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Nancy Simpson's LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE, New and Selected Poems was published by Carolina Wren Press (N.C. Laureate Series, 2010.) She is the author of ACROSS WATER and NIGHT STUDENT, State Street Press, still available on WWW at Alibris and Books Again. Her poems have been published in Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review and other literary magazines. "Carolina Bluebirds" was published in THE POETS GUIDE TO THE BIRDS, Anhinga Press). "Grass" was reprinted in the 50th Anniversary Issue of Southern Poetry Review: DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY ( U.of Arkansas Press.) Seven poems were reprinted in the textbook, SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN POETRY,(McFarland.) Two poems were published in SOLO CAFE, Two more poems were published in SOLO NOVO."In the Nantahala Gorge" was published in Pisgah Review. "Studying Winter" was reprinted in Pirene's Fountain Anthology and "The Collection" in Collecting Life Anthology. Most recently, Southern Poetry Review Edited by James Smith, published "Our Great Depression," and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. VII: NORTH CAROLINA,Edited by William Wright, reprinted "Leaving in the Dead of Winter."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

CHRISTMAS PRESENCE, The Newest Book on My Shelf

The Phillips and Lloyd Book Store in Hayesville offered only a little wiggle room Saturday with many people lined up at the counter to buy books.  I found my way to the back meeting room
where Brenda Kay Ledford, Carole Thompson and Nancy Sales Cash were signing copies of the new anthology which holds their short stories and essays,  CHRISTMAS PRESENCE. I bought a copy for myself and had them sign it.  Christmas Presence is edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham, published at Catawba Press. It presents stories, essays and poems by 45 western North Carolina women writers.  

This anthology has something for everyone. I enjoyed the poems. I read them first.   There are many good memoir essays:   "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Nancy Purcell, "The Christmas Catalog" by Nancy Sales Cash, and "Memories of Wartime Christmases" by Mary D. Marsh which is set in the blitz of 1940.   I enjoyed the humor in Brenda Kay Ledford's  "Miss Bessie Mae and the Christmas Biker." 

What I like best about the book is that most of the writing is set here in the Appalachian Mountains.  My favorite short stories are,  " A Bag of Sugar for Paula" by Carole Thompson,  "Grand Pa and the Snow Snakes" by Penny Morse and "A Logging Camp Christmas" by Exie Wilde Henson.   The strongest and best essays are:  "And the Animals Knelt" by Celia Miles, "The French Harp" by Glenda Barrett and "Jewish Christmas" by Jessica Harriot.  

The more I read, the more I find to like.  The more read, the more I mark pages and plan what I will read to my family on Christmas Day.

Copies of the book can be ordered at Catawba Publishing Company (704) 717-8452
and are for sale at Phillips and Lloyd Book Store in Hayesville, NC.


Sam Hoffer said...

Nancy, what a nice tribute to three of our finest local writers. Thank you for sharing this with us. Christmas Presence would make a nice Christmas Present.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Nancy, I enjoyed this post and the photo of Brenda, Nancy and Carole Thompson. I picked up my copy of the book today and I plan to read it slowly over the holidays and savor each story and poem.
It is, indeed, a beautiful book and filled with terrific work by mountain women writers.
Another book signing will be held in Blairsville on December 19. I hope to go to that one and have the local writers sign my copy.

Tipper said...

Sounds like a super book-one I would love!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...


You did a fabulous job reviewing CHRISTMAS PRESENCE. Thank you very much for your support of all our writers. We really appreciate your coming to the booksigning.

I love your blog. The photos are really good.
Brenda Kay Ledford

Sam Hoffer said...

Merry Christmas Nancy. May your holidays be filled with laughter and joy.
Sam & Meakin

Mona Gustafson Affinito, Ph.D. said...


I have finally figured out how to comment on your wonderful blog and the activities of the awesome people you highlight.

And how important you have been to me as Mrs. Job is at the point of cover design!

Nancy Simpson said...

Hi Mona, This is a wonderful surprise. I am happy to see our smiling face. It amazes me to think of all you have done to help others, and now soon, we will see your novel Mrs. Job. Keep me posted.