Sunday, May 1, 2016


On April 20, 2016 Nancy Simpson and other poets celebrated National Poetry Month at Coffee with the Poets, Moss Memorial Library in Hayesville (sponsored by NC Writers Network West.)
Brenda Kay Ledford was also a featured poet. Both poets read springtime poems.This program was started by Glenda Beall during her tenure as Program Coordinator.(Photos taken by Lynn Hamilton Rutherford.)


LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE CELEBRATES SPRING IN THE MOUNTAINS with a look at our full sun perennial garden. Gardening with Mom--all the family including Tim and Gail, Jeremy and Yan,  Lynn.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016


...A New Poetry Collection Coming from 
Main Street Rag Publishers

Here’s what others are saying about Helen Losse's new poetry collection forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing:

If books of poetry were considered fitting contributions, Helen Losse's Every Tender Reed, would be among the most heartfelt gifts in a church offering plate. With a keen eye for craft, Losse takes readers on a personal pilgrimage—pondering everything from the beauty of God's creations to what it might feel like to “be consumed” in pursuit of spiritual purity. Written with fierce tenderness and the courage it takes to write poems both honest and true, this fine collection is a must read. —Terri Kirby Erickson, author of A Lake of Light and Clouds.

Helen Losse's Every Tender Reed resonates with a tone of loving memory and forgiveness---a promise for the good life, the verses raising blinds on the dark to brighten songs born to all the world's beauty. Grace becomes a natural outgrowth of Imagination's repose. Red clover soft-lights the people; all of us are the ever-present tender reeds.

—Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Poet Laureate.

Losse’s Every Tender Reed is penance in poetry—honoring the reader as much as the Creator. This volume, for the most part, is a serene journey with the author as she walks the Path toward the enlightenment of self-knowledge. —Patricia Gomes, Poet Laureate, City of New Bedford, MA.

Every Tender Reed will sell for $14, but you can get it now for $8 by placing an advance discount order at the Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.
Here’s a link directly to my author’s page:

Friday, March 18, 2016


Deep in the Southern Appalachian Mountains on the evening of March 16, 2016, NCWN West poets and writers gathered at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown,NC for their monthly public reading. Featured writers were poet Glenda Barrett of Hiawassee, Georgia  and fiction writer Bob Groves of Brasstown.  Others attending were the school students, especially those taking a weekly writing course and other classes, along with a number of local writers who often visit the school. Lucy Cole Gratton is the NCWN West Coordinator for this event. A highlight of the evening was seeing and visiting with our long time writing friend Darnell Arnoult, the visiting writing instructor. 

Glenda Barrett

John C. Campbell Folk School located in Brasstown, NC

Poet and Author Maren O Mitchell and Nancy Simpson below.

Poet Joan Howard

Poet and Fiction author, Darnell Arnoult

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Twenty four forsythia bushes are blooming around my home. These bushes are filled with tiny bell shaped flowers. Natives often say, " my yellow bells are in full bloom." They are a welcome sight, one of the first flowers to bloom in spring. Daffodils also bloom at the same time. 

Monday, February 8, 2016


Living Above the Frost Line has been my site for going on eight years. I almost lost it. Blogger and Google and G mail and Yahoo seem to be making it extra hard  for some of us to stay on line. Most of my friends have quit computers. O-kay, I am still on line, but don't hold your breath. 

I feel the fight going out of me more each day. It is just too hard.

Still, I was able to work the entire month of January, and I got a lot of writing done. I sent out some poems and stories to magazines. 

Most of all of this day was spent begging Blogger and Google and Yahoo to let me have my accounts back. 

But, being honest, my dear writing friends, there is no better time for a writer to write than in Winter. As soon as I secure my "stuff" I will be back into the novel and the poems.

Meanwhile, I hope your writing time is smoother than mine.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Calling for poems about a Craft such as carving or pottery.

Do you have  or has one of your local writer friends ever written a poem about some craft( carving, pottery or such)? I am starting to put together an exhibit for the museum next year and thought a poem like this would be a nice add on. The theme of the exhibit is Our Heritage our crafts.

Message from Mollie Sellers Robinson Seaver at Clay County Historical Arts Museum in Hayesville. Call Nancy Simpson for more information.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Memorial Poetry Reading for Eugene Ellis

Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 pm

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

Please join us in a celebration of the life of Eugene Ellis, a longstanding member of the Callanwolde poetry committee, who died on October 21, 2015. The event will include friends and fellow poets reading a selection of his poems as well as poems written in his honor. 
An informal reception with refreshments will follow the reading.

For over 30 years Gene Ellis was among the coordinators of the Poetry at Callanwolde reading series. In addition to scheduling and hosting monthly readings by mostly Georgia poets, from the late 1970s to the early 1990s he organized summer workshops and conferences which brought to Atlanta many distinguished American and British poets including Howard Nemerov, Anthony Hecht, Paul Muldoon, Philip Levine, Alice Walker, James Merrill and Adrienne Rich.

The reading will be held in the library which is on the first floor of the mansion. The Callanwold
e Fine Arts Center is located at 980 Briarcliff Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306. The event is free and open to the public. For more information please email Ruth Windham at

If you would like to receive a free copy of Alewives: Selected Poems by Eugene V. Ellis, please with your mailing address. This book is being reprinted by Kudzu Editions with a new introduction and will be available in December.


This is for my fiction writing friends and students of writing. It is a quote from Nancy Peacock that rang loud and clear as true in my mind while working on my novel in process. 

"A good storyteller can go beyond the limitations of self. That's the point. That's the magic. It always begins with that relationship between author and character. That's who I write for, the character.
Naturally, I hope other people read my stories, and like them, but I don't write for those people. I don't write for them, or a marketplace, or what's hot, or a professor, or an editor, or agent. I write for my characters.
Have I honored them? Did I tell their story? Were we in the journey together? Did I listen to their guidance?
If yes, then I've succeeded."  --Nancy Peacock

Friday, November 6, 2015


Carole Thompson recently received the 2nd place POETRY award for  REACH OF SONG. Enjoy her poem, "ANTIQUING." It is a winner.


My eyes were drawn to a battered old basin.
Despite a chip in the enamel, my hands
felt comfort in the patina, much like the
surface of my grandmother’s claw foot tub.
Often, I rested against that perfect slope,
up to my chin in Ivory Soap suds.

In such a basin, a woman might snap beans,
slice cucumbers for pickling, or shuck corn.
In summer, Mother filled her basin high
with ripe berries to wash and “pick over.”
In time, jars of jam and jelly sparkled
from oilcloth lined shelves.

The basin rode home with me, beside
a flour sifter and small iron skillet.
 Driving in silence, from deep my memory,
a scene emerged , clear as the road before me:
A country kitchen, sink with hand pump,
woodstove nearby, kettle steaming on top.

A young man, stripped to his jeans, stands
by a table washing sweat and grime from
face and arms.  A young girl drinks coffee
with his mother at the kitchen table nearby.

’Come wash my back ?
 He grins, tossing the girl a cloth.
She shyly takes it, glancing quickly
at the mother, who nods her head, smiling.
Dipping into the basin, the girl begins washing
the strong, bronzed back, feeling his heat.
smelling his skin.

Her young face reflects a purity of emotion,
the total loss of self, that painful joy,
the first rending of the heart.

(definitive final copy)
--Carole Thompson 

 Carole Richard Thompson lives in the north Georgia Mountains with her husband Norm. Her poems have been published widely in the south. She is the author of a full length poetry collection from FutureCycle Press titled ENOUGH.

Carole Richard Thompson under the POET TREE at John C. Campbell Folk School.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Eugene Vincent Ellis, an architect, pianist, composer and poet, died at home under hospice care at the age of 83 on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. He was one of the founding fathers of the Poetry at Callanwolde reading series at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta.

 Here is one of his poems, which appeared in the first issue ofCalamaro Magazine.

We dance in a widening ring around this tower
Under the fading light from a minor star;
All reason is suspended in this hour.
The ancient harpers and the dancers here
Sing foreign incantations and intone
Strange litanies unto their demon gods;
And I should be contented if but one
Could see and sing to me in mine own tongue.
(originally appeared in his poetry volume ALEWIVES: SELECTED POEMS, published by

Kudzu Editions in 2013)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Come to WRITERS' NIGHT OUT 6:00 p.m. Friday Night

Writers’ Night Out, takes place at the Union CountyCommunity Center in Blairsville, GA on Friday evening.

A real treat this Friday night is having national award-winning poet Scott Owens join us from Hickory, NC. His readings never disappoint. We're also lucky to have our own Glenda Beall entertain us with her delightful poetry and stories. 

Dinner or refreshment is available at The View Grill next door to the ballroom. The food is reasonably priced and yummy, but please allow lots of time to be served. Arrive by 6 pm or before, if possible. There's a deck with a fabulous view of the golf course and mountains. You can also bring food/drink into the ballroom from the grill. 

Optional dinner at The View Grill: 6 pm or earlier
Gather in ballroom: 7 pm
Featured reade:r 7:15, followed by open mic

Scott will also teach one of his terrific poetry workshops at Writers Circle on Saturday. For more information, see

Attached is a WNO flyer for you to post -- please take one to your church, library, college, etc. if possible. I appreciate any and all efforts to get the word out. Please forward this email too if you have friends who might enjoy this fun evening. 

See you there! 

Karen Paul Holmes

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

 This month we are happy to have Janice Townley Moore as featured reader at Coffee with the Poets and Writers at Joe’s Coffee House, 82 Main Street, Hayesville, NC. We meet at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 12.
Janice facilitates the NCWN-West Poetry Critique group that meets monthly at Tri-County College in Murphy, NC. An Atlanta native, Janice recently retired from Young Harris College in Georgia where she was a professor of English for many years. Moore taught creative writing and poetry at YHC, and her special areas of interest include contemporary poetry and Southern literature.

In addition to her teaching duties, she was chair of the YHC Humanities Division for eight years and served 12 years as poetry editor for the Georgia Journal, Moore claimed first prize in the 2009 Press 53 Open Awards and was awarded first place in the Georgia Poetry Society's annual competition in 2011.
Her work has appeared in more than 60 esteemed journals, anthologies and textbooks, including The Georgia Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology: Contemporary Appalachia, Contemporary Georgia Poets, Women Writing in Appalachia and the Southern Poetry Review.
Janice Moore is author of Teaching the Robins, a poetry chapbook, published by Finishing Line Press in 2005. She is co-author of Like a Summer Peach, a great little book of recipes and poems.
Coffee with the Poets and Writers includes an Open Mic session. This is open to the public and anyone with an original poem or short prose piece is welcome to share it. We ask that prose pieces be no longer than 1500 – 1800 words.
Joe’s Coffee House is known for various kinds of coffee and tea. Water, soft drinks and bagels are available as well. Plan to stay for lunch with us at Angelo’s across the street. We want to get to know you.
Call Glenda  Beall 828-389-4441 or for more information

Glenda Council Beall
Clay County Representative for NCWN West


Chemical fragrances, scented products, perfume and cologne can be harmful to our health. Please do not wear them to classes I teach or to classes at my studio, Writers Circle around the Table. Your thoughtfulness is appreciated. 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015


NC Writers Network West - updated July info for writers  interested in joining the NCWN West monthly poetry critique group. Also info about WRITERS NIGHT OUT, Join other writers, eat out and read your poems in the open mic reading.

Posted: 30 Jun 2015 08:21 PM PDT
The NC Writers' Network-West Poetry critique group facilitated by Janice Moore will not be held at Tri-County College in Murphy this month -July. The college is closed for the holidays. The group will meet, however, at the Moss Memorial Library in Hayesville, NC at 6:00 p.m. Anyone who has trouble with steps  can enter at the end of the library across from the Post Office.  Observers are welcome. 
Posted: 30 Jun 2015 05:28 PM PDT
Husband and wife writers, Jo Carolyn and John Beebe, will entertain the audience with their fiction, poetry, and memoir.        An open microphone follows their reading for those who’d like to share their own writing. Writers’ Night Out, takes place at the Union CountyCommunity Center in Blairsville, GA on Friday evening, July 10. The event is free and open to the public. Food and drinks 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Living Above the Frost Line: MATRIARCH, PATRIARCH and The Family

Living Above the Frost Line: MATRIARCH, PATRIARCH and The Family

CLICK TO SEE ORIGINAL POST AND these amazing trees

Here in the southern Appalachian mountains, we have endured two brutal winters and before that, some years of drought. It is with sadness I tell you that those beautiful trees on the old Flemming/McConnell property at the foot of Cherry Mountain that I named "Matriarch" and "Patriarch" have died and fallen. It breaks my heart to drive past chunks of their bodies scattered around. The  younger trees are still there and still growing.


On June 10, 2015, poets from  Hayesville and Murphy, NC and poets from the north Georgia Mountains met at JOE's for their monthly gathering of COFFEE WITH THE POETS.  This monthly event is sponsored by North Carolina Writers' Network West, a 23 year old professional writing organization.

Mary Ricketson (left)is the author of two poetry collections: I Heard the River Call My Name ( Finishing Line Press) and Hanging Dog Creek ( FutureCycle Press).

Joan Ellen Gage (right) is the author of three collections: Embracing You Inner Cheerleader, Water Running Downhill and new off the press, A Redhead looks at Sixty.

"Personally, I would add that this was one
of the best poetry readings I've been
attended in quite a while,  with a wide 
range of topics, some most serious 
and most crushing, and others filled with 
joy and humor so that listeners shed a tear 
or two and  then later laughed until our 
tummies hurt. When it was over, each of us 
knew again what it is like to feel fully human."
--Nancy Simpson

And there was a surprise visit from 
Hayesville Mayor Harry Baughn. 

Coffee With the Poets was founded by Glenda Beall during her tenure as NCWN West Program Coordinator. Contact her for more information about
writing  events in the western NC mountains.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Call for Poems, Essays and Stories by Women Writers Living in Western NC

Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham issuing…
A call for entries for our fourth (and final?) anthology of WNC women writers
It’s All Relative!
Family Noir or Family Extraordinaire
Send us your very best stories, essays, and poems—real or imagined, whichever is your bent…
We’re looking for the good, the bad, and the ugly—with emphasis of the ugly, the strange, the odd, the quirky, the peculiar—even the extraordinary, the  hilarious, the supernatural.
Dig deep. Go “underground.” But please submit your very best, most creative, well-edited work.
General guidelines:
Deadline: June 1. We are aiming for a fall “launch.”
Short is better—2000 words the absolute word limit—and no more than forty contributors
Send in Word doc or docx or rtf only. If we can’t open it easily, we won’t read it.
Use Times New Roman, 12 point font, double space, with one inch margins.
Previously published material is fine if you have the rights.
We reserve the right to edit accepted manuscripts, but do not wish to do heavy editing.
Include your bio of no more than 50 words.
Contributors will receive one complimentary copy and a reduced price on initial purchase/s.
Send material to Celia Miles at, as an attachment.
We know WNC has excellent writers. We look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Celebrating Mother's Day a Week Early With Jeremy and Lynn

EARLY MOTHER'S DAY CELEBRATION --Getting high ( 5342 feet) with my children on the Appalachian Trail at Wayah Bald.