Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Janice N. Harrington  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry Youth

Born: in Vernon, Alabama

Sites:

E-Mail:


Illinois Connection

Harrington lives in Champaign.

Biographical and Professional Information

Janice N. Harrington writes poetry and is the author of award-winning children's books. Growing up in Alabama and Nebraska, both settings figure prominently in her writing.A Cave Canem Fellow, Harrington is also the winner of a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry. Her poetry appears regularly in American literary magazines and has led to awards from the Illinois Arts Council and appearances on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. Previously a public librarian and a professional storyteller, she told stories at festivals around the country, including the National Storytelling Festival. Harrington currently teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Primitive: The Art and Life of Horace H. Pippin
ISBN: 1942683200

BOA Editions Ltd.. 2016

A lyrical and biographical reflection on the art and life of Horace H. Pippin—the best-known African American artist of his time—Primitive offers a searching critique of the condescension to African American folk art as supposedly “primitive,” and it also critiques the underestimation of African American life and imagination in the broader American consciousness. Award-winning poet Janice N. Harrington connects readers to this fascinating, odds-defying artist, all while underscoring the human craving for artistic expression.

Busy-Busy Little Chick
ISBN: 0374347468

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 2013

Ideal for Easter and springtime, an exuberantly illustrated picture book by a New York Times bestselling artist!

Little Chick's mother is all cluck and no action. Mama knows her old nest isn't the cozy home she and her brood need. But whenever she vows to start building a new house, she's distracted―by sweety-meaty worms, crunchy-munchy crickets, or picky-pecky corn. Luckily, her Little Chick is an industrious sort. While the rest of his family are stuffing themselves silly, he's quietly working, bit by bit, day by day.

Janice N. Harrington's retelling of a little-known Central African story is perfectly matched with Brian Pinkney's jazzy depiction of a can-do little critter.

The Hands of Strangers: Poems from the Nursing Home (American Poets Continuum)
ISBN: 1934414549

BOA Editions Ltd.. 2011

As people live longer, we face the challenges that come with caring for, and living as, an aging population. This collection focuses on the sad, funny, mundane reality of life in a nursing home. In her own words, Janice N. Harrington worked her way through college as a nurses' aide and wrote The Hands of Strangers because she "cannot forget the 'girls' I worked with or the 'residents' under my care. I haven't forgotten what I saw, heard, felt, or learned."

Janic N. Harrington's debut Even the Hollow My Body Made is Gone earned teh 2007 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize, and an NEA fellowship for poetry.

Roberto Walks Home
ISBN: 0670063169

Viking Juvenile. 2008

Roberto is thrilled that his older brother Miguel is going to walk him home from school. But when Miguel forgets and shoots hoops with his friends instead, Roberto is mad and has to walk alone. How will Miguel make it up to Roberto?

Inspired by the works of Ezra Jack Keats and featuring Roberto, a classic character from Dreams, Louie, and Pet Show!, this moving story by award-winning author Janice N. Harrington?with gorgeous Keatsian illustrations by Jody Wheeler?is sure to win the hearts of Ezra Jack Keats fans.

Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone (New Poets of America)
ISBN: 1929918895

BOA Editions Ltd.. 2007

“Memory and its embodiment in a colloquial, yet highly wrought musical language are what originally drew me to Harrington’s manuscript and what continues to pull me back. We learn the story of Lillian and Webster and their children and grandchildren, a black family living a hardscrabble life in the rural South more than sixty years ago. Set on the cusp of the Civil Rights era, the poems chronicle a way of life that has long since vanished.”—Elizabeth Spires, from the foreword

Janice N. Harrington is an award-winning children’s book author and a nationally recognized storyteller. She works as a librarian in Champaign, Illinois.

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County
ISBN: 0374312516

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 2007

Meet one smart chicken chaser. She can catch any chicken on her grandmother's farm except one – the elusive Miss Hen. In a hilarious battle of wits, the spirited narrator regales readers with her campaign to catch Miss Hen, but this chicken is "fast as a mosquito buzzing and quick as a fleabite." Our chicken chaser has her mind set on winning, until she discovers that sometimes it's just as satisfying not to catch chickens as it is to catch them.

A fresh voice full of sass and inventive, bold collage illustrations full of surprises create a childlike escapade brimming with funny high jinks that leads the reader on a merry, memorable chase.

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Going North (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards))
ISBN: 0374326819

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2004

An African American family becomes a new kind of pioneer

Leaving behind Big Mama, loving relatives, and the familiar red soil and cotton fields of Alabama, Jessie and her family are going north to Nebraska. They are pioneers searching for a better life, one with decent schools and jobs. But traveling through the segregated South is difficult for an African American family in the 1960s. With most public places reserved for "whites only," where will they stop to get gas and food?

Lyrical free verse and evocative paintings capture the rhythm of the road and a young girl's longing as she wonders: Will I like it there? Will I like the North?


Awards

-- Busy-Busy Little Chick

2014 ILLINOIS READS BookEven the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone

A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions

Kate Tufts Discovery AwardThe Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County

Top 10 Children's Books, Time magazine, 2007 Going North

Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, New York Public Library, 2005 Other Awards:

National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry, 2007

Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award for emerging women writers, 2009

Poetry Society of America, New American Poets

Honored at the 2005 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.