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Harry Gilleland--Poet

Today's post is one full of information! Harry Gilleland is the author of Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man. (love that title!)

Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man is the third published collection of poetry written by poet Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. This new collection of 81 storoems and poems will engage its readers by making them think about life and leaving them pondering their emotions and beliefs. It will also bring smiles and maybe a tear or two. Contained within this collection are forty-seven rhyming poems and "storoems", a format coined by Gilleland. A storoem is a hybrid between a story and a poem, i.e. a story told with poetic techniques. The collection also contains twenty-eight free-verse poems, four acrostic poems, and two limericks. These writings are poetry for the thinking person, be he/she someone who is a poetry lover or someone who normally does not read poetry. This poetry is easily readable and accessible to all -- poetry for the poet and the common man alike. A wide variety of subjects are addressed, including everyday life events, observations of nature, tales of fantasy, expressions of love, and much more. This wonderful collection will surprise and delight all readers.

Here is a sample from the book:

My Yesterdays

My yesterdays
stretch out behind me
in a winding path that
disappears over the horizon
beyond my memory.

Some yesterdays were
red-letter days of triumph
and personal joy, days of
some momentous occasion
in my life. Others were black
days of pain and suffering.
Most were merely plain,
unremarkable days
of no particular note.
All have melded together
forming the memories
marking the passage
of my existence on Earth.

I treasure all my yesterdays
since each day was a brick
that contributed to building
the mosaic of my life.
My yesterdays carried me
up the long hill to today,
where I stand looking wistfully
back at them, my yesterdays…
knowing now my yesterdays
outnumber my tomorrows.

I’ve learned I should endeavor
to make each today become
a shining, glorious yesterday,
for my yesterdays arehow my life was spent


Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. is a 64-year-old southerner. Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, he earned a B.S. (1966) and a M.S. (1968) in Microbiology from the University of Georgia in Athens. Following three years of service in the U.S. Army as a captain, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, he returned to earn a Ph.D. in Microbiology from UGA in 1973. He then headed north to complete a two-year fellowship at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. In July of 1975 he joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. After twenty-nine years of teaching microbiology to medical and graduate students and performing vaccine research, Harry retired in July of 2004. Today Harry lives in Shreveport with his wonderful wife Linda. Harry enjoys being able to engage in his passion for writing full-time.

Harry has previously published three books of his personal poetry: Poetry For The Common Man: Storoems and Poems (2003, ISBN 1411600649), Gilleland Poetry: Storoems and Poems (2005, ISBN 1411629272), and Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man (2008, ISBN 978-1-4357-1242-3). In addition, Harry has published two books of prose, a tale of fantasy entitled Bob the Dragon Slayer (2005, ISBN 1411633156) and a contemporary romance story entitled White Lightning Road (2006, ISBN 978-1-4116-8693-9).

Harry Gilleland’s poetry recently won two cash awards in the 2008 Tom Howard Poetry Contest associated with Winning Writers.com. Harry’s rhyming storoem The Old Salty Poems won 2nd Place with a $1,000 prize, while his free-verse poem The Assembled Waiters earned $200 for a High Distinction award. Harry was the only poet to win two cash awards in the contest.

Harry Gilleland’s poetry has been included in four multi-author print anthologies of poems and short stories, in several poetry e-zines, and on numerous Internet poetry forums, in addition to his own three published collections. His storoems (story-poems) and poems are readily accessible to all readers, including those who do not regularly read poetry. Harry views the world with a poet’s eye.

To see Harry's books:


To see Harry's book covers and samples of his poetry:


I would like to share with you two answers Harry gave when he was interviewed by : Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com http://tinyurl.com/chtbgc

Norm: How would you define a good poem?


A good poem is one that connects with its readers. Regardless of the form – rhyming or free verse, short or long, etc.—any poem that touches the mind and emotions of the readers so that they take away something from the poem is a good poem. A good poem will linger in the readers' minds and makes them consider their own feelings and beliefs anew.

Norm: What is your philosophy of life?

Wow! My philosophy of life? I guess I'd have to say to try to be the best person that you can be. Try to live so that your parents, your spouse, your children are proud of the person you are. Put family first; they will be there for you at all the critical points of your life and will be truer to you than any friends you have. Then, try to see the big picture in life and don't let the small, everyday stuff stress you out. Save the stress for the real problems that will arise in your life, not the waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting in traffic, etc. Meet your obligations well, but try to have fun while doing so. Live so that at the end of your life you will be proud of all that you did. Fill your heart with love, kindness, compassion, and tolerance and the world will seem a better place to live

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Vivian Zabel said...

I've always liked Harry's poetry and storoems. I'm glad you included a sample of his work.

unwriter said...

I've missed seeing your posts. This is a very good one. storoems? That is an interesting word. I was going to ask about it, but you explained it well. I also like Harry's philosophy on life. It's much less stressful that way.

Harry Gilleland said...

Great job with this post, Joyce. I appreciate how much you included.



Anonymous said...

Great interview and I enjoyed the excerpt poem a lot. Hey any guy who has the chutzpah to title his book "poetic musings from and old fat man" is OK with me! :)

Harry Gilleland said...

Greetings, Marvin ~

Entitling my poetry book "Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man" isn't an example of chutzpah but rather truth in advertising! LOL


Karen Cioffi said...

Joyce, great post.

Harry, I love your poem, My Yesterdays. It is an awakening moment when you realize you have more yesterdays than tomorrows.

I also love your philosophy on life - well worth living by.


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