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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."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Featuring Poet Mary Ricketson in March, Her Birth Month

Mary Ricketson Then and Now

Welcome to LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE to Ms. Mary Ricketson, of Hanging Dog, North Carolina, whose poems will be featured in March 2010, in this her birth month. (Yes, also featured this month is the poetry of N C Poet Ruth Moose. Stay posted.)

One evening I answered my phone and heard the voice of a woman asking about my creative writing class at Tri County Community College. It was Mary Ricketson. She said she had been writing and hoped she might be ready to take my class. I said, "Yes, yes." Mary took the class and I saw that she was already an accomplished writer and poet. A while later some of my students asked if I would teach a workshop on how to get a poetry book published. That was one of the highlights of my teaching career. There were six women in that class that lasted for eight weeks. It was hard work, but the program was designed to guide them in getting their poetry collection published, not self published, but to actually find a publisher who would believe in their poems and finance the publication of their book.

Mary Ricketson and the others where asked to choose a partner to work with for the eight weeks. That meant three people would proof read the proposed manuscript: the author, their partner, and myself the instructor. The poets were also asked to read their entire chapbook while it was recorded on tape. Each got comments from the group and each took their tape home with them. It worked very well for Mary Ricketson and her partner who was Glenda Barrett of Hiawassee, Georgia. A few months latere, both woman called me on the same day, both saying the same thing: "My poetry chapbook has been accepted for publication."

My body knew
before my mind
made thoughts,
before my voice
found words.

Make peace with loss.
make friends with change.

A candle flickers.
Blue light drowns
in its own flame.
Secret shards
of hope surrender.

Let me live
where crystal clear creeks
slither over small rugged rocks,
slide through the smooth,
and rain and tears are welcome
as sunlight and laughter.

Where birth and death
run the same river bed,
I run my life.

by Mary Ricketson
from I Heard the River Call My Name

Do you want to read more? If your comment
is "Yes", there will be more poems by
Mary Ricketson posted here druing the month
of March

Do you want to buy this book? I hope so.

Finishing Line Press
PO Box 1626
Georgetown, Kentucky 40324

or order on line


My Carolina Kitchen said...

Congratulations to Mary. She's one of my favorite poets and a wonderful lady.

Nancy Simpson said...

Thanks for saying so, Sam. More Mary Ricketson poems to come soon.

Peri Lyn Gordon-Flohr said...

Thank you for posting Mary's poem. It really struck a special tone for me. Peri

Nancy Simpson said...

Hello Peri, More Mary Ricketson poems to come.

Also, I want to say I look forward to your visit Easter Weekend.

Glenda Council Beall said...

Mary's poetry is special just as she is.I never tire of hearing her read from I Hear the River Call My Name - what a lovely title for such a fine book.
Mary, do you have another book in the making?