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, July 29, 2011


For Poets and Lovers of Poetry. You have always been able to depend on me to promote the southern and Appalachian poets.  Your lack of interest makes me wonder if I have failed you.  Maybe it is time to step forth, open my arms to the whole wide world of poets. Click below.


Saturday, July 23, 2011


CELEBRATING POET OF THE MONTH OF JULY - DANA WILDSMITH with an announcement and offering you her poems "A Southern Love Poem" and "Drying Peaches"

DANA WILDSMITH - Honored as Recipient of 47th Georgia Author of the Year Finalist for Essay.

July 2, 2011 from Barrow County News
Dana Wildsmith received a welcome surprise during the Georgia Author of the Year Awards ceremony at Kennesaw State University June 11. Wildsmith, who was on hand to introduce Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Terry Kay, was recognized as a Georgia Author of the Year Finalist for her book of essays, "Back to Abnormal: Surviving with an Old Farm in the New South."
Books for sale at Amazon.com


A Southern Love Poem

Honey, I love you like I love boiled peanuts.
You’re a little bit mushy, a little bit salty
and I stop for a taste of you every chance I get.

Sugar, I love you like I love dirt roads.
The only ride better than taking you
slow and easy on a hot afternoon
is when I slide your curves like a drunk in a four by four. 

The Cokesbury Hymnal would be three pages long
if blind Fanny Crosby could have seen
what a blue-ribbon hound dog you are;
she would have wooed you in common meter,
ditching her hymns to sing your praises.     

Longer than July nights in a hotbox farmhouse,
truer than Billy Graham’s prayers,
tighter than the least one’s hold on his mama’s heartstrings,
will my love forever be yours, Sweet Thing.

You’re slicker than Talladega,
as classic as Gone with the Wind,
more hometown than Patty Loveless or REM,
sweeter than Iris Dement.
How could my heart not be yours?

Honey Child, I’ll love you until
peanuts are no longer boiled,
until every dirt road gets paved.
Until ya’ll becomes singular,
until grits becomes plural,
I’ll love you
my dumplin’
my Moonpie,
my cool mint julep.

Drying Peaches

Perhaps another hurricane,
you and I in our windowless
innermost room
waiting for
the walls to stop panting,
waiting some unclockable while
for the powerless days
when we will be
shoveling roof tiles,
shoveling carpeting, glass,
insulation, our books. We will
breathe sweat,  and the sweet
of everyone’s food putrefying,
everyone’s drowned dogs,
crabs washed in by the tidal surge.
We will sit up nights
letting each other talk.
Only the trees will lie down.
Remember how
filthy we will be.
You and the floors will grow beards.
When the rains come back
as they will
by the second week,
how disheartened,
how needy we will be
for some unreckoned pleasure
such as these peaches 
I’m putting by—
saving for later—
as I have by long habit
saved for you
the last of the orange juice,
today’s mail,
my egg each month
whether we use it or not.
from One Good Hand

Want to learn about Dana Wildsmith?


Since 1964, Georgia Authors of the Year AWARDS have been awarded to Georgia-based authors, with one winner and one finalist selected for each category. This year, categories included First Novel, Fiction, Poetry, Biography, Essay, Inspirational, Memoir, History, Specialty Book, Children’s Picture Book, Young Adult Fiction, and Children’s Mid-Reader.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Three Young Poets

Three young poets wrote their message on the wall as I have written mine. They stand  on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, holding a copy of the literary magazine that holds their poem titled "In Afghanistan 2011."

Dear Poets and Readers,
One of the things I am most proud of with editting Solo Novo v. 1 Wall Scrawls....has been the opportunity to work with Jaala Thibault to publish a special poem from Afghanistan by emerging poets, Yosuf Warastah, Abudul Hadi Iqbazada and Nasir Ahmad Noor Mohammed.  In the attached photo, these young men stand in front of a wall in Kabul, Afghanistan that speaks without words holding their copies of Solo Novo!
Please share this photo with your communities of readers and writers. This is why we write...."What can we do but leave our mark?  What must we do to leave our mark?"
I have attached a press release that you may forward to your local news media or use in any way that continues to bring Solo Novo to the communities of readers we poets serve.  Our interpretations of the times in which we live are imperative reading. 
Several of you have already included Solo Novo on your websites, blogs and facebook pages. Thank you!
If you would like to send me a photo of yourself holding Wall Scrawls in a local place that is meaningful to you, please do!  I will make sure all of these are posted on our website www.solopress.org
Stay tuned for more news!
Again, thank you, Jaala, for making this possible!
Paula Lowe
Solo Novo, editor

Monday, July 18, 2011

SOLO NOVO - a Literary Magazine Published in Carpinteria, California and North Wilksboro, NC Presents WALL SCRWLS. Have You Read It?

I've read Solo Novo  cover to cover and know I am   fortunate to have two of my newer poems included along with so many accomplished poets from across America: Marvin Bell. Marguerite Costigan, Al Magannes, Rita Ferarelli, and others. My poems included are "Aftermath" and "Mary Cassatt."
For those of you who remember my poems,  these are two spoken in voices from the other side.
I was first introduced to Solo Press by 
Lenard D. Moore when he was guest editor for Solo Cafe # 8- 9 (2011) which focused on poems for and about teaching.
Paula C. Lowe in her editor's note in  SOLO NOVO writes:
"Iowa Fram House Wall. Eighty years later, the farm house in the photograph is abandoned. I remembered it being on a gravel road. Now it sits like a broken sofa, orphaned near the freeway. But inside it is a hive of letters, a busy kitchen of words. Every kid with a can of spray paint some how gets here and leaves his or her native tngue on the walls. The layers on the old boards crack and peel. No matter. The kids keep wiriting. 

"Wall Scrawles is coverd in Afghanistan, earthquakes and hurricanes, oil, floods, torture, head counts, AIDS, prayers, nuclear catastrophe, bedside loss, daily work. We are sucked, grabbed, kicked, hugged, dumped, held, stilled, bowed, left speachless in these poems....".and she ends with "What can we do but leave our mark? What must we do to leave our mark?"

Solo Novo is a member of CLMP. Solo Novo is listed in the American Humanities Index, provided by Whitson Publishing Company. Solo Novo is an independent journal  of poetry published annually by Solo Press. Glenda Luschei, Publisher and Paula C. Lowe, editor.
Order your copy email to PCLSolo@gmail.com 
For each copy, please send a check made out to Solo Press for $12. Send to  Solo Press, 5146 Foothill Rd, Carpinteria, CA 93103.

And if you are interested in submitting your poems to this magazine, read   
Call for Submissions that will open in September 2011.
Solo Novo
122 Days
Poems written & about 
happenings between 
Sept 1 – Dec 31, 2011
For these four months. For these times. Get out there. Pay attention. Put your heart on the tracks where the future is NOW. 
No old stuff. No cover letters. No attachments. No dedications. Format your work the way you want it. All present tense. All present experience. All about “ What’s goin’ on?” (Marvin Gaye)
At Solo Press, we choose work for two reasons. One, it grabs us. Two, the poem adds an important voice to the chorus of poems for a particular issue. 
Send your work later rather than earlier. We will not respond to submissions until after the deadline.  Our team reads every poem with the care we would want for our own work. We welcome established and emerging poets.
Be part of the Solo Novo energy! Join us for 122 Days
Solo Novo, the all-poetry poetry journal.  
Paula C. Lowe, editor

v. 2  122 Days
Solo Novo poets write to be heard in our times.
Submission Guidelines:
1.  Submit up to three previously unpublished poems via email. 
(Note: poems published on the Internet count as previously published.)  Simultaneous submissions are okay. Just let us know if your poem will be published elsewhere.
(Attachments will NOT be opened). Use 12 point Times New Roman Font.
3. The email’s subject line should read Solo Submission + your name.
4. In the body of the email, type your name, email address, home address and phone number.
5. Next, provide your poems. Titles should be bolded. 
6. EMAIL YOUR SUBMISSION to: PCLSolo@gmail.com

7. We read all submissions. We will let you know we got your work. We will let you know within two months if we seek to publish your poem/s.

8.  If we ask to publish your work, we will email you a first serial rights contract that we will ask you to sign and return to us via snail mail. (Copyright reverts to the poet upon publication.)  We will also ask for a very short bio.

9. All selected poets will receive a complimentary Solo CafĂ©: 122 Days.  Any other wanting copies, send an email to PCLSolo@gmail.com with the names and addresses of recipients.  For each additional copy, please send a check made out to Solo Press for $12. Send to  Solo Press, 5146 Foothill Rd, Carpinteria, CA 93103.

Wow!  That is a generous post!  Thank you Nancy!  I am honored that you gave Solo Novo so much kind attention and even included the submission guidelines for 122 Days.  I hope every theme prompts poets to consider poetry in an imperative way....as emotional cultural food for real people in these very real and unstable times.
I hope you send us more work.  It is a pleasure to publish your poetry.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


 Author/ Members of North Carolina Writers Network West celebrated writing and sold copies of their books at a sidewalk cafe in Hayesville, NC on July 9th, 2011. It was the big day for the annual festival on the square but writers, not even professional, published authors, are allowed to participate in this  N.C. Arts Council annual event. Wanting to be a part of the sesquicentennial celebration of Clay County, a few writers set up their own booth in front of Cafe Touche in town, the same shop that welcomes them there for a monthly reading of poems with open mic, Coffee With the Poets.

( photo)Author and publisher Robert S. King and poet Janice Townley Moore author of Teaching the Robins and Like a Summer Peach.

 (photo)Glenda Beall with copies of ECHOES ACROSS THE BLUE RIDGE Stories, Essays and Poems by Writers Living in and Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains and her own book published at Finishing Line Press, NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN. (Sorry, Glenda Beall requested the photo be removed.)

(Photo) Poet Nancy Simpson with her book LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE, SELECTED AND NEW POEMS  (Carolina Wren Press 2010)   and  Poet Publisher Robert S, King  author of
The Hunted River and  The Grave Digger's Roots.  

by Robert S. King -  Order copies at:

Click here to buy poetry books by Mary Ricketson and by Glenda Beall

Echoes Across the Blue Ridge
Stories, Poems and Essays by Writers Living in and Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
Edited by Nancy Simpson with an Introduction by Robert Morgan
Get your copy: Click below.

Article by Scott Owens Celebrating Poet Nancy Simpson in Asheville - Citizen Times

Citizen-Times article on Nancy Simpson's acclaim from the NC Poetry Council.

 Click to read:

Friday, July 15, 2011


Dear Readers, especially lovers of poetry. One of the most read poets on this blog is Physician Poet John Stone. When I get my site meter report each month, it is clear that people are still loving, missing, and still reading the poems of John Stone. This morning I got this note from Thad.

Thad said...

Thank you for presenting on your blog the poem The Bass. I wanted to share it with a friend and therefore did a Google search for it.

Dr. Stone was my friend, mentor, and fellow cardiologist. I loved him and his work dearly.

I thought you would be interested to know that his course on Literature and Medicine continues to live on, at Colgate University. Professor George Hudson, with Mae Nelson Stone's permission and active help, is now teaching from the syllabus that Dr. Stone developed at Emory University. I had the privilege of attending the course and presenting one of the lectures.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), a trade association representing over 300 bookstores, votes each year for their favorite southern book to recognize great books set in the South or having been written by a Southern author.

Radford University professor, Jim Minick, won the non-fiction award for “The Blueberry Years,” a memoir about his time operating a pick-your-own blueberry farm.

The 2011 winners are:

Children’s Winner: “Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (Puffin Books)

Cooking Winner: “Southern My Way by Gena Knox (Gena Knox Media, LLC)

Fiction Winner: “Burning Bright by Ron Rash (Ecco Press)

Nonfiction Winner:  ”The Blueberry Years by Jim Minick (Thomas Dunne Books)

Poetry Winner: “A House of Branches” by Janisse Ray (Wind Publications) 

Young Adult Winner: “Countdown“ by Deborah Wiles (Scholastic)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Dana Wildsmith is the author of four collections of poetry: One Good Hand Iris Press, 2005), Our Bodies Remember (The Sow’s Ear Press, 2000), Annie (Palanquin Press, 1999), and Alchemy (The Sow’s Ear Press, 1995). One Good Hand was a SIBA Poetry Book of the Year nominee. In this her birth month, she has been named Poet of the Month of July, 2011.

Wildsmith is  also the author of an environmental memoir, Back to Abnormal: Surviving with an Old Farm in the New South (MotesBooks). 

She has served as Artist-in-Residence for the Grand Canyon National Park and for The Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, and has been a Poetry Fellow with the South Carolina Academy Of Authors. Her work is widely published in journals and anthologies, including most recently: Writing By ear (MotesBooks), Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia (University Press of Kentucky), The Southern Poetry Anthology (Texas Review Press, 2007), and Women, Period (Spinsters Ink). Wildsmith lives in Bethlehem, Georgia.    


Nothing so pleases as
yanking winter grass
from a squared-off plot—
untangling the earth
one hank at a time
while afternoon
rests softly on your back
and options
grit among your thought
like seeds.

We break a sweat brushing our teeth.
Fish-slick, who says we gave up gills?
We’re breathing, aren’t we ? The air 
six a.m. is hot water;
the sky is a slap of blue.
We wade into miasma
in t-shirts, shorts and brimmed hats,
sweat-tides already rising
at our necks and armpits and sides
where the heat needs to bubble out.

Sweet Sweat

Wouldn’t seem honest not to sweat,
like claiming bragging rights 
on two armloads of Better Boys
half a pound each with no spots
while you stand there dry as July clay.
It’s sweat proves you grew these beauts.
Sweat’s how you earn your okra;
it’s your right to sweet iced tea;
it’s your Georgia union card.
The deeper you’ve dug 
your generational toehold
into Winder’s red dirt,
Blood Mountain’s granite,
the kaolin clay under Claxton,
the more kinds of sweat
you’re able to tell apart right off--
like knowing you can hear
south Georgia scrub
in that banker’s voice,
despite he claims Atlanta).
From birth, you know underarm sweat so well
it’s hardly worth the mention;
it’s what you get lugging groceries
from car to kitchen. Spend the morning
yanking garden weeds and you get
whole-back sweat, wet neck,
sticky back-of-the-knees.
An afternoon running fence wire
adds scalp sweat to all these,
and digging post holes
puddles hot sweat in your ears.
But it’s when eyelid sweat starts to
gum your lashes that everybody knows
you’ve hauled in groceries, hoed beans,
and by god run forty more feet of fence wire.
You should sit down. Cool off. Let the sweat dry.
Have a glass of iced tea.
You’ve done an honest day’s work.

These poems from One Good Hand by Dana Wildsmith, Iris Press


Thursday, July 7, 2011


The Results Are In

(announced in Wild Goose Poetry Review)

Winners of the Poetry Council of NC 2011 Contests
1st Place: David Rigsbee, The Red Tower: New & Selected Poems (New South Books)

2nd Place: Jodi Barnes, Unsettled (Main Street Rag)

Honorable Mention: Joseph Bathanti, Restoring Sacred Art (Star Cloud Press)

Honorable Mention: Nancy Simpson, Living Above the Frost 
Line: New and Selected Poems (Carolina Wren Press)

Awards will be presented at Poetry Day, 10-2:30, October 1,
2011 at Peeler Crystal Lounge, Catawba College, Salisbury, NC

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mary Ricketson's Poem Wins First Place in the Joyce Kilmer Poetry Contest

Lost In the Roar of Big Santeetlah
I cross a wooden bridge.
A stand of dark red trillium
waits for my attention.
White violets and crested dwarf iris
sit quietly at trail’s edge.  Birdsong begins.
Butterflies dance. Jack in the Pulpit presides.
River birch, pine and poplar stand tall.
Rippling water stills my thoughts.
I can taste the wind.
Soon pink lady slipper will bloom,
then purple rhododendron.
I know every season at this forest.

I fell in love here long ago,
found comfort on this path,
met parts of me I did not know,
told secrets never spoken.
Trees made promises
then asked for mine.
I fill myself with peace and hope when I am here
then give it all away when I am gone.
written by Mary Ricketson 2011
The poetry contest is a celebration of  75th Anniversary of the dedication of Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest which is a living memorial to poet Joyce Kilmer, author of "Trees".  Kilmer was killed  during action during World War  while serving in France on July 30, 1918.
Mary Ricketson  Winning poem will  be displayed at the celebration July 30th and also will be displayed at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center throughout the month of July. 
Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center
121 School House Drive
Robbinsville, NC 28771
More about Poet Mary Ricketson
Mary Ricketson is a practicing poet, a mental health counselor, and a blueberry farmer living in Murphy, North Carolina.  Her poems have been published in Lights in the Mountains and in her chapbook I Hear the River Call My Name, published at Finishing Line Press (2007). Mary Ricketson  writes a column "Woman to Woman" for the Cherokee Scout. 
The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is a favorite place for this poet. She has walked and camped there on many occasions. Another of her poems showing a winter walk,  "At Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest" was published in ECHOES ACROSS THE BLUE RIDGE, Stories, Essays, and Poems by writers Living in and Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains (2010)