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, July 25, 2010

HE WOKE ME LAST NIGHT - That handsome Full Buck Moon.

I went outside in my bare feet to see his handsome face. This full moon is named for the time when the buck gets his antlers.

This full moon is also called the Full Thunder Moon. At sunset, it is boom, boom here in the southern Appalachians.

You still have a chance to see the full moon later tonight. Don't miss seeing it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE - New and Selected Poems by Nancy Simpson

Nancy! What a beautiful cover! What a momentous occasion! I am looking forward to your signing, and to reading the book!




Please come to Phillips and Lloyd Book Store on the square

in Hayesville on Saturday August 7th, 2010 for

my book signing 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Refreshments will be served. http://www.nancysimpson.blogspot.com

New and Selected Poems by Nancy Simpson

is hot off the press. It is the Carolina Wren Press
first book in their new Laureate Series.

Celebrate with poet Nancy Simpson at
Phillips and Lloyd Book Store in the town square
in Hayesville on August 7th, 2010 -
Saturday, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Writers from the Southern Appalachian Mountains

writers from
the Southern
of a new
of stories,
essays, and

Edited by
Nancy Simpson

Introduction by
Robert Morgan.

Philip Sampson of Blairsville, GA made the photograph.

Katja Holmes of Atlanta formatted the book and designed the cover.

Steven Harvey, professor of English at Young Harris College and author of three books of personal essays, generously offered use of his work for the anthology. Kathryn Stripling Byer, former N.C. Poet Laureate, and Bettie M. Sellers, former Georgia Poet Laureate also donated three poems each.

Thomas Rain Crowe of the Tuckasegee community in western North Carolina, author of twenty books of original works, anthologies, and recordings also offered his essay, "Triple Negatives: Losing A Language."

Gary Carden, renowned playwright and story teller from Sylva, NC donated the proceeds from a special production of his play, "Birdell," to NCWN West to help with costs involved in publishing Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. Two of Carden’s stories appear in the book.

The anthology is dedicated to the memory of our Appalachian ballad poet Byron Herbert Reece. Two of his poems are included.

Questions and Answers:

How can I buy a copy?

Check your local bookstores in these North Carolina
counties: Cherokee County, Curiosity Book Store in Murphy

Clay County, Phillips and Lloyd Book Store on the square in Hayesville,
Jackson, City Lights Book Store and

Blairsville, Georgia, The Book Nook.

Copies may also be sold in bookstores in Haywood,
Henderson, Macon, Swain, Transylvania and on Qualla Boundary

or order on line at ncwriters.org.

How much does it cost?


How can I get my contributor's copy?

Contact your N.C.W.N. West representative listed at top NCWN West site to get your

or get your contributor's copy at one of the anthology celebrations. Ask your
NCWN West Rep. for book signings and celebration information in your county.

The big party is scheduled at City Lights Book Store, Sylva, North Carolina,
August 8, 2010, 5:00 pm. Jackson County members and Kathryn Stripling Byer,
NCWN West's Program Coordinator will host the event.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Revised July 31, 2010 - important updated info.

Dana Wildsmith will be the instructor for this class,
not Nancy Simpson, as first listed.

Do you write short fiction, personal essays, or poetry? The important question is - What's In Your Writing Folder?

Come spend one week writing at the John C. Campbell Folk School during the specific week of August 22, 2010.

WRITING: WHAT’S IN YOUR WRITING FOLDER? Nancy Simpson, Writing Instructor.

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.

Each student will have time to work on an individual writing project, such as to assemble a collection of poems, essays or stories for publication. A list of magazines and chapbook and book presses will be given.

Tuition: $474.00

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

Preregister at 1 800 FOLK-SCH

You will be asked to bring a sample of your writing to read to the class as a way of introducing yourself. The class begins on Sunday and ends at noon on Friday.


Each student will have 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.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Writer Richard Argo

Richard Argo
Feb.21, 1944 - July 8, 2010

My friend and fellow writer Richard Argo died at his home in the Hanging Dog Community of Cherokee County,
North Carolina. I miss him.

Many knew Richard Argo as a fiction writer. Two of his most recent stories are included in the newly published anthology Echoes Across the Blue Ridge Stories, Essays, And Poems By Writers Living In And Inspired By The Southern Appalachian Mountains, (2010) Also one of his best published work was a personal essay included in LIGHTS IN THE MOUNTAINS (Winding Path Publishing 2003) "Climbing Mountains" about his 720 mile bicycle ride from Murphy to Manteo in October, 1999.

Recently, Richard began writing poems, and he came to Coffee With the Poet in Hayesville to share his work. This prose poem, which I first heard him read at Coffee With the Poets, titled "Ode to Rock and Roll" won him first place in The Senior Games (2009).

Ode to Rock and Roll

On a cool morning I helped my friend Bob collect rocks for his garden. We drove his pick-up to a rain-rutted road off the highway and rode a quarter mile, sheer wall on one side, sheer drop on the other, to the top of a mountain.

First we huffed and hefted, stumbled and cursed the two-man rocks. Then we hugged the one-man rocks to our chests like teddy bears. Finally, we filled the gaps with one-hand rocks until the bed sagged as if the truck would tip up on its tailgate.

No room to turn around, Bob, eyes flitting side-mirror to side-mirror, backed the truck down that rutted road. The radio blared rock-and-roll, blared the Rolling Stones. Oh, children. It’s just a kiss away, kiss away, kiss away.

I knew what the song said. The precipice is a kiss away. Death is a kiss away. It’s always just a kiss away. In the seat, eyes closed, dust and sweat coated my arms and chest, seatbelt flapped against my shoulder, I smiled. Oh, children. I was not afraid.

--Richard Argo

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Family Remembers Jeff T. Brantley on the Anniversry of his Passing

We Miss Jeffery Taylor Brantley. We Remember Him Every Day, Especially Today, July 8, 2010, three years after his passing.

In May, around Mother's Day our family dedicated a new memorial site to Jeff at the edge of the house near the woods. It was necessary because the the family no longer owns the property where his ashes were scattered. Dot's son sold her house and the spring branch area. It was his to sell. We are okay with this. Life must go on.

Jeff asked that his ashes be scattered near the spring branch where he played as a boy. He asked for a large rock to be place there so his daughter could find the place.

The new site is special because it is nearby, and the huge rock there was placed there by Jeff himself a long time ago when he was helping his mother do some gardening.

During Jeff's hospice, his mother and brothers often went there to talk. His mother called it her "grieving place." This place was dedicated by his mother and a close family friend, Peri Gordon Flohr, in a special ceremony. It is visited by loved ones regularly. It is surely a special place.

Flowers were planted by Tim and Jeremy Brantley Mother's Day weekend. The moon globe was placed by Lynn Hamilton Rutherford and brought by her up from the original memorial site. Peri Gordon Flohr placed a cup of ripe blackberries on the top of the rock.

Stargazer Lilies, planted by his mother from first memorial still bloom each year.

Jeff's daughter, Sarah Michelle Brantley.

Jeff's granddaughter, Savannah Taylor Stell, named Taylor for her grandfather. Note sunglasses.

Jeremy Quoc Phong Brantley, Jeff's brother and official Hospice Nurse.

Friend,Peri Gordon Flour who dedicated the memorial and Jeff's brother Tim Brantley.

Nugget, Jeff's dog.

Cousins Lynn Hamilton Rutherford and her daughter Ali Rutherford.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

W.S. Merwin U S Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Poet

Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin - Want to Read Him?

Copper Canyon Press
Congratulations to W.S. Merwin,
Poet Laureate of the United States.

On July 1, 2010, the Library of Congress appointed W.S. Merwin Poet Laureate. Copper Canyon Press is honored to publish his poetry, prose, and translations, including his most recent volume of poems, The Shadow of Sirius, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Please join us in congratulating W.S. Merwin.