Major WNC poet, from Hayesville, makes her book debut
Lovers of Robert Frost might take note of Nancy Simpson, a Hayesville poet, whose new book, “Living above the Frost Line,” refers to her wintry habitat, and not his name. Yet she shares with Frost a conversational tone, musically shaped because well-honed.
For instance, there are these lines from “Storm,” included in her section of new poems: “Back in my dark hovel, I hover / near a kerosene heater that can / only knock the chill off one room ./ It can only heat coffee to lukewarm.”
“Hovel … hover … heater,” Simpson knows how to play with words in a way that feels like song although the lines don’t rhyme.
In her poem “At the Gates,” she breaks into an anthem’s refrain to record departed travelers’ plaints: “I fell from the roof / said an addict. I froze on the mountain / said the Kurd.”
The years 1977-2009 are covered by “Above the Frost Line: New and Selected Poems by Nancy Simpson,” published by Carolina Wren Press.
Simpson has plied her craft while helping others: Students in her writing classes and writers in Netwest, the mountain writers’ group that she helped establish.
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
Malaprops Book Store, Asheville, NC
Phillips and lloyd Book Shop, Hayesville, NC
Craft Shop at John C Campbell Folk School,