MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University English department hosted a “pop–up” reading to honor the work of author and Grayling native Jim Harrison.
Before Harrison’s passing in March, he spent much time in the Upper Peninsula. He was the author of nearly 40 books, poems, and essays including two novels that are set in the U.P. Harrison writing interrogated the parameters and obligations of place–writing in a whimsical fashion.
“Stylistically the ways in which his work jockeys between the heart–breaking and the hilarious is really wonderful,” said English Department Associate Professor Matthew Gavin Frank, “and he was like that in life too. He could just undo you with a story: make you weep into your whiskey and then a second later you’ll be rolling on the floor, metaphorically speaking, with him because he was so funny.”
A number of Northern Michigan University faculty and staff interacted with Harrison over the years. At the event individuals shared memories and passages of Harrison in front of a crowd of roughly 50 people. Books from the library’s collection were also available.