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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."

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Important Info for Practicing Poets

Georgia poet Barbara Groce, student in YOUR POETRY: Journey Into the Interior, taught April 12-17, 2009 at John C. Campbell Folk School

PRACTICING POETS read poetry. They study poetry. A poet never stops seeking to learn more about how poems are made.

PRACTICING POETS seek feedback from others, asking them to read a poem and tell what they think. It might be helpful to ask a husband or wife or sister or brother, but not always. It is most helpful is to get comments from another poet. Poets often participate in a monthly critique group. In a poetry critique group the poet presents copies of a poem, gets a close reading and receives professional, constructive comments. And yes, practicing poets sign up and pay for advanced poetry writing classes, even after they have begun to publish poems. Some enter M.F.A. Writing programs, go to conferences or take weekly classes. Mainly the poet hopes to gain inspiration or hopes to find the path for advancing their poetry writing career.

PRACTICING POETS, not usually at the beginning but eventually, will submit their poems to magazines for publication. Information on how and where to send poems is often discussed in workshops and in writing classes.


For about 15 years, I’ve been scheduling the writing classes for John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. It is part of my responsibility as Resident Writer. J.C.C.F.S. is an 85 year old art and craft school located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. We’ve been limited each year to three poetry classes, but this year, 2010 something amazing will happen. Eight Poetry writing classes will be offered. This is the new information that I am trying to tell all poets. Eight poetry classes. Please help spread the word.

The writing studio allows for only eight students, the perfect number. I’m telling you so that you will know the classes fill quickly.

Students come from all over America. Classes are held for one week. Usually, on Thursday afternoon, the instructor and students present a reading of poems to the others. On Friday a school wide exhibit is held where students show samples of poems they wrote or revised during the week.

All of the poetry instructors for the 2010 classes are nationally known, published, practicing poets with information to help you advance your own poetry writing career.

Here are eight poetry writing classes to be taught in 2010.

YOUR POETRY AND YOUR LIFE WORLD, January 17-22, 2010, taught by Gene Hirsch. ( Sorry if you missed it.) He will teach again in October, 2010.

YOUR POETRY: JOURNEY INTO THE INTERIOR, May 23-28, 2010, will be taught by Nancy Simpson, who has three collections of published poetry. Publication will be discussed and a list of markets will be given.

POETRY WRITING: FROM JOURNALING TO PUBLISHING IN JOURNALS, June 13-19, 2010, will be taught by Eric Nelson, who teaches at Georgia Southern University. He has had three collections of poetry published.

HARNESSING THE POWER OF WORDS, August 15-21, 2010, will be taught by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer. This is a mixed genre class, but note that the instructor is a professional poet with three books of poetry in print.

WHAT’S IN YOUR WRITING FOLDER? August 22 - 27, 2010, will be taught by Nancy Simpson. This is a mixed genre class, but note that the instructor holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry, has taught writing for more than 30 years, and she is the author of three collections of poetry.

ROBERT BURNS and “a” that: WRITING FROM THE HEART, Sept. 5-11, 2010, will be taught by poet Maureen Ryan Griffin, who has “a passion for words” and will “renew your love for language.” This mixed genre class will jump-start your writing project whether essay, fiction or poetry. School wide, Scottish Heritage Week.

PATTERNS OF WORLD POETRY, Sept. 26- Oct. 1, 2010, will be taught by Robin Behn who is Director of the M.F.A. Writing Program at the University of Alabama.

LIVING YOUR POETRY, Oct. 10 - 16, 2010, will be taught by Gene Hirsch. He has taught poetry widely among poets and health care professionals.

Eight Poetry Writing Classes this year! Amazing. But is it a trend? I cannot say yes to that, as much as I would like to see it happen. The writing program, specifically future poetry classes will depend on if students sign up for the classes. Please help spread the word.

Thanks. Meanwhile, Keep writing poems.

--Nancy Simpson

The Poet Tree at John C. Campbell Folk School.

Karen Paul Holmes, standing under the Poet Tree, was a student in YOUR POETRY: Journey Into the Interior, taught April 12-17, 2009 at John C. Campbell Folk School. She has new poems forthcoming in Echoes Across the Blue Ridge: Stories, Essays, and Poems by Writers Living in and Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains and in Atlanta Review and Poetry East.

If you want to read the full class descriptions, click here: www.folkschool.org/index.php?section=subjects&subject_id=47

More info: 1 800 FOLK SCH www.folkschool.org


My Carolina Kitchen said...

Eight poetry classes. That's wonderful Nancy. The success and number of these classes offered has much to do with you and your inspiration.

glenda said...

Great post, Nancy. I will certainly spread the word. Eight poetry classes!
Of the instructors I know, all are inspiring and will motivate the student in ways that get the poetic juices flowing.
As you say, even those of us who have published poetry benefit every time we take another class. I hope all the classes fill for 2010.

karenh said...

I highly recommend the classes and the Folk School experience.