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."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


To all of you who value southern poetry, please consider nominating books you have read and want to honor that were published in 2010.

Readers can nominate a book by listing a book store that is a member of Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance  (SIBA) such as City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

Poetry was dropped from awards last year,  but this year the general public can nominate.  If you care about poetry, please take the time to nominate your favorite poetry book of 2010.


Still Snowbound ...In Paradise

Day Five, still snowed in on the northside of our mountain.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Snow on Christmas Day 2010, in the southern Appalachian Mountains

 Merry Christmas from our house to your house.


Tim sang to me all morning. We burned candles, the new ones and the old ones and the special candle Jeff bought for me a while back. We all sang Silent Night, and I recall that later after we blew out the candles, Tim and I sang "I saw the light, I saw the light..." and Jeremy got great joy because "Light" is the theme of his life.

Jeremy measured the snow and then he took a long walk. In fact, it's 5:07 and he is out walking yet again. Jeremy was supposed to leave going back to Atlanta today but when he came back from his first walk this morning, he came upstairs and said, "Mom, I've decided to stay until tomorrow. It's a white Christmas. How often does that happen?" We could not remember when it has snowed on Christmas here. It's been 37 or more years.

We are snowed in, I'd say. Sorry, we can't get there from here. I'm happy as I can be.  Merry Christmas to all.

Happy Birthday Sasha.

taking his daily walk

(Six and a half inches at 6:30 pm and it is still snowing.)

Friday, December 24, 2010


If like me, you have an abiding interest in all things Appalachian, then SIMPLICITY by Blanche L. Ledford and  Brenda Kay Ledford is a book you will want to buy, read, and keep near on your book shelf.


            Award-winning writers, Blanche L. Ledford and Brenda Kay Ledford, have collaborated a collection of prose and poetry about the culture of Clay County, North Carolina.

            This book coincides with the sesquicentennial celebration of Clay County in 2011. The county was established in 186l.

            At 89, Blanche writes with knowledge about growing up in Clay County during the Great Depression. She recalls planting her vegetable garden by the signs, and wearing sinful red shoes to a mountain church. Her stories about the Blue Ridge Mountains will bring back memories of by-gone days.

            Her daughter, Brenda Kay, is a member of North Carolina Storytelling Guild.  She’s won awards telling stories at the annual Lies & Pies Jamboree held on the square in Hayesville, NC. She’s told stories at the John C. Campbell Folk School, at festivals and when she gives poetry readings throughout the Southeast.

            Brenda writes about her experiences as a native of Clay County. She’s received the Paul Green Award from NC Society of Historians for her poetry chapbooks:  Patchwork Memories, Shew Bird Mountain, and Sacred Fire. She also won the award for collecting oral history on Velma Beam Moore, a prominent citizen of Clay County.

            This book, Simplicity, describes the culture of Clay County, NC honestly and with humor.  It brings the reader back to a slower-paced period, when folks sat on the front porch swapping tales with neighbors, and savored the good sense of a simple lifestyle.


                                                        Brenda Kay Ledford and Blanche L. Ledford

Where I’m From
by Blanche L. Ledford

I am from home-canned jellies,
from Ball jars and Blair food coloring.
I am from a log cabin
tucked away in the Trout Cove.

I am from black-eyed Susans
pulsing in the fields.
I’m from pumpkins and squash
piled in orange and yellow heaps.

I’m from mountain dulcimers,
Granddaddy Shook sawing the fiddle,
clogging in the old red barn.
I’m from moss-covered rocks,

wading Little Brasstown Creek.
I’m from Shady Grove Baptist Church,
Richard Powers leading shape-note songs,
and Daddy planting crops by signs.

I am from the Blue Ridge Mountains,
water-bath canning, jars
of peaches and garden produce
sparkling like jewels in the pantry.

  Simplicity is available at Phillips & Lloyd Book Shop, Hayesville, NC; The Book Nook, Blairsville, GA; The Cherokee County Museum, Murphy, NC, or online:  
http://catawbapublishing.com/bookstore/book/179 for $16.00 per copy.

More info about The Blue Ridge Poet

Monday, December 20, 2010



A few hours after the Full Cold Moon reaches fullness,  the season of Autumn will end. Fall ends and winter begins on December 21, in the year 2010. The Winter Solstice has long been considered a special event, cheered throughout the world, it being natural for humans to celebrate the end of the longest and the darkest night, with a renewed hope for more light in our world. 

A total eclipse of the moon, also being called by some The Christmas Eclipse, will occur on December 21.  If you are willing to stay up late or to rise early, it is possible you will view the eclipse.  It will be the first time since 1993 that a total eclipse can be seen all across the United States, throughout North America, including Hawaii and Alaska.   This eclipse will be even more visible throughout most of eastern Asia, Australia, the Pacific Ocean, (Hawaii and Alaska,) and including both North and South America and Europe.
The eclipse will be visible after midnight, Eastern Standard Time on December 21 in North and South America and will be almost directly overhead.  
This December, 2010,  eclipse will be the first total lunar eclipse to occur on a fourth full moon in a season, on the day of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere since 1638.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Solo Cafe Issues 8 & 9: Teachers & Students

Solo Press
Publisher, Glenna Luschei
Guest Editor, Lenard D. Moore
Laura Boss * John Bradley * Earl Sherman Braggs * Sally Buckner * George Burns * Mary Ann Cain * Alvaro Cardona-Hine * Kelly Cherry * Joseph Gastiger * Ray Gonzalez * Michael S. Harper * Shayla Hawkins * George Kalamaras * Patrick Lawler * Carol Lem * Gerald Locklin * Perie Longo * Kevin Lucia * Teddy Macker * * Michael McFee * Karen McKinnon * Maria Melendez * Susan Meyers * Lenard D. Moore * Terre Ouwehand * Randy W. Pait * David Rigsbee * Nancy Simpson * Barry Spacks * Shelby Stephenson * Lamont Steptoe * Gina Streaty * John Tritica * Jerry W. Ward, Jr. * Bruce Weigl * Mel Weisburd * Jackson Wheeler * Carolyn Beard Whitlow 
Congratulations to the editors of Solo Cafe on the publication of this new double issue of poems, essays, and reviews pertaining to the theme of teachers and students. 

Copies of the journal are available through Solo Press at this address: Solo Press, 5146 Foothill Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013 or berrypress@aol.com.
copied from post Posted by Susan Meyers 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Best Buy for Literate Person on your List --NOT A COOK BOOK but filled with delicious soul food

 DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY: Fifty Years of Southern Poetry Review

Southern Poetry Review has been so much a part of so many poets' lives over the past 50 years that it's hard to imagine the universe without it. When I was a student in the MFA program at UNC-G in the '60s, I was introduced to the journal and to its founder Guy Owen. Owen was an instructor in the program for one semester while I was there.

After his death, SPR, as we called it, moved to Charlotte for several years and then down to Savannah's Armstrong Atlantic State University, where a friend of mine and native western North Carolinian, James Smith, became Associate editor. Now, as editor of the new anthology Don't Leave Hungry, celebrating 50 years of Southern Poetry Review, he gathers this peripatetic history together in his masterful introduction. His first paragraph makes Owen's commitment to poetry, and SPR's ongoing adherence to it, clear: In many journals, and certainly in major magazines that bother at all, as Owen notes, poems are “filler,” not “the main course.” A Journal Dedicated to Poetry: that’s the logo the current editors gave SPR, and we like to think its founder would approve. For us, talking about Guy Owen is a way of talking about Southern Poetry Review.

No doubt about it, DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY: Fifty Years of Southern Poetry review, recently published by the University of Arkansas Press, makes an immediate impression on anyone who comes within a few feet of the book. Its cover design is composed of a Mark Rothko painting, Untitled, from 1953, Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Its title, too, surprises the eye. This is a poetry anthology? Not a cookbook? When you read the title poem, by Eleanor Ross Taylor, you will understand that this anthology offers nothing less than an invitation to feast on the art of poetry. James Smith, again, from his Introduction: Our anthology’s title derives from a poem in it by Eleanor Ross Taylor, a southern poet undervalued for years. I was delighted to find “Don’t Leave Hungry” as I read through SPR’s archives, selecting poems for this book. Not only is it strange and marvelous (that word again!) in its own right, but its commanding title has a “southern” ring to it that would satisfy Owen. Taylor’s niece, Heather Ross Miller, also in the anthology and a former staff member, described Owen as “always encouraging us and welcoming us toward that table where so many crowd and so few get fed.” Miller speaks of writers here and their desire for publication, but Owen also offered his journal as a table where he hoped readers would crowd and find plenty to feed them, no needto leave hungry.

(Eleanor Ross Taylor)

What else by way of enticement? Well, there's a foreword by Billy Collins. And dust jacket testimonials by Jane Hirschfield and Lee Smith, who says "No reader will leave this harvest table hungry--here is nourishment for all. ...These poems epitomize their eras yet move beyond, rise beyond as poetry always does, capturing time and place and lived life in a way no other art can manage."

And now for the "main course," as Guy Owen called them, arranged and introduced by decade, with Smith's usual clarity of style and presentation! As the dust jacket notes, this anthology "charts the development of this influential journal decade by decade, making clear that although it has close ties to a particular region, it has consistently maintained a national scope, publishing poets from all over the United States. SPR’s goal has been to celebrate the poem above all, so although there are poems by major poets here, there are many gems by less famous, perhaps even obscure, writers too. Here are 183 poems by nearly as many poets, from A. R. Ammons, Kathryn Stripling Byer, James Dickey, Mark Doty, Claudia Emerson, David Ignatow, and Carolyn Kizer to Ted Kooser, Maxine Kumin, Denise Levertov, Howard Nemerov, Sharon Olds, Linda Pastan, and Charles Wright."

But wait--why rush through a feast? In this first week of National Poetry Month, let's sit back and anticipate what waits for us tomorrow, several poems from this beautiful and generous anthology. And because these few poems I offer will, I hope, serve to whet the appetite for more, here is the publication information and a link to the University of Arkansas Press. (Copied article written by Kathryn Stripling Byer April 1, 2009.) 
Want to buy a copy? click on University of Arkansas Press URL


The Poets Guide To The Birds

edited by Judith Kitchen and Ted Kooser
The painter, Walter Inglis Anderson, once said that birds are the holes in the sky through which we can see God, and I think that many of us look upon birds with the kind of awe and wonder Anderson's statement suggests. And, sometimes, poems about birds are better than seeing the birds themselves. Judith Kitchen and I, like enthusiastic birdwatchers, here point our fingers toward poems that might otherwise go unnoticed amidst the dense foliage of contemporary poetry. We hope our readers will enjoy this book just half as much as if they'd actually seen all the birds these poems represent.

— Ted Kooser

Janice Townley Moore reading 
at Coffee With the Poets 
in Hayesville,NC, March 2009.

Visit the Anhinga Press website to read an introduction or to buy the book.
An anthology of poems. . . A dissimulation of birds
Poems by...
Betty Adcock, Kim Addonizio, Sandra Alcosser, Pamela Alexander, Linda Allardt, Christianne Balk, Rick Barot, Bruce Bennett, Boyd Benson, Wendell Berry, Linda Bierds, David Biespiel, Wendy Bishop, Ralph Black, Bruce Bond, Philip Booth, Marianne Boruch, David Bottoms, John Brehm, Geoffrey Brock, Van K. Brock, Fleda Brown, Rick Campbell, Hayden Carruth, Robert Cording, Stephen Corey, Deborah Cummins, Robert Dana, Philip Deaver, Madeline DeFrees, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Wayne Dodd, Stephen Dunn, John Engels, David Allan Evans, Amy Fleury, Richard Foerster, Chris Forhan, Erica Funkhouser, Tess Gallagher, Brendan Galvin, George Garrett, Frank Gaspar, Dan Gerber, Nancy Geyer, Kevin Goodan, Sally Green, Samuel Green, Jonathan Greene, Eamon Grennan, Pamela Gross, John Haines, Barbara Hamby, Michael S. Harper, Jeffrey Harrison, Jim Harrison, Lola Haskins, Robert Hedin, William Heyen, Jane Hirshfield, Jonathan Holden, David Huddle, Holly Hughes, Harry Humes, M.J. Iuppa, Gray Jacobik, Eve Joseph, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Robert Kinsley, Patricia Kirkpatrick, William Kloefkorn, C.L. Knight, Ted Kooser, Stephen Kuusisto, Steve Lautermilch, Donna Long, Denise Low, Peter Makuck, Jeff Daniel Marion, Dionisio Martinez, Dan Masterson, Jo McDougall, James McKean, Molly McQuade, W.S. Merwin, Lawrence Millman, Judson Mitcham, Janice Townley Moore, Jim Moore, Robert Morgan, Leonard Nathan, Duane Niatum, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ed Ochester, Carole Oles, William Olsen, Eric Pankey, Linda Pastan, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Jim Peterson, Carl Phillips, Stanley Plumly, John Poch, Joshua Poteat, Lawrence Raab, Keith Ratzlaff, James Richardson, Pattiann Rogers, Stan Sanvel Rubin, Marjorie Saiser, Peter Schmitt, Grace Schulman, Gary Short, Peggy Shumaker, Charles Simic, Nancy Simpson, R.T. Smith, William Jay Smith, Barry Spacks, Matthew J. Spireng, A.E. Stallings, Timothy Steele, Joseph Stroud, Julie Suk, Daniel Tobin, Natasha Trethewey, David Wagoner, Kathleen Wakefield, Ronald Wallace, Donovan L. Welch, William Wenthe, Tarn Wilson, Charles Wright, Robert Wrigley, Paul Zimmer, Lisa Zimmerman.
Want to buy a copy? Click on Anhinga Press URL Below

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow in the Southern Appalachian Mountains Dec. 12 & 13, 2010

Snow at day break and  more snow during the afternoon.
8:06 p.m. It is still snowing.  My question always seems
to be -- why does snow cover the road first? You know I
often say, "You can get here from there." But, not now.
Stay where you are and stay warm and safe.

More snow all night long. I looked out and saw
horizontal snow.  December 13, 2010, its cold
and still snowing

Monday afternoon, it's clear and cold. 7 degrees predicted tonight.  Stay warm.


WRITERS MARKET is a necessary tool. Sooner or later every writer must sit down  and do the research necessary to get writing published in the correct place.  A lot of postage is wasted when writers send their poems, stories, and essays to the first publication they hear of or think about.  Check out Writers Market at the local library you say.  That is not always possible here in the heart of Appalachia. The local library in my town does not have Writers Market.

I do not work for Amazon.com. They pay me nothing.  Poets and Writers pay me nothing. Some of you know I care about writers and have given my time and energy to the writing community. In my December blog, I've offered some suggestions for buying books for your loved ones.  If you have a writer on your list, you might consider buying them a dictionary or printer's ink or copy paper, or a copy of the most recent Writers Market in their genre of writing. There is the thick book that covers all and the smaller books that zero in on Poets Market for Children's Writing and Illustrators, or for Poetry or Christian Writers or Novel and Short Story.

Want to buy Writers Market for yourself or for a writer on your list?  click on red URL below.


Friday, December 10, 2010

PATERNITY by Scott Owens, Another Book for Your Christmas Shopping List

Poems from Paternity by Scott Owens
The Word for What Only
4-Year Olds Can See

Today my daughter made up a word,
effluctress, to explain why I couldn't see
the rainbow bird outside the window.
Effluctress, she says, are things
that can only be seen by 4-year olds,
soda trees, people with wings,
trains that turn into trucks and drive away.
Not the first words she has made up,
for sure, but the first to contradict
what the world tells her can't be,
dragons and dinosaurs, blueberry towns,
her grandma sitting beside her.

How to Make Okra
Fill left side of sink
with warm water. Toss in
measuring cup, funnel, favorite
spoon. Surround with towels.
Carefully set baby in water.
With hands suddenly free,
think of sitting down,
having a beer. Do neither.
Move quickly. Wash
okra in right side of sink.
Take out cutting board and knife.
Cut off tips and place
in bucket for compost.
Slice into knuckle-
sized pieces. Roll in egg,
cornmeal, salt and pepper.
Drop in hot oil until golden.
Control impatience, anger,
childhood memories, all the while
singing I-N-G-O, I-N-G-O,
stamping feet instead of clapping.

Paternity can be ordered from  
Mr. Owens at asowens1@yahoo.com or from www.mainstreetrag.com.

Monday, December 6, 2010


NAMING THE CONSTELLATIONS New Poems by John Thomas York is at the top of my list of  recommended books you will want to put on your shopping list. This is a book that will please any reader.  I can guarantee that the men on your list will like these poems.  Three specific men who read and raved about these poems are: Fred Chappell, Mark Smith-Soto and Al Maginnes. Their endorcements from the back cover of the book are reprinted below. The book has 36 pages and was published at Spring Street Editions, Sylva, NC in collaboration with Ash Creek Press, Portland, OR. 

There were a number of poems I liked. The publisher said I could choose one to reprint. That was not easy for me. I liked
"The Gift" his mother poem and "Puzzle" his father poem. The title poem, "Naming the Constellations" is excellent. I liked many but finally chose " The Loon." It is reprinted for you.

The Loon

  When full the reservoir is 10-feet deep and contains 18,000,000
gallons of water. This deluge of liquid is kept within bounds by an
exterior wall of reinforced concrete. . .A division wall divides the
basin into two sections, so that one section may be drained for repairs
without impairing service.
– Greensboro Daily News, August 4, 1929
Before the city covered the Lake Daniel Reservoir,
before they erected a concrete
roof and filled in most of the other half,
leaving a grassy yard and a pond for the geese,
I enjoyed walking the road around the impoundment:
standing outside the chain-link fence,
I could feel the water’s weight as the beast
heaved against the walls of the pool,
the water lapping against the sides and the wall
across the middle, the animal
sighing, rippling its skin, as it rubbed against its cage.
One day, when the water was quiet, full of clouds, leafing
hardwoods, dogwood and locust blossom,
I saw a loon swimming--the Great Northern Diver!
breaking the surface in places unexpected,
staying under, staying under, like something
I wanted to say, something that refused
to come at my calling,
until, there it was, splashing-flapping-running
over the surface: but it stopped in a hush,
stymied by the wall across the middle
and the circle of chain link—topped by rows
of rusty barbs, where sparrows and finches
chirped about their business, gathering
and going as they pleased.
And I saw the loon’s peril,
this bird caught in a concrete trap, a reservoir
in a southern city, far from the lakes of the North Woods,
the White Mountains, the Adirondacks,
a pool that looked fine from a distance,
full of cloud and tree shadow—
Maybe the loon—this bird unafraid
of foraging 100 feet below
the surface, enduring enormous pressure,
this migrant flying high and fast, all the way
from Walden Pond to the Gulf Coast
and back again before summer, proclaiming its presence
during mating season with the crooning and laughter
of a maniac, but otherwise given to long bouts of silence,
small wings and feet way back built for propelling,
making the bird a stumblebum on the common shore—
maybe the loon was a failed poet,
the reincarnation of one who disregarded his muse,
a writer too lazy to leave his pond, the wavering reflections,
too timid to go below the surface and, therefore,
condemned to rebirth as a loon,
a squid, a sperm whale, many lives, many
years, before he could pick up a pencil and try again.
I don’t know if the loon escaped Lake Daniel Reservoir:
after two days of heavy rain, the bird was gone.
Maybe it died and went down a drain,
the loon sucked into our drinking water,
strained and purified, until a loony essence
rushed from our taps, giving the whole city
a fleeting hunger for crawdads,
grasshoppers, trout, mackerel, perch;
an inexplicable desire to turn off TVs and computers
and pick up Hamlet, The Waste Land,
or Dickinson’s Collected Poems,
(or maybe even The Spoon River Anthology,
“Invictus,” or The Weary Blues”);
or an urge to snatch legal pads and write sonnets,
prose poems, terza rima, villanelles,
or to sit by the banks of Lake Brandt
and wait for the flights of eagles, cloud bursts,
or a single haiku, chiming at moonrise.
But I’d like to think that the heavy rain
raised the water level, or somebody at the waterworks
turned a wheel and filled the reservoir until the wall
across the middle disappeared: I hope the loon,
taking a careful measure of things, found the right angle,
enough room for a run for the sky, the bird
leaving nothing but a silver wake, the long signature of persistence.

--by John Thomas York

(Critical Comment from the back cover)
Fred Chappell writes: "These Poems by John Thomas York recall to vivid life a mode of existence that has well nigh disappeared. His pliant lyricism is born from a deep love of country things, county people  and the country itself in the widest meaning of that term.  It is a country the poet says he did not return to, "for the land lives in me, the kingdom come." That's true--and what a grand kingdom it is!"

Mark Smith-Soto writes: "Ever mindful of natural wonders, rooted in the realities of a country boyhood whose shaping influence resounds through every line, and suffused with a melancholy that is never morbid or self-pitying, this little book contains more real poetry than most full-length volumes I have read of late. Naming the Constellations offers rare gifts: the cadence of a voice that never tires the ear, and the eye of a man accustomed to seeing the glow around common things."

Al Maginnes writes: "While the poems of Naming the Constellations have their feet firmly planted "between young corn and shining gravel," they are always gazing beyond, to "the Big Dipper's cup, over to Polaris, the penny nail on which the Little Dipper swings." These poems, while rooted in their narrator's rural upbringing, also "dream through the years," so they are simultaneously elegy and celebration. This is a strong collection that will reward many readings."

Click to buy this book at CITY LIGHTS BOOKSTORE.



Watching a t.v. commercial last Sunday that was selling "the Christmas Car," I felt hit up-side-the-head. The main point the advertiser made on the CBS SUNDAY MORNING ad was don't give your loved one books, not even if they're a book club friend. DON'T GIVE BOOKS?   You've never seen this woman move so fast, yanking the t.v. plug right out of the wall.

Buy books, I say. They make the best gifts of all. I caught myself pulling books off my bookshelf that I had received as gifts from family and friends through the years.  Many cars have been driven into the ground and are long gone to the junk yard.  I still have these books and the hand script messages they carry:

The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens "For my dear Mom, Love always, Jeremy Christmas 1981."  The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry "For Nancy, for the care taking of the summer of '81. A lifetime of poetry. But no Hugo! Alas. Thanks, thanks, thanks."  Voices From Home edited by Richard Krawiec "to Nancy, my friend, Without your friendship many wonderful things would not have happened including this book. Love, Lynn Drew." The Language of Life A Festival of Poets Edited by Bill Moyer, "for Our Very Dear Friend Poet Nancy Simpson , Doris and Bill, January 1996. " Judith Kitchen's The House on Eccles Road, "for Nancy_May this find you happy & healthy - in friendship, admiration, love to think of you on your mountain! Judith. 12-5-02." Stan Sanvel Rubin's HIDDEN SEQUEL "For Nancy, with wonderful memories - the kind that sustain life! - and warm expectations and with love, Stan Dec. 12, 2006 Happy Birthday!

I could go on, but instead of naming books on my bookshelf, I  will make suggestions of books you might want to give as a gift to someone this holiday season.   Or maybe you should say to your loved one, "There are some books I would like to have. Here is the list. " Looking back, I am certain that is how my son Jeremy came to buy me a copy of The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens.  He was too young to get this book delivered to heart of Appalachia back in 1981 without some help from an adult. Now that I think back, I got quite a few of the books on my list that year.  And there was no Amazon.com then.

Books are the easiest gift to buy these days. Amazon.com, if you wish. You can find every book there. Amazon.com  even carries both of my books published this year, but I recommend your  local book store first. If they have the book you are looking for, you can save postage because postage has already been paid by the bookstore. If ordering, you can go straight from the publisher and may get a discount.

Here is another thing you might not have thought about. I know it to be true. Men like getting books as gifts. They especially like it if the book has a personal inscription from you in the front. He might like a car, but trust me, he would want to choose his own car. What would surprise and delight  him would be a book you choose and the message you write to him.

Posted by Nancy Simpson

Watch for newly published books to add to your gift giving list.

Saturday, December 4, 2010






This is not poetry, I'm sure you know.  But, I will bring you to poetry if given the slightest chance.

This is simply, as Wallace Stevens has said, the triumph of the mighty imagination, and I would add the triumph of imagination for me on this dreary day in the southern Appalachian mountains, made possible by my computer and my i Photo.

A major poet I studied, one who greatly influenced me, is Wallace Stevens, who wrote: "We never arrive intellectually. But emotionally we arrive constantly (as in poetry, happiness, high mountains, vistas.)" from "Adagia" by Wallace Stevens.

Puella Parvula by Wallace Stevens

Every thread of summer is at last unwoven.
By one caterpillar is great Africa devoured
And Gibraltar is dissolved like spit in the wind.

But over the wind, over the legends of its roaring,
The elephant on the roof and its elephantine blaring,
The bloody lion in the yard at night or ready to spring

From the clouds in the midst of trembling trees
Making a great gnashing, over the water wallows
Of a vacant sea declaiming with wide throat,

Over all these things the mighty imagination triumphs
Like a trumpet and says, in this season of memory,
When leaves fall like things mournful of the past,

Keep quite in the heart, O wild bitch, O mind
Gone wild, be what  he tells you to be: Puella.
Write pax across the window pane. And then

Be still. The summarium in excelsis begins...
Flame, sound, fury, composed ... Hear what he says,
The dauntless master, as he starts the human tale.

Poem by Wallace Stevens. (Do not copy)

Do let "the mighty imagination"triumph.

post by Nancy Simpson