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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, September 9, 2011


For readers who follow regularly and support the “Poet of the Month”, I sing  a special “thank you” to you. Your interest is what keeps "Poet of the Month" up in lights. If you’re wondering who is the “Poet of the Month” for September, the featured star for this month shall be Poetry itself. Here above the frost line, we’re in a mood to cheer not one specific poet but instead to celebrate Poetry and Poets One and All. I realize it’s only five months since National Poetry Month, yet each day of September feels much like National Poetry Month all over again. Perhaps it’s even more than that - it’s a Global Poetry Month with 100 Thousand Poets For Change celebrating on a special day which is scheduled for September 24th worldwide, thus far in 95 different countries, in 450 cities, with 600 specific scheduled events and more being announced daily. 
Here are some events scheduled within the state of North Carolina:
In North Carolina we’re using the Subtitle, Writers for Education. Our state just cut 13,000 teacher positions because the Republican-dominated legislature didn’t want to extend a 3/4 of 1 percent sales tax. The UNC School of the Arts barely escaped closure due to the mandated 15% cut to the university system. The NC Arts Council has had to reduce programming and staff. To show our support for the arts in general, and writing in particular, we are offering a series of workshops and readings throughout the state.
RALEIGH- Renowned poet Betty Adcock (Slantwise, LSU Press) will be sitting on the sidewalk outside Quail Ridge Books from 11 – 1 offering free feedback on any poems people wish to bring by.She will be joined by Richard Krawiec (She Hands me the Razor, Press 53) and Tim McBride (The Manageable Cold, Triquarterly Books). Richard Krawiec will be teaching a free workshop – Where are you? Where are you going? – to the Raleigh Divorced Women’s Support Group, led by Caroline Huerta. Dorianne Laux (The Book of Men, W.W. Morrow) is going to involve her students in emailing poems to NC politicians who voted to cut spending for the arts.
10am-12noon Poetry “Write In for Change”
Central Library 219 N Church St Greensboro, NC 27401 336-373-3617
Members of the New Garden Friends Poetry Group will guide writers of all levels in writing and reviewing poems in the Booklovers Coffee Shop.
A public reading will begin about 11:30am.
Poet and fiction writer Valerie Nieman, who publishes with Press 53, will teach a workshop for children. It takes place from 1-4 at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery, and is called Peeking Behind the Mask -Each day we go about our routine lives, but inside we are superheroes or explorers, pirates or rock stars, hiding our secret identities behind a mask of an unassuming face and daily clothes. With the backdrop of Weatherspoon’s current exhibition, “Persona: A Body in Parts,” we’ll explore our own secret identities and “peek behind the mask” of famous folks (real or fictional) to imagine their thoughts and lives. One way to enter this secret world is to write a persona poem – persona meaning mask – in which we give a voice to that alternate identity.

Rhythms of Words
Social Awareness
Tate Street Coffee House
6 to 10 PM Free!
Poets/Spoken Word Artist: Choose an issue you feel strongly about and speak on it
Musicians /Singers:( no band with larger than 3 members) let your music speak for change
Storytellers: Create images through story for change
Comedians: Add to your gift of to bring laughter as a healing median for change
Open Mic element intertwined throughout program
Press 53, in WINSTON-SALEM, is going to ‘stock’ the tables at Wolfie’s on 4th Street with poems. So all the customers will have an assortment of poems to pursue as they down their Wolfie’s frozen custard and Krankie’s coffee
COLUMBIA- Here’s a bit of an unmapped activity. Gail Peck, a Charlotte poet, is driving to the beach on the 24th and plans to stop at one of her favorite restaurants, Tuscan Bio in Columbia, NC, along the way and see if she can read a poem to the kitchen staff. Then, at the beach, she’s going to read a poem to the marshland.
In CARRBORO- Maura High, a member of the Black Sox poetry group, will be gathering other guerilla poets, taking to the streets, stores, and cafes to give away poetry books, and also leave poems, homemade and dada, on unattended chairs throughout the city.
Beth Browne lives in rural CLAYTON, surrounded by farmland. She writes, “I’m thinking I’ll do something radical like put The Red Wheelbarrow on yard signs and post them along my road like the old shaving cream ads.”
CULLOWEHEE- In keeping with the North Carolina ‘theme’ of getting as much poetry out into the community as possible, former NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer (Southern Fictions, Jacar Press, Coming to Rest, Black Shawl, Catching Light – all from LSU Press) will be be passing out poems to the hundreds of attendees at the Mt. Heritage day at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer, who publishes with LSU (and whose limited edition handmade book of sonnets (complete with a Confederate battle flag pulped into the cover paper), Southern Fictions, Jacar Press released, is going to organize an event in SYLVA.
Michael Beadle will be strolling Main St., WAYNESVILLE reading poems!
In the TRIANGLE AREA of North Carolina, Alice Osborn (Unfinished Projects) will be leading a flash mob that intends to visit as many coffee shops in the area as they can hit.
CHARLOTTE- Barbara Conrad has organized an open poetry reading and music at Atherton Farmers Market Saturday 9:30-11:30. Thanks Larry Sorkin. Tanja Bechtler, Richard Taylor and all poets!
In CHAPEL HILL- Paul Jones (ibiblio.org) is going to organize a program to tweet 100,000 poems (hopefully) on Sept. 24. Everyone can join in on that.
Grey Brown (What it Takes), and Stephanie Levin (Smoke of Her Body, Jacar Press) will be at Flyleaf Books from 11 – 1, sitting on the sidewalk to offer free feedback to all poets, children or adults, who wish to bring a poem by.
From Appalachian State University in BOONE- Joseph Bathanti (Land of Amnesia, Press 53) and Kathryn Kirkpatrick (Unaccountable Weather, Press 53 – out in Sept.) are co-organizing a program we’d like to encourage everyone to participate in. On Sept. 24 we will be encouraging all NC poets and poetry lovers to email poems to NC’s elected representatives. We are going to try to flood the email boxes with poetry. This is an activity everyone can participate in locally, and it only takes a few minutes. No haranguing, no pontificating, just email a poem. Or two or ten. Putting poetry into the inboxes of politicians, hopefully in such numbers they can’t ignore it.
DURHAM event is at The Regulator, Ninth Street, Durham. Get feedback on your poems, and have a poem written for you.
On Saturday Sept 24 from 11 – 1. Al Maginnes(Ghost Alphabet, White Pines Press) and Florence Nash (Crossing Water, Fish Music) will be available to offer feedback on their poems for all aspiring poets and poetry lovers – children or adults. Chris Vitiello (Irresponsibility, Ahsahta Press) will be dressed as the Poetry Fox, sitting at a card table with his typewriter to make custom poems on the spot for anyone.
ALSO, Fleur de Lisa, the award-winning (Best Original Song, Harmony Sweeps, D.C. 2009) women’s vocal group who write all original music using poetry as lyrics, will be doing a mini-flash mob on Sept. 24 as part of the 100,000 Poets for Change event. They will be showing up at various locations in the DURHAM area, including shelters for people and animals.
In HICKORY- poet Scott Owens will have a dozen or more poets “reading in the round” at Minetta Lane Center for Arts and Peace in downtown Hickory from 2:00 to 4:00. Participants include Bill Griffin, Tim Peeler, Rand Brandes, Tony Ricciardelli, Bud Caywood, and many more. Anyone who is interested should contact Scott at asowens1@yahoo.com or 828-234-4266.
Steve Roberts (Another Word for Home), Addy McCulllough, and others will take to the streets of WILMINGTON and write poems on the sidewalks in chalk.
Hillsborough Health Center, HILLSBOROUGH, on Sept. 24 at 3pm Debra Kaufman (The Next Moment, Jacar Press) will lead a free workshop on Write to Health.
ASHEVILLE- Laura Hope-Gill
of the Wordfest Festival will hold an event, details TBA.
Hayesville - Poet Nancy Simpson, on the northside of Cherry Mountain, will post daily in September on one of NC’s most relentless sites promoting poetry and celebrating practicing poets.  Check in daily during September. Don't miss September 11th, the 10th anniversary of 9-11. 

Also NC Writers Network West, twenty years old now, has traditionally been celebrated with a regional picnic on the second Sunday in September. Sorry, that is not going to happen this year. Still, On the second Sunday in September ( 9-11 this year) Nancy Simpson will be celebrating Netwest alone with a special post on the Netwest site. She will also post a 9-11 poem on Facebook.  If you have a 9-11 poem you want to share, send it by e mail and it will be published or reprinted on LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE.


Nancy Simpson is the author of three poetry collections: Across Water, Night Student and most recently Living Above the Frost Line, New and Selected Poems published 2010 at Carolina Wren Press. She also edited Echoes Across the Blue Ridge (anthology 2010). She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a B.S. in Education from Western Carolina University. She received a N.C. Arts Fellowship and co founded NC Writers Network West,  a non profit, professional writing organization serving writers living in the remote mountains west of Asheville and the North Georgia Mountains.  For more than thirty years she has been know as “beloved teacher” to thousands of young writers.  
Simpson’s  poems have been published in The Georgia Review, Southern Poetry Review, Seneca Review,  New Virginia Review, Prairie Schooner and in other literary magazines.  Her poem, “Night Student” was reprinted in the anthology Word and Wisdom, 100 Years of N.C. Poetry and in Literary Trails of N.C. (2008) Seven of her poems poems are featured in Southern Appalachian Poetry, a textbook anthology published at McFarland Press.  The Southern Poetry Review, Armstrong College in Savannah, Georgia included one of her poems in their 50th Anniversary issue, Don't Leave Hungry.  Her poem “Carolina Bluebirds” was included in  The Poets Guide to Birds ( Anhinga 2009) an anthology edited by Judith Kitchen and Ted Kooser.

On September 24th Nancy Simpson will fill the e mail in boxes of NC elected representatives who have power to (if they choose to) make positive  changes. She will also post a poem for change, in keeping with 100 Thousand Poets for Change on open blog sites and one on Facebook. 

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