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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."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


No, I am not sad that National Poetry Month will end for Americans tomorow. Poetry will not end for me. I continue in my relentless study, practice and teaching, always learning more about life and how to live it, how to endure life when the going get tough. One poet I have learned the most from is a poet who lives in the valley, just miles from my house --Janice Townley Moore.

Janice Townley Moore and I followed different paths in life, yet often when it came to poetry, we matched step for step in our development and in our accomplishments. That happened because we were in constant contact from the late 70s to this day, on the phone, always inquiring, "Have you heard from the editors?" Confessing, "I think I'm getting a new poem," or asking, "Can I read this one to you?" We've met monthly in the same NC Writers Network Poetry Critique Group which she leads for the past fifteen years or more.

I remember earlier, during the years when we worked a full day then went off by the van-load to Atlanta to hear nationally known and international poets read at Emory University. I remember when invited ourselves to read at Callanwolde, Turner Cassidy said, "Thank you for coming and thank you for bringing the audience," because there were so many of us from the mountains in that Young Harris College van.

When I read Janice Townley Moore's poem, "On Unicoi Mountain," I giggle. That was a car load of us coming home at 1:00 a.m. expecting to teach the next day. Seeing deer crossing the road, someone said, "That's a good omen," meaning maybe we will get a poem accepted. And both of us did.

Here is the poem:

by Janice Townley Moore

Like words almost spoken
then held back,
deer quiver near this road.

Beyond midnight
they move out bravely
in the edges
of our headlights,

stunned by these low moons
speeding toward them:

doe and fawn, a single doe,
the lone buck at the curve,
so many we lose count
as we drive up the mountain.

In the honest hours
of early morning
we confess that we believe
in omens.

Previously published in Appalachian Heritage
and published in TEACHING THE ROBINS,
Finishing Line Press, 2005

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