As a visual artist, Leigh has worked in numerous media, including watercolors, acrylics, pastels, cray pas, collage, 3-dimensional design and video. Her paintings are watercolor fantasias, both surreal and pointillistic; her perfectly-scaled (1:12) dollhouse rooms are amazing depictions of serene, miniature decorating. Ms. Harrison is also a photographer whose work documents some of her interests: the blues scene in NYC, large-scale murals, vanity license plates, neon signs, clouds, architectural details, stained glass, and the birds and wetlands of the CT shoreline. Leigh's photography session work has yielded tour posters, and cover and back cover photos for CDs. She has exhibited her paintings in various art shows, including the Ward-Nasse Gallery's International Salon 1993 (NYC), and her work has graced the covers and interiors of literary magazines including Medicinal Purposes Literary Review, Soul Fountain, and Asbestos Literary Arts Journal. Samples of her artwork are on the Art & Photography pages of this website. Leigh directed a video for Bobby Perfect's instrumental, "14th Street Shuffle," from his CD, "Shackles," and assisted in the production of her own video, "Dance/Love/Sing," based on an original song from her 2nd CD, both of which can be viewed on YouTube.
Leigh Harrison is a Brooklyn-born poet, writer, musician, songwriter, parodist, artist, teacher, and political activist, who has lived in Queens most of her life. She began composing melodies for Robert Louis Stevenson poems at the age of four, and has continued to create music all her life. She wrote her first original poem at the age of eight, and it was published in "The Glen Oaks News" -- a local Queens newspaper. This -- and the encouragement of her parents and teachers -- propelled her to keep writing, and in various forms: poetry, short story, prose, songs, journalism, book reviews, parody and the literary essay.  She also began her involvement with photography and the visual arts in childhood -- creative work which she still pursues today.
As a poet, she has been widely published, and has worked on the staff of numerous literary magazines, such as "Second Glance Magazine," "Poems That Thump in the Dark," "Medicinal Purposes Literary Review," "Asbestos Arts Journal" -- and "Impact" and "et cetera" (the official and unofficial anthologies printed by her and her fellow students when she attended FDU.) Ms. Harrison is the author of three poetry collections: "Tour de Farce" (a chapbook of humor and parody), "Our Harps Upon the Willows" (a collection of poems about spiritual faith and doubt), and "Finding Sermons in Stones," (a collection of poems about nature and the four seasons.)
Leigh's book reviews and essays have appeared in numerous magazines including "American Book Review," "Medicinal Purposes Literary Review," "On The Bus," and the online magazines, "First Literary Review / East," and "Home Planet News." She is the creator of two poetic forms: the Harrisonian sonnet, and the Pentina (a variation on the sestina).
Her publication credits appear on this website, at the bottom of the BOOKS page. There is an article on Wikipedia about the Pentina, and the Pentina is also listed as a new modern poetry form in "The Book of Forms / A Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms" by Lewis Turco.
Leigh's collection of poems with biblical and mythological subjects, scheduled for publication in 2019, is entitled "From A to Zeus," illustrated by the artist, Rosie Rinsler. Leigh is currently also working on several additional collections of poetry; one will feature her sonnets, another that contains her haiku and other brief poems, and a third with her poems about the human body. In May, 2018, her first spoken-word CD, an audio version of "Our Harps Upon the Willows," was released by WordCrew.org, a division of SongCrew.com
Leigh has had an amazing and eventful life, partly because of her interesting and unusual family connections. Since she was distantly related to one of the several people over the years who played Clarabelle the Clown on the Howdy Doody show, as a child, she and her sister were part of the famous "Howdy Doody Peanut Gallery" of children on the TV show.
Later in life, as a travelling troubador, she spent time with numerous musicians and performers, such as Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Johnny Winter, Mick Jagger, Muddy Waters, and Albert King, and has played with Jaco Pastorius, Moogy Klingman, Charles Otis, Dave Dawson, Danny Drayer, and others. She is distantly related to the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, due to the fact that two members of her mother's family were married (1) to Brian Epstein's brother Clive, and (2) another to Brian's Aunt Stella.
Leigh spends her time composing songs, playing guitar, writing poetry, and building dollhouse rooms at a perfect 1:12 scale. She sometimes jams with her friends, including her friend (& lead guitarist) Bobby Perfect, in a duo called BlueBird.
Leigh (on vocals and percussion), also played with the band Blue Rhythm Sandwich, and has produced "Babes On Board" shows, which are female-fronted band extravaganzas, in NYC.
Leigh with Jonathan Kalb, in the guitar section of Sam Ash, NYC, October, 2004, during the photo shoot she did for Jonathan's European Tour poster.
Photo © Leigh Harrison
Photo © Fran Perfetto
This photograph of Leigh was taken circa 1990,
after she returned from a vacation to Nashville,
where she bought this flounced cowgirl dress.
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Writer , Poet, Book Reviewer
Guitarist, Vocalist, Songwriter
Leigh Harrison has played guitar for many years, and has written songs since the age of twelve. She plays acoustic and electric 6 and 12-string guitars, Dobro, banjo/guitar, and diatonic African flute; she has played percussion and performed as a back-up vocalist with many blues, rock, and country bands. Her first CD, "Leigh Harrison / Eclectic Chanteuse" was released by SongCrew Records in 2003, and her second CD, "Oh, Wow!" was released in 2010, at a CD release party at Sapphire Lounge, NYC. She has written hundreds of songs, and many have been performed by other artists, including CeLange, who included the song, "Cruisin' For a Bluesin'" on their first CD. SongCrew Music recently released the "BlueBird At My Window" CD for her duo (BlueBird) with Bobby Perfect; their 12-track CD includes one of Leigh's original folk-blues songs, "Untitled Love Song." (Poetry publishers, WordCrew, has also released a spoken-word CD of the poetry from her second collection, "Our Harps Upon the Willows.")
Leigh's compositions are truly eclectic, ranging from blues to country-blues, country to country-rock, and rock to rockabilly. She has written pop songs, Dixieland, Hawaiian songs, R 'n' B, brief classical pieces, children's songs, and is known to her friends as a song parodist and satirist. Her voice has been described as "a smoky alto," "whisky with a shot of honey," and capable of variety within a performance, going "from funky to sultry to sweet." Leigh has won awards as both a singer-guitarist and as a songwriter. Her original song, "Ain't Givin' Up My Braciole," which she wrote for a transgender friend, comedienne Fran Sisco -- based on a quote from Fran's monologues, has become a hit in the world of trans comedy.