About Me

My photo
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."

Monday, July 27, 2009


How can July, the bright and the warm month, be so hard to bear? It's been sad for me with the death of a friend and with the two year anniversary of my son's death. The same flowers that cheered Jeff two years ago, outside his hospice window, bloomed again in July as if to say to me, "We're back."

There are so many different kinds of lilies. I noticed how tall they stand, even the short ones. They were not going to bend. Finally, I whispered to them, "I won't die from it." I went into the house and got my notebook and began writing their descriptions and studying to learn their names. Today I woke not sad anymore.

Cultivar: Happy Returns, rebloomer

Cultivar: Stella D' Ora, golden flower as compaired to lemon color of Happy Returns

Cultivar: Barbara Mitchell, 6 inch flower, repeat bloomer

Cultivar: Always Afternoon, mauve with purple throat, rebloomer

Cultivar: Pandora's Box, cream with purple throat, rebloomer

Easter Lily, Lilium Longiflorum, an Easter Lily yes, but it blooms in the ground in July
on the northside of the mountain.

Yellow Day Lily with Gloriosa Daisy

Star Gazer Lily

Cultivar: Little Business, rebloomer, red

Cultivar: Pardon Me, red dwarf, rebloomer

Cultivar: Razzmatazz, purple, yellow eye and lime green throat, rebloomer

Emperor's Butterfly Lily, tall, red-violet color with green throat. Flower 4.5 inches

Orange Day Lily, Hemerocallis fulva

Kwanzo Tripple Orange
Triploid culitvar

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nancy Simpson Will Teach Creative Writing Class - WHAT'S IN YOUR WRITING FOLDER?

by Nancy Simpson

1 800 FOLK SCH

Do you write short fiction, personal essays, or poetry? It does not matter. The important question is - What's In Your Writing Folder?

Come spend one week writing at the John C. Campbell Folk School, the specific week of September 13-18, 2009

CLASS DESCRIPTION: Pull out your writing folder, whether filled with stories, poems, essays or almost empty, and come write what you want. This class will trigger new writing and will keep you on track and moving toward the finish. Get encouraging feedback from your instructor and classmates. How and where to publish will also be discussed. All levels welcome.

The class begins on Sunday and ends at noon on Friday.

Come write in our new writing studio. The typewriter is only a decoration. Each student has a writing station with computer and printer access. The focus of the class will be on short story, personal essay and poetry. There will be class time and private time for you to write. There will be time to share your writing with others. The class will give a reading for the school at the end of the week.

Business Writer and Poet Karen Holmes

Instructor: Nancy Simpson

Tuition: $460.00
If you live in the Appalachian mountain area, ask for 1/2 discount.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Do You Know Southern Poet -- Patricia Neely Dorsey?

Patricia Neely Dorsey is a follower on this site LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE. She is a practicing poet with a new poetry collection recently published. You may know her poems. If not, I want to introduce you to this southern poet from Mississippi.

Patricia Neely Dorsey's Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems is "a true celebration of the south and things southern." The author states , "There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general."

In her own words:

In my book, using childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. In my book I try to show that there is much is more to Mississippi and the south than all of the negatives usually portrayed .I invite readers to Meet Mississippi (and the south) Through Poetry ,Prose and The Written Word."

If you want a glimpse of Southern life,
Come close and walk with me;
I'll tell you all the simple things,
That you are sure to see.
You'll see mockingbirds and bumblebees,
Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees,
Caterpillars on the step,
Wooden porches cleanly swept;
Watermelons on the vine,
Strong majestic Georgia pines;
Rocking chairs and front yard swings,
Junebugs flying on a string;
Turnip greens and hot cornbread,
Coleslaw and barbecue;
Fried okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes,
Fried pies and pickles too.
There's ice cold tea that's syrupy sweet,
And cool, green grass beneath your feet;
Catfish nipping in the lake,
And fresh young boys on the make.
You'll see all these things
And much, much more,
In a way of life that I adore.

Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey

from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems

BOOK AVAILABLE: www.reeds.ms/book.asp
or www.Amazon.com
AUTHOR WEBSITE: www.patricianeelydorsey.webs.com

Saturday, July 18, 2009


How can one woman get 434 hits on her blog site in one day? It happened to Tipper who owns and operates THE BLING PIG AND THE ACORN. ON JULY 17th , 434 readers clicked on and stayed a while reading, listening to appalachian music or taking the vocabulary test, or maybe they were learning how to grow their tomatoes or how to can blackberries by the Zodiac signs.

THE BLIND BIG AND THE ACRON is one place I visit often. I always learn something more about Appalachia and the people who live here. In my opinion, this is a popular site because it is a friendly place. You could get lost just reading the comments left by the readers. Where my own site focuses mainly on Appalachian and southern poetry being written now, (bringing in few clicks, I admit) The Blind Pig and The Acorn attracts people from all over the world who are holding onto their ties to Appalachia the best they can, or people who have heard tales and wonder, "Is it realy like that in the southnern Appalachian Mountains?"

When I began my blog at the end of October 2008, Tipper gave me a great amount of advice. I had just taken a workshop with our local North Carolina Writers Network West, and later took another one of their workshops where Tipper made a talk and showed us some short cuts. No doubt about it. She knows what she is doing with it comes to managing her site. Her success is not accidental.


I hope you stop by often as I celebrate my Appalachian Heritage. I am Tipper a mother, wife, daughter, sister , artist, and hopefully considered a friend to many. I consider myself a mountain girl (even though my husband, The Deer Hunter, likes to remind me the mountains here are not nearly as big as the ones he came from a whole three counties away).

A common theme that arises when thinking of past times is a longing for a simpler lifestyle. An unhurried time when families pulled together because hard times demanded they do so. A time filled with joys and bittersweet memories. For me there is something more. I believe part of the longing is related to the fragility of life-to those loved ones who have long gone on. Another part is a primal instinct instilled in each by the Creator passed along to each generation to learn the ways of old as a direct map to our future.

I have always had a love for history, antiques, vintage finds,-basically anything old. As long as I can remember I have craved a connection with my heritage and the creativity that abounds in it. My hope is that through this blog I can begin to understand how the love for the past can be woven into a hope for the future as well as an appreciation for the present.

Blog Features

Appalachia is a haven for artisans of all genres. I believe historically this shows the independence that is often associated with mountain folk. They depended on themselves or their neighbors to supply the necessities of life: clothing, quilts, food, soap and even entertainment. Here at the Blind Pig & The Acorn my endeavor is to weave what went before into my hope for the future and an appreciation of the present. I will feature profiles of Mountain Folk who show an inclination to old time ways, to old time traditional music and to art. Whether someone is detailing how to can green beans, plant corn, quilt, or simply telling about their life, there is a wealth of information to be gathered from the people of the Appalachian Mountains. You can see the profiles as they are posted and on the Mountain Folk page.

Just saying the word "Appalachian" brings to mind music. I grew up in a musical family and was blessed to hear traditional Appalachian music on a daily basis. Pickin & Grinnin will be a regular spot here and will feature my family's music.

For some Appalachia might bring to mind The Beverly Hillbillies and the quirky, feisty Granny. I think Grannies have been, and still are a tremendous asset to the world. Both my Grannies (although one was called Mamaw) were a huge influence in my life-after all they each raised people who went on to become my parents. My mom is now Granny to my girls, niece and nephews. I must admit some of the The Beverly Hillbillies' Granny characteristics, though exaggerated, are true. So I have made a Grannyisms page where you can read about funny, quirky or inspiring things said or done by my Grannies and leave posts about your Granny and the influence she made on your life.

Generosity is a trait that comes to mind when I think of my life in Appalachia. I want to continue the tradition with Spread The Love, a monthly give away. To be entered all you have to do is post a comment to one of the blog posts or to the Grannyism page.

I hope you stop by the Blind Pig & The Acorn often to visit with the past, the present, and gain a hope for the future. So come back soon.

p.s. To post a comment just click on the word Comments. Look at the bottom of each post entry on the main page to see the word. Click on the Grannyisms page to leave a comment about your Granny.

Email me: tipper@blindpigandtheacorn.com


*folk art *music-bluegrass, old time *appalachian heritage *blogs *gardening *cooking *canning/preserving *clogging *contra dancing *listening to chitter and chatter

Friday, July 17, 2009

Living Gnomes Caught Playing In My Garden

There was always strong evidence that gnomes played in my flower garden. End of discussion. I caught them..laughing, playing, having fun. Aren't they wonderful?

NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN, New Poetry Collection by Glenda Beall

Finishing Line Press recently announced the publication date for Glenda Beall's new poetry collection titled NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN.
Click Here to order your copy.

(Cover by Mike Keller)

$12.00 plus $1.00 mailing fee if ordered before October 16, 2009

Posted by Nancy Simpson

I know these poems well, and I feel the excitement in the air knowing her book, NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN, will soon be in my hands. All of us who know Glenda as our NC Writers Network Program Coordinator, are placing our orders now. It is a bitter sweet time for Glenda, as she is caring for her life mate and husband Barry Beall, the subject of a number of her poems, who is seriously ill.

"I asked for an early release of the book for Barry," Glenda wrote to me, "and I wonder if he will ever see the finished book."

Monday, July 13, 2009

The True Song of Southern Appalachia is the sound of Katydids in concert. They're back.


by Nancy Simpson

Nothing will shut them up.
Night cry on the mountain
and I am almost sorry
for what I did not do.

I read.
I clip my nails
At 2 a.m. an insect comes
to walk on the windowglass,
a model turning in circles.
Wrapped in green, small,
it resembles corn, stomach pocked
with miniature kernels
and hair on the head white as silks.

What is this thing?
Queen of Oaktops,
one who would not conform.
Half the night I listen.
She cannot sing or will not.

poem first published in Kalliope,
Included in NIGHT STUDENT, State Street Press

Hello Readers, Have you heard the katydids? On this mountain, we can hardly sit on the deck and carry on a conversation because they are so loud. Katydid Comments Welcome.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Left to right: Pictured are Writers Glenda Barrett, Glenda Beall, Shirley Uphouse, Mary Ricketson

Can you name these writers and the titles of their books? ( Question asked on May 29th, 2009)

(photo taken 1998 at Tri County Community College by Creative Writing Class. Instructor, Nancy Simpson.
Textbook used in the class was Prairie Schooner Fiction Issue.)

Recent Photo of Glenda Barrett taken when she was a visiting speaker at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

On the far left in the classroom photo is the Appalachian poet Glenda Barrett of Hiawassee, Georgia. Since the class when this photo was taken, Glenda Barrett has had hundreds of essays published, and her poetry collection WHEN THE SAP RISES was published at Finishing Line Press, ( Georgetown, Kentucky 2008). Some of the individual poems were published in Nantahala Review, Red River Review, Hard Row to Hoe and Kaleidoscope. Glenda is a long time member of NC Writers Network West. Her book is for sale at Amazon.com and Finishing Line Press.

Next, Glenda Beall of south Georgia, now living in the mountains of western North Carolina, had no poems published at the time of this 1989 classroom photo. Since then her poems were published in Journal of Kentucky Studies, Appalachian Heritage, Lights in the Mountains and thirty other magazines. Her poetry collection NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN will be published at Finishing Line Press in October 2009. Glenda Beall became Netwest Program Coordinator, and she also became a writing instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School. She is the founder of the NCWN West website and the founder of Coffee With the Poets. http://netwestwriters.blogspot.com/

Next is Shirley Uphouse of Marble, North Carolina. She too became an active member of NC Writers Network West and is fondly remembered for the outstanding conferences she organized and for her years of dedication as co editor of LIGHTS IN THE MOUNTAINS, Stories, Essays and Poems by Writers Living in and Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Shirley Uphouse is the author of a book:
My Dogs, My Friends
By Shirley Uphouse
ISBN: 978-1-4357-1944-6
$12.95 plus $3.00 shipping
This book is about the many dogs in the author's life mixed with some personal writing. My Dogs, My Friends covers more than 45 years of the author's training and exhibiting purebred dogs and her 20 years' experience as an AKC judge. The book is also full of pictures and has included several stories of dogs needing to be rescued that the author has placed in permanent homes. This is definately a book for dog lovers. If you are interested in ordering, please call Shirley Uphouse at 828-837-6007. Her blogspot is www.dogspuppiesandprose.blogspot.com

On the far right sits Poet Mary Ricketson of Hanging Dog, North Carolina with no poems published at the time of this 1989 classroom photo. Her collection, I HEAR THE RIVER CALL MY NAME was published in 2007 at Finishing Line Press. She is an active member of NCWN West, often seen at the monthly poetry critique group. For fourteen years, she has written a monthly column, "Woman to Woman" for the Cherokee Scout, Murphy, N.C. Her book is for sale at Amazon.com and Finishing Line Press.

The point of it all is that four woman who did not know each other took a night class, a creative writing class in 1989, and now all four in this above featured photo have had collections of their writing published. They embraced the study of writing and advanced their writing. I am proud to have been their instructor.

Posted by Nancy Simpson