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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, 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

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