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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, January 25, 2009


ANSWER: There are only two times you need to use an exclamantion mark.

1) Use an exclamation mark at the end of a statement sentence that tells with great emotion. Examples: "You stepped on my face!", or "The House is on fire!"

2) Use an exclamation in an imperative sentence where you are addressing someone and yelling/telling them to do something.
Example: "Help me!" or a command not to do something: "Do not step on my face!". There is a choice to make using the imperative. You will not need an exclamation mark if you are quietly telling someone to do something such as: "Hand me that book of poems."

Otherwise, when writing a poem or story, try to forget the exclamation mark. Trust the English language to do its work.

According to Peg Russell, a writer is only allowed to use one or two exclamation marks in their entire writing career. I agree with her.


Anonymous said...

I promise, I will not step on anyone's face. (laugh) That is funny!
Uh,oh, I used one of my exclamation points. Now I only have one left for 2009.
I'm giddy from a full weekend at JCCFS.
Glenda Beall

Nancy Simpson said...

Hi Glenda, I know you have a wonderful time at the Folk School. It is like going to world that does not really exist. It takes a few minutes to get used to being back.

I'm giddy from reading so many wonderful poem story and essay manuscripts. I've always said I love reading what you all write. It is still true.