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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, December 6, 2010


Watching a t.v. commercial last Sunday that was selling "the Christmas Car," I felt hit up-side-the-head. The main point the advertiser made on the CBS SUNDAY MORNING ad was don't give your loved one books, not even if they're a book club friend. DON'T GIVE BOOKS?   You've never seen this woman move so fast, yanking the t.v. plug right out of the wall.

Buy books, I say. They make the best gifts of all. I caught myself pulling books off my bookshelf that I had received as gifts from family and friends through the years.  Many cars have been driven into the ground and are long gone to the junk yard.  I still have these books and the hand script messages they carry:

The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens "For my dear Mom, Love always, Jeremy Christmas 1981."  The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry "For Nancy, for the care taking of the summer of '81. A lifetime of poetry. But no Hugo! Alas. Thanks, thanks, thanks."  Voices From Home edited by Richard Krawiec "to Nancy, my friend, Without your friendship many wonderful things would not have happened including this book. Love, Lynn Drew." The Language of Life A Festival of Poets Edited by Bill Moyer, "for Our Very Dear Friend Poet Nancy Simpson , Doris and Bill, January 1996. " Judith Kitchen's The House on Eccles Road, "for Nancy_May this find you happy & healthy - in friendship, admiration, love to think of you on your mountain! Judith. 12-5-02." Stan Sanvel Rubin's HIDDEN SEQUEL "For Nancy, with wonderful memories - the kind that sustain life! - and warm expectations and with love, Stan Dec. 12, 2006 Happy Birthday!

I could go on, but instead of naming books on my bookshelf, I  will make suggestions of books you might want to give as a gift to someone this holiday season.   Or maybe you should say to your loved one, "There are some books I would like to have. Here is the list. " Looking back, I am certain that is how my son Jeremy came to buy me a copy of The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens.  He was too young to get this book delivered to heart of Appalachia back in 1981 without some help from an adult. Now that I think back, I got quite a few of the books on my list that year.  And there was no Amazon.com then.

Books are the easiest gift to buy these days. Amazon.com, if you wish. You can find every book there. Amazon.com  even carries both of my books published this year, but I recommend your  local book store first. If they have the book you are looking for, you can save postage because postage has already been paid by the bookstore. If ordering, you can go straight from the publisher and may get a discount.

Here is another thing you might not have thought about. I know it to be true. Men like getting books as gifts. They especially like it if the book has a personal inscription from you in the front. He might like a car, but trust me, he would want to choose his own car. What would surprise and delight  him would be a book you choose and the message you write to him.

Posted by Nancy Simpson

Watch for newly published books to add to your gift giving list.


My Carolina Kitchen said...

Nancy, I'm so glad I didn't see that. I would have been horrified.

Some people are addicted to chocolate. I'm addicted to books and my shelves run over. I give books to absolutely everyone. Novels, cookbooks, poetry, whatever I think they will like.

I am worried that books may become a thing of the past with all of the fancy readers. I've resisted buying one, but I know I won't be able to say no for long. Do you share my concerns? Or perhaps they will encourage more people to read. I just don't know.

Nancy Simpson said...

Hello Sam, from one book lover to another. I'm concerned about the future of books also. Hard as I've tried, I cannot imagine that books will disappear,
unless the human race itself disappears.

I assure you, I will never own a Kindle or any other electronic reading device. Even if someone gives me one, I will not use it because I cannot. My eyes. I have a hard enough time reading a huge computer screen. When editing the anthology, I wore out my eyes. Even after enlarging the print, it is difficult for me to read off of a monitor.

I love the way a book feels in my hand. I should not judge a book by its cover, but some flimsy little paper books from big named presses recently have discouraged me more than anything. A friend gave me a Billy Collins book of poetry recently that felt like a church bulletin, flimsy. Even the great LSU Press seems to be limiting their full length poetry books to 62 pages. Presses who do this are diminishing themselves. Those changes make me worry more than seeing someone holding an electronic reader.