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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, December 24, 2010


If like me, you have an abiding interest in all things Appalachian, then SIMPLICITY by Blanche L. Ledford and  Brenda Kay Ledford is a book you will want to buy, read, and keep near on your book shelf.


            Award-winning writers, Blanche L. Ledford and Brenda Kay Ledford, have collaborated a collection of prose and poetry about the culture of Clay County, North Carolina.

            This book coincides with the sesquicentennial celebration of Clay County in 2011. The county was established in 186l.

            At 89, Blanche writes with knowledge about growing up in Clay County during the Great Depression. She recalls planting her vegetable garden by the signs, and wearing sinful red shoes to a mountain church. Her stories about the Blue Ridge Mountains will bring back memories of by-gone days.

            Her daughter, Brenda Kay, is a member of North Carolina Storytelling Guild.  She’s won awards telling stories at the annual Lies & Pies Jamboree held on the square in Hayesville, NC. She’s told stories at the John C. Campbell Folk School, at festivals and when she gives poetry readings throughout the Southeast.

            Brenda writes about her experiences as a native of Clay County. She’s received the Paul Green Award from NC Society of Historians for her poetry chapbooks:  Patchwork Memories, Shew Bird Mountain, and Sacred Fire. She also won the award for collecting oral history on Velma Beam Moore, a prominent citizen of Clay County.

            This book, Simplicity, describes the culture of Clay County, NC honestly and with humor.  It brings the reader back to a slower-paced period, when folks sat on the front porch swapping tales with neighbors, and savored the good sense of a simple lifestyle.


                                                        Brenda Kay Ledford and Blanche L. Ledford

Where I’m From
by Blanche L. Ledford

I am from home-canned jellies,
from Ball jars and Blair food coloring.
I am from a log cabin
tucked away in the Trout Cove.

I am from black-eyed Susans
pulsing in the fields.
I’m from pumpkins and squash
piled in orange and yellow heaps.

I’m from mountain dulcimers,
Granddaddy Shook sawing the fiddle,
clogging in the old red barn.
I’m from moss-covered rocks,

wading Little Brasstown Creek.
I’m from Shady Grove Baptist Church,
Richard Powers leading shape-note songs,
and Daddy planting crops by signs.

I am from the Blue Ridge Mountains,
water-bath canning, jars
of peaches and garden produce
sparkling like jewels in the pantry.

  Simplicity is available at Phillips & Lloyd Book Shop, Hayesville, NC; The Book Nook, Blairsville, GA; The Cherokee County Museum, Murphy, NC, or online:  
http://catawbapublishing.com/bookstore/book/179 for $16.00 per copy.

More info about The Blue Ridge Poet

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