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."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Talking to Smoky

"Hello, Smoky. Have you heard about
Sasha being a cover girl?"

"Yes, I heard. I know everything that
goes on in this house."

"Well, what do you think about Sasha?"

"She is a beautiful dog, if she is a dog.
You act like you don't remember that I was the big one, bigger than Sasha. She was a little pest then. Now she is In-your-Face-Sasha. How did she get this big? That is the question."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What Does it Mean to live Above the Frost Line? This photo, taken by Lynn Hamilton Rutherford, Gives you the Answer.


Hello Family and Dear Ones. Happy Thanksgiving Day from Cherry Mountain. It is a lovely time of year with mild weather, loved ones at the table, and some flowers still blooming in the garden. The Rhododendron is confused, blooming, so I cut a bouquet and put it in a vase. I did not have to buy flowers for the table this year.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'll Meet You at the Bear Cave

The Best Christmas Gift - GIVE A BOOK

Please shop locally for Christmas gifts. Books are always appreciated. A book inscribed by the author is especially appreciated.

Now available at Phillips and Lloyd bookstore on the square in Hayesville - Clothes Lines, the anthology with the theme of clothes, with poems, essays, and stories by women who live in or have ties to the Western NC area.

A number of local NCWN West writers and poets have work in this book. Karen Holmes, Carole Thompson, Jo Carolyn Beebe, Peg Russell, Glenda Barrett, Janice Moore, Brenda Kay Ledford, and her mother, Blanche Ledford, have poems, stories and memoir in Clothes Lines, edited by Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham.

Now available at Phillips and Lloyd bookstore in Hayesville - Now Might as Well Be then, poetry by Glenda Beall
On Saturday, December 5, at 11:00 a.m., Glenda Council Beall, and several authors of Clothes Lines, will be at the shop, Phillips and Lloyd, to meet, greet, and sign copies of their books. Pass this on to your friends who might be interested.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Mole on the Pavement

"The Mole on the Pavement" a poem
by Nancy Simpson


by Nancy Simpson

We thought you loved the dark,
thought you had a good life
in your underground world,
but we learned different
early this morning
finding you frozen,
your thick hands held out.
We had nothing to give you
so we pretended piety
and walked away rationalizing:

He thought he could dig through asphalt.

He forgot mornings are cold here.

He wanted to live on the other side.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Weather Report Above the Frost Line 11-5-09

I checked the predicted low for tonight, and a tear slid down my cheek. 29 degrees they say.

It could be the last night for my flowers, here above the frost line.

So far all fall I woke every morning to bright colored leaves and flowers blooming. I've had many rose bushes, some nashturtiums, a few butterfly bushes, cleome, chrysanthesums and my star for Ocober and November - the Confederate Rose.

Sometimes the freeze stays away until after Thanksgiving. I dread this night - if it is the night of the hard freeze.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bio - Poet Heather McHugh

Congratulations Heather

Heather McHugh was born in California in 1948 and raised in rural Virginia. She entered Harvard University at the age of 16, where she took a seminar with Robert Lowell and had her first poem published in The New Yorker. “My whole work is to catch the word by surprise, sneaking up on language, sneaking up on the world as it lurks in words,” McHugh said. “I love the recesses of reason. That’s a great place to set my mind at rest.”

Exuding a love of language, wit, and observation, McHugh creates poems that are profoundly intelligent. Through the use of puns, rhymes, and syntactical twists, her work is an ongoing inquiry into the ways language can aid and impede participation in life. “I write because I want to find out what was bothering me . . . I’m not sure what it is that wants to be said, but I’m there to be its scribe,” says McHugh. “Almost always I’ve seen some pattern. Then comes a rocking and a humming. I find language to document that play of patterns in the world.”

In her book The Father of the Predicaments (1999), McHugh takes her cue from Aristotle, who wrote that “the father of the predicaments is being.” The book opens with a long poem about a loved-one dying and the limits of speech: “What did she mean? All I can call upon/is words—unsatisfactory to say/the least—a nomen always aiming/for amen, a pupil meaning/well, pre-emptively.”

McHugh’s honors include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. In 1999 she was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. McHugh is Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle. She frequently teaches as Visiting Professor at the Writers' Workshop in Iowa and has held chairs at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Alabama, and the University of Cincinnati.

Selected Works
Dangers (1977)
A World of Difference (1981)
To the Quick (1987)
Shades (1988)
Hinge & Sign: Poems 1968-1993 (1994)
Broken English: Poetry and Partiality, essays (1993)
The Father of the Predicaments (1999)
Glottal Stop: 101 Poems of Paul Celan, translation with Nikolai Popov (2000)
Cyclops, Euripides, translation (2000)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poet Heather McHugh Wins Mac Arthur Fellowship

Heather McHugh Wins MacArthur Fellowship
reported by DEBORAH
on OCTOBER 1, 2009
Thanks to the blogpoesy galore for the tip.

Nancy Simpson says: Hello Followers. Heather McHugh was the poetry professor I worked with in the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Writing Program.

Congratulations to Heather McHugh for receiving the $500,000. Mac Arthur Fellowship Award. Read more.

Thanks to the blogpoesy galorefor this news. Blogpoesy


"I’m delighted to learn that Heather McHugh, published in 32 Poems, won aMacArthur (aka genius grant) fellowship. The poem we published by McHugh is entitled “Ill-Made Almighty” and was republished in Best American Poetry. I’ve been reading her since a mentor during my college years lent her book to me, and it’s a thrill to have published her and to see her win this life-changing award of $500,000."

From the press release:

This past week, the recipients learned by a phone call out of the blue from the Foundation that they will each receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations and reporting requirements and offer Fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create, and explore. The unusual level of independence afforded to Fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors. The work of MacArthur Fellows knows neither boundaries nor the constraints of age, place, and endeavor.