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."

Friday, September 24, 2010

TIME TO CELEBRATE - An Invitation for You

The words, "Living Above the Frost Line", mean much to me.  Yes, that's the name of this site and yes, also the name of my new poetry collection.  Living Above the Frost Line means the growing season lasts a little longer and it gives extended time to grow as a human and a little more time to grow poems.

The image in this photograph says that roses bloom until the hard freeze.  Even if every tree in the forest has shed all of their leaves, this rose will bloom until the hard freeze.

It took some extra time.  My book  LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE: New and Selected Poems  was published Carolina Wren Press. It’s the first book in their new Laureate Series.

Copies of LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE can be bought at: 

The Book Nook, Blairsville, Georgia
Carolina Wren Press, Durham, NC
City Lights Book Store,  Sylva, NC
Craft Shop at John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC
Malaprops Book Store,  Asheville, NC
Phillips and lloyd Book Shop, Hayesville, NC

And finally it’s time to seriously celebrate. Possibly you thought the publication already has been celebrated. It’s true a number of you bought a copy when the first copies arrived at the end of July.  I remember each one of you who came to that book signing at Phillips and Lloyd Book Shop on the square.  Thank you for buying my book.  Now, I hope you will plan to help me celebrate.

Oct.13, 2010 - 10:30 a.m.  Coffee With the Poets, Phillips and Lloyd Book Shop on the square in Hayesville. This will be my first reading of only poems from LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE
Oct. 17, 2010 - 2:00 p.m. City Lights Book Store in Sylva, NC will host a reception for me to celebrate the publication of the book,  with food and drink, with a reading of only poems from LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE and a book signing. 
November 4, 2010 - 4:45 p.m. John C. Campbell Folk School will host a community reception to celebrate the publication of LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE with refreshments, also with the reading of some poems from the collection.
You’re not expected to come to all of these events, for sure, but please do come to any and all you choose. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Hello Friends of Poetry, I am still flying high, still speaking the praises of our "Writers Living In And Inspired By the Southern Appalachian Mountains" whose fine poems were recently published in the anthology ECHOES ACROSS THE BLUE RIDGE. The soaring of my spirit comes I suspect from the many parties and public readings of some of the work in the book.

As the editor, I heard these poems in my mind over and over as I worked to position them in the most perfect place in the manuscript. But recently I've heard some of the poems read aloud in public at some of the book stores that feature and promote the anthology such as City Lights in Sylva, Twice Upon a Time in Murphy, and last Saturday in Blairsville, Georgia at The Book Nook. I've had the privilege of hearing some of the poems read by their authors, and I am overwhelmed. Maybe it is only the champagne going to my head. No, I don't think that at all. These are accomplished poems written by practicing poets. Enjoy:

NEIGHBOR LADY by Rosemary Royston

She has made them beds.
Beds of hay sporadically placed
in the ragged green pasture.
Pallets, really. Some say

she once lived north of here
had a high falutin', high payin' job.
Now she wears yellow rubber gloves,
like the ones I wear to clean the bathroom,

and there's a turban of sorts on her head.
They say she's the richest lady in the county.
Sometimes on a soft summer's night
I see her truck on the property line

and in the air I can feel her presence
as she soothes those she loves so much.
She has spoken to me once: One cow
is worth ten good neighbors.

by Rosemary Royston

Rosemary Royston lives in northeast Georgia, is a vice president at Young Harris College, and teaches at Young Harris College's Institute of Continuing Education and will teach in 2011 at John C. Campbell Folk School. She is a recent graduate of the Spalding University MFA Writing Program with poems published in The Comstock Review, Main Street Rag and in other literary magazines.

To say that Bettie M. Sellers read her famous poem "Complaint to Beatelgeuse" at The Book Nook last Saturday would be incorrect. In a spellbinding performance, she recited the poem from memory.

Complaint to Betelgeuse

I used to know that stars were stars
and stayed wherever in that distance place
their ordered orbit was. The sky
was snug with Cassiopeia's chair,
and night had big and little bears to hunt.

Then, winking moving lights began to stitch
an arch from Sunset Ridge to Raven Cliffs--
planes from Birmingham and points beyond
with travelers drowsing past sleeping hills
folded like dark velvet, with ribbons wound
for lake and stream, silver in reflected light.

Now, satellites invade the ridge--
the star I thought was Venus rising
keeps on rising out of sight
to bring the morning's news--and wars
are instantaneously played on beams
that tear Orion's belt, divide Andromeda.

Bettie M. Sellers is Georgia's most honored living poet. Governor Zel Miller appointed her as Georgia's Poet Laureate in 1997, and she served until 2000.

I also had an opportunity to hear Maren O. Mitchell read her poem which is included in the Echoes Across the Blue Ridge anthology.


Years I yearned for you.
Last night you arrived: shadow
displacing security, liquid
black mountain, elusive
Ursa come to earth, pulsing
with volume on our doorstep.
Midnight gusts whip cedar limbs
around the silent film
of your three hundred fifty pound imperturb-
ability as you see grain.
Your cousin, Fatty the raccoon, frequent feeder,
plays Court Jester: Wile E. Coyote, front stage,
left to right on rapid tip toe--prudently
waiting for your leavings.
Your majestic rump begins at the base
of your skull and moves on out into darkness
until it finds your feet.
You terrify me, Bear. I know
you can break my neck with one swipe.

It's said, when injured,
you sound heartrendingly like us.
Is this your first lone spring?
Have you marked against all comers?
May you live into old age,
never come face to face with me
as trophy of a trapper.

By daylight you've faded to dream.
Heels through to toes, I touch your territory to retrieve
mail as our domestic cats roll in your sent.
I too should roll,
as this is a close as I will ever be
to a spirit of the skies.
--Maren O. Mitchell

can be bought at local independent bookstores in 
Georgia mountains and in western North Carolina:

The Book Nook in Blairsville
Twice Upon a Time Books in Murphy NC
Phillips and Lloyd Book Shop in Hayesville
Curiosity Shop in Murphy, NC and elsewhere

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Which month gets to claim the title FULL HARVEST MOON? It could be September or it could be October. Answer. It is the month whose full moon is closest to the date of Autumn Equinox.

This year, September gets the Full Harvest Moon with the Autumnal Equinox arriving on September 22 and with the full moon reaching fullness on September 23, 2010.

The Full Harvest Moon got its name from the Algonquin Tribe and has been used in America since colonial times.

Credit for this magnificent photograph belongs to Sophie, Stock Xchng with appreciation.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Once each month, Poets and Writers Reading Poems and Stories is held at the John C. Campbell Folk School in the Keith House Living Room.(Brasstown, NC). Two members of North Carolina Writers Network West read their original work for an audience of Folk School students and the community. These writers and poets come from all over the southwestern mountain area of North Carolina, north Georgia and South Carolina. The featured readers for this month's meeting, held at 7:00 pm on September 16th were:

Glenda Barrett

Glenda Barrett, a native of Hiawassee, Georgia is an artist, poet and writer. Her paintings are on display at Fine Art America. Glenda’s writing has appeared in Woman’s World, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Farm & Ranch Living, Rural Heritage, Psychology for Living, Nostalgia, Journal of Kentucky Studies and many others. Her poetry chapbook titled, When the Sap Rises, is for sale on Amazon.com

Nancy Simpson

Nancy Simpson is one of the practicing poets who lives among us. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Across Water, Night Student, and a new book, Living Above the Frost line - Selected and New Poems (Carolina Wren Press, 2010). Living Above the Frost Line is available in the Folk School craft shop, at Phillips and Lloyd Book Shop in Hayesville, NC. and at The Book Nook in Blairsville, Georgia.

Her poems have been published in The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, and in anthologies such as 100 Years of N.C. Poetry, The Poets Guide to the Birds, and Southern Poetry Review’s 50th Anniversary Anthology, Don’t Leave Hungry. Seven of her poems were reprinted in the textbook Southern Appalachian Poetry, McFarland Press.

Nancy earned an M.F.A. - Writing from Warren Wilson College and is Resident Writer at John C. Campbell Folk School. She is a longtime member of NCWN and cofounder of NCWN West. She co-edited Lights in the Mountains and recently edited Echoes Across the Blue Ridge which is also now being celebrated and sold in local bookstores throughout the mountains and on Amazon.com. This collection has a foreward by Robert Morgan and includes the work of many of the area's finest writers.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Writers Will Celebrate the Publication of ECHOES ACROSS THE BLUE RIDGE

(News Article Written by Glenda Beall)

Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, Stories, Essays and Poems by Writers Living in and Inspired by the Southern Appalachians, is now available at local book stores in the area. The Book Nook in Blairsville, GA will hold a book signing on Saturday, September 18, 2010, 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M

The store is located one block south of the Blairsville Square on Hwy. 19/129. Jeff Hansen, owner of the Book Nook recommends calling the store at 706-745-7076 to reserve copies of this popular book.

The anthology, edited by Nancy Simpson, author of the poetry collections, Living above the Frost Line, Night Student and Across Water, follows the theme of life in the Appalachians past and present. Many of the best writers south of Asheville and from surrounding counties in Georgia were selected for this book. Robert Morgan, educator and author of the recently published Boone and author of Gap Creek, an Oprah Book Club pick, wrote the introduction. North Carolina fiction writers Lee Smith and Ron Rash wrote tributes for the book.

Bettie Sellers, former Poet Laureate of Georgia,

Carole Thompson, published author and poet, from Blairsville

and Jo Carolyn Beebe of Hiawassee, Georgia, will be there.

Nancy Simpson, who is well-known for her years of teaching poetry and mentoring writers, and Brenda Kay Ledford award-winning poet from Hayesville, NC will be there.

Many people are purchasing the book to leave in their vacation cabin or condo for guests to enjoy. Others like the price of only $16.00 and they buy several for Christmas gifts.

A photo by Philip Sampson of Blairsville was chosen for the cover from a large number of submissions by artists and photographers throughout the southern Appalachians. Inside pictures are by Tipper Pressley of Brasstown and Seth Russell, formerly of Murphy.

Echoes across the Blue Ridge has something for every reader from short stories or non-fiction and poetry with subjects as varied as hunting dogs to reclaiming and restoring rivers.

Other well known writers with work in Echoes across the Blue Ridge are Steven Harvey, essayist and professor at Young Harris College, Kathryn Stripling Byer, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Gary Carden, storyteller and legendary playwright, and Thomas Rain Crow who has written and published more than twenty of his own works, including Zorro’s Field.

Come celebrate this southern Appalachian anthology at the Book Nook on Saturday, September 18th in Blairsville, Georgia.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Special Gift - A special Day for those of us Above the Frost Line

Friend Peri Gordon-Flohr arrives on Cherry Mountain from far away, bringing a gift to our family.
The gift, a complete surprise, is my granddaughter and a great granddaughter, Sarah and Savannah. (Jeff's daughter and his granddaughter who born after his passing.)

Tim explains to Savannah how he is Savannah's Uncle Tim.

Sunrise on September 5, 2010
"I'll meet you at the bear cave."

"Where is the bear cave, Mama?"

Sarah and Savannah at the bear cave.
"Happy Birthday Uncle Tim."

September 5, 2010 - yes, a special day.

And now we're dashing to Asheville
to that famous book store -Malaoprops.

Yes, that's us reflected in the hub cap of the dashing car.


Lunch with family

and with friends.

Tim, out and about in Asheville.
Happy Birthday, Tim.

The sun shines over Asheville. Lynn or Nancy might say "the son shines over Asheville."


September 6. 2010

Savannah places flowers on her grandfather's memorial place. Look at the sunlight or"sonlight" as Lynn or Nancy might say.

A Special Gift - A special Day for those Above the Frost Line.