About Me

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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."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Moon. We caught her
out on a limb,
wanting to get away,
early, before daybreak.
I admit it's a blur. You say
for sure you know,
she's going down.

Good morning, Writers.

I know you recognize this is not a poem. It can't be called anything more than an image even though I added someone other than the speaker, and even though I added a conflict , some emotion with words like "I admit," and "it's a blur," "she's out on a limb," and "she's going down." At daybreak I took the blurry photo of the moon and looked to see what I had captured. I started to write. You know the truth. A poem cannot be made with cliche and puns. It's bad writing, but it was fun while it lasted, and it got me started. We have to start with words.

William Stafford and Robert Bly had a conversation where Stafford talked about writing a poem every morning with the first thing that came to his mind. Bly asked him what did he do if it didn't turn out so good. Stafford said, "I lower my standards."

This morning, I lowered my standards, played with words and got started writing.

The main thing is to write every morning. You might get a pearl, but probably not. You might get the real item, a real poem, along about 3:00 p.m. You can't wait until 3:00 though and think the pearl will be sitting there waiting for you. Get started.

Write, Dear Ones. Write, and keep me posted.


Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Thank you for being an encouragement to all of us writers. You've given us a great idea to get the creative juices flowing.

The Storialist said...

I so agree...every day! It forces inspiration!

tipper said...

Good tips Nancy-and I liked what you said about the moon-even if it wasn't a poem!

Glenda C. Beall said...

"Just put your rear end in the chair and start" I've heard that so many times, and that is so true, but I let email, paying bills, cleaning up my desk area, and just about anything turn me from my goal. Why? I love to write, but getting started is so hard to do.I guess that is why I love classes. I have to write!
Thanks for the encouragement, Nancy.