kind of connection to the Savannah/Tybee area.
It's surprising that after all these years of writing and performing your work, this is your first book.
With all my connections to the literary scene here in Atlanta, I should have had one out a while ago, but my mode of operations is to put out musical recordings.
I always needed a book, so I finally decided that I'd figure out a way to do it, and it turned out to be a pretty large book. I'm glad that I finally got one out.
How does it feel?
It feels real good. I should have done it 10 years ago. It's good to finally have it out.