(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Oct. 2, 2013)
- - - Jeff Hardin, Columbia State Community College professor of English, was invited to spend a week in East Tennessee reading from his book, “Notes for a Praise Book.”
The series of readings took place in Knoxville, Jefferson City, Greeneville and Harrogate, where he visited the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Carson-Newman College, Tusculum College and Lincoln Memorial University.
“I’m honored to have been invited to read,” Hardin said. "'Notes for a Praise Book' was written more than a decade ago and is only now finding readers. I'm thankful to have met so many wonderful people in East Tennessee receptive to my work."
Hardin’s references to nature are abundant in his poems, and Maria Browning of Chapter 16 said that “Hardin has a knack for shaping phrases that capture the ordinary, fleeting impressions that nature delivers, as well as moments of beauty that usually go uncelebrated.”
“Many of the poems in Jeff Hardin’s ‘Notes for a Praise Book’ have just this intimate quality, with his strong individual voice using imagery to convey philosophical and spiritual insights,” Browning said.
Hardin said that something never quite ends in his thinking, and it has to do with the tension between child and adult realities, between human and divine concerns, and between what’s brief and eternal.
“Poems seek a balance, a resolution and an answer, but they never get that far,” Hardin explained.
It was music that brought Hardin to poetry, describing the sound of poetry in the ear and in the air as magical.
“I try my best to listen clearly and intimately to what’s emerging in the process of writing and expect serendipity,” Hardin said. “A poem has enough music in it when I’ve read it aloud enough times to believe that I’m as close to wholeness of thought as I can reach.”
Hardin has also been invited to read at the upcoming Southern Festival of Books Oct. 11 – 13 in Nashville. On Nov. 1 he will give a poetry reading at the Earlham School of Religion, and in February, he will visit Austin Peay State University.
The Savannah, Tenn. native has taught at Columbia State since 1994 and currently teaches creative writing, American literature and composition classes. He earned a B.S. in English from APSU and an M.F.A. in creative writing from The University of Alabama.
Hardin has been published in “The Southern Review,” “North American Review,” “Hudson Review” and “The New Republic,” among others. He is also the recipient of the Nicholas Roerich Prize for his first poetry collection, “Fall Sanctuary.” To learn more about Hardin’s works, visit www.JeffHardin.weebly.com
“Notes for a Praise Book” was published last year by Jacar Press, a community-active literary press in North Carolina. Proceeds from their book sales support women’s shelters, food banks and writing workshops in under-served communities, among other needs.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.ColumbiaState.edu