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, April 1, 2011


On the banks of Brasstown Creek as it flows through the western North Carolina town of Brasstown (on the grounds of John C. Campbell Folk School) you will find RIVERCANE WALK.  The trail winds among the canebreaks, leading into  an exhibit of Cherokee history and art work.  This is one of my favorite places. I have walked here many times.

Totem of Cherokee Clans

Corn Maiden, Fire Ring

There is an error in the naming of Brasstown. Information here says the community was Aquohee, English translation "Big Place".  In recent years, Cherokee Scholar Bret Riggs PHD of UNC Chapel Hill has discovered an error in translation of two Cherokee words, It-se-yi and unt-se-yi with unt-se-yi meaning "the place where brass is found" and It-se-yi meaning "Green Place."

(photos taken at Brasstown on March 29, 2011 Nancy Simpson)

Green Place
It-se-yi: fresh, green place
stretches from Brasstown Bald Mountain
to Brasstown village in North Carolina,
the old home of Chief Settawiga,
From Brasstown Bald Mountain in Georgia,
Cherokee people walked
to the home of Settawiga,
led by federal troops.
Cherokee People walked
through cold rain and snow,
led by federal troops
on The Trail of Tears.
Through cold rain and snow,
they cried for It-se-yi, not Unt-se-yi
on their Trail of Tears.
Truth was lost in translation.
They cried for It-se-yi, not Unt-se-yi.
The scholar was mistaken,
truth lost in his translation.
It is not the place where there is brass.
The scholar was mistaken
Settawiga taught his people, saying:
“It is not the place where there is brass
that we carry in us as we go.”
Settawiga led his people to Oklahoma
teaching them, saying:
“We carry in us
It-se-yi, Green Place.”
poem by Nancy Simpson
New and Selected Poems, Carolina Wren Press


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