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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."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


SHOPPING LIST if you are looking for a gift for a woman aged 21-50, a woman who can read and loves to read books, a woman who especially loves to read literary poetry of our time, perhaps she writes poems herself. She is a woman who is not narrow minded but rather is one who is curious about humans and their relationships, one seeking a world view, whose concerns are matters of the heart, matters of the spirit.

I highly recommend this book:  Poet Nancy Simpson

Debra Kaufman's literary reputation is well known to readers of poetry. She is also the author of Family of Strangers, Still Life Burning, Moon Mirror Whisky Wind and A Certain Light. Individual poems have been published in Southern Poetry Review, Greensboro Poetry Review, Pembrok, Carolina Quarterly and in anthologies such as 100 YEARS OF NC POETRY and Literary Trails of NC. Her short and full-length plays have been performed throughout North Carolina, her adopted home.

To buy THE NEXT MOMENT, $13.95 add $2.00 postage

CONTACT Publisher:

Want to read poems from this collection by the author 
Debra Kaufman? 


Good Girls

Good girls always fall for bad boys.
We’re trained in the fine arts
of downcast eyes and demure smiles,
to caress the crisp pages of the Bible.

Trained in the fine arts
of be ye kind and don’t make waves,
I caress the crisp pages of the Bible,
Daddy’s rabbit pelts and pheasant breasts

(be ye kind and don’t make waves?).
I earn gold stars and pinch my sister.
Daddy’s rabbit pelts and pheasant breasts
teach me the secret glee of bad.

I earn gold stars and pinch my sister,
desire the scent of Brut and smoke, want
to be taught the secret glee of bad
by a boy whose eyes could size me up.

Desiring the scent of Brut and smoke,
the swagger, oh, of his lean body, I want
the boy whose eyes size me up,
his rough hands, wild hair, tight jeans.

Oh, the swagger of his lean body!
Engine thrumming, music blaring,
rough hands, wild hair, tight jeans.
I’ll take you to see Orion straddle the sky.

Engine thrumming, music blaring,
he takes me where Orion straddles the sky.
I say, I see the good in you. He laughs:
Good girls always fall for bad boys.

The Rushing Way I Went

As if each day were the same river
with variations—
one day tires, shingles,
a doll bobbing past,
the next, a heron, hunched
and studious on the bank.
I’d wake up, put in (yes,
I had then delusions of steering),
and set in motion this sequence:
make coffee, feed the kids,
get them to school on time,
on to my job, the turnpike commute,
yada yada yada.
Evenings, upwind, rewind.
Where were you?
In those short remaining hours,
your inevitable flights
took away the best parts of us.
All so long ago.
Now I wash dishes
to the tunes of smoky angels
and doves calling from the deep
down of their soft, gray breasts.

On Learning His Diagnosis 2

After September rains flies
cluster on the porch
like one still breath.

Tiny opportunists,
they zoom inside
in crushable husks,
settle on fresh-picked blackberries,
buzz lamps and windows.

I vacuum up their no-account lives
as they cling to screens
in the last light they’ll ever know.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Bob Grove will have a dramatic reading of Dickens' Christmas Carol at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at the Folk School in Brasstown, NC. It will be followed by an 8:00 performance of the Folk School Morris, garland, and rapper sword dance teams. Free and open to the public.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Malaika King Albrecht is the Featured Poet of the month of Novemer, 2011. I first met Malaika in a NCWN Conferene  Master Class, "Line Dancing" taught by Kathryn Stripling Byer. Malaika is a serious young poet with publications in magazines and anthologies to her credit. She is the author of a chapbook poetry collecitons and two recent full length collections. Congratulations to Maliaka King Alrecht in this her birth month. She one of our most  shining stars out of North Carolina at this time.

If you like these poems, let me know and I will pass the word on to our poet of the month, or you can leave a comment for her yourself.
Thank you for reading. --Nancy Simpson

 3 poems by Malaika King Albrecht  upcoming from Press 53 book

How to Walk Right Through a Woman

I can’t remember the curse that made me
invisible. I only know that one day
he held my hand and then another,

my hand slipped through his like sand.
I stayed in the room, an empty vase
in the dark and not even moonlight could find me.

He may have sensed my presence
as he stepped around me and around me
packing his books, clothes, toothbrush.

By morning he could walk right through
as if I were an open window,
a door, the immaterial air.

 Previously Published in Bay Leaves

 On the Shore at Holden Beach 


High tide reveals
in every beginning,
an end.

The sea asks, How strong
will you stand? Rises and falls
all around you.

No matter where
we die, we’re buried
at sea.

Once my daughter nearly drowned
blue lips and
the sound of waves
inside her chest.
Cut adrift,
we clung to a hospital bed
for three days until she
thrashed ashore-
said I want to go home.


She finds a whole
sand dollar in the surf,
places it in my palm. Don’t
lose it, mommy. Squeeze tight.

I say No, it will break.

How to teach her
that a fist
is how life catches us
in the jar of our own desire
to hold, to count
what we think is ours.
I show her, Hold your hands
with the sand dollar
between your palms.

Like we’re praying, she says
walking gently back to shore.

published in Asheville Poetry Review

The Dusting

Every body wants. The tongue licks
that last hint of sugar from lips.

Fingers rub satin clean from the blanket’s edge.
The soles of our feet sink into earth until the air

carries the odor of crushed grass.
Everyone wants more. The eyes

of the dying are wide open. The mouths
of the dying are wide open. The nostrils. The ears.

The hearts incessant: More. More.
Listen. A dark song folds the night clouds

into a clap of thunder. I will die.
There will be nothing

left but a wisp of smoke rising
from my open mouth like a Satin moth

wheeling towards the slow turning-
a kiss of white wing dust on my lips.

 Previously published in The Pedestal

Malaika King Ablrecht's newest book Spill was also published by Main Street Rag. Her poems have been published in many literary magazines and anthologies and have recently won awards at the North Carolina Poetry Council, Salem College and Press 53. She’s the founding editor of Redheaded Stepchild, an online magazine that only accepts poems that have been rejected elsewhere. She lives in Pinehurst, N.C. with her family and is a therapeutic riding instructor.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

COMING SOON - SUNRISE FROM BLUE THUNDER - Pirene’s Fountain Japan Anthology

Poems forthcoming from Nancy Simpson, Maren O. Mitchell, Karen Paul Holmes, 
and Janice Townley Moore. Information will be made available as soon as the book is in print.

Edior: Ami Kaye
Katherine Herchler
Book Cover by Tracy McQueen

Tuesday, November 22, 2011



It was a huge success. That's what I heard. The NC Writers Network Fall Conference in Asheville last weekend had more writers attending than ever before. I met people from as far away as Wilmington and Durham, yet I saw only one of my old NCWN  friends from the east. That, I'm sorry to say only reinforced my belief which is: "They do not look west."   NCWN certainly did all in their power to "educate" and to point out the misconception that many have of the mountain people. I counted 200 seats filled with listeners who heard truth personified when Silas House spoke. (photo)

I'll always remember this NCWN conference as the best opportunity I've been given in years as a poet and instructor to "pass it on." My poetry writing workshop was well attended. I am certain that some poems written in my workshop will be published and will be read  by some of you readers of literature in the future.  I wish I had some of those poems to post for proof right now, proof that I was there and it did happen. I wish I had one good photo, proof it did occur. At this point, it seems more like I dreamed it all.

Want to read article by Jon Elliton from MOUNTAIN XPRESS? click


Friday, November 18, 2011



Saturday, November 19, 5:00-6:00 pm
The DoubleTree Hotel Asheville-Biltmore, 115 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville
The North Carolina Writers' Network 2011 Fall Conference will present the following faculty readings: Anthony AbbottEllyn BacheDanny BernsteinStacy Hope JonesVicki LaneRob NeufeldHeather NewtonScott OwensRandy RussellNancy Simpson, and Katherine Soniat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE celebrates Malaika King Albrecht as Poet of The Month in this her birth month. 

Malaika King Albrecht’s chapbook Lessons in Forgetting was published by Main Street Rag and was a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received honorable mention in the Brockman Campbell Award. Her newest book Spill was also published by Main Street Rag. 

Her poems have been published in many literary magazines and anthologies and have recently won awards at the North Carolina Poetry Council, Salem College and Press 53. 
She lives in Pinehurst, N.C. with her family and is a therapeutic riding instructor.

3 poems from Lessons in Forgetting
Published in Fieralingue
Book can be ordered here 

My Father Teaching my Eldest Daughter

Fill the basin with about three inches

of warm water and add a dash of baby oil.

Begin with her eyes. With a cotton ball,

start at the inside corner of one eye

and wipe outward. Do this to both eyes,
and then gently wash the rest of her face.

Make sure to get behind her ears,
drool and spit-up tend to collect back there.

He stops talking. My daughter’s hands caress
my mother’s forehead, which relaxes.

Mom opens her eyes and looks at them.
Her wet face beautiful in my daughter’s hands.

The Riddle Song 

Grocery bags in my arms,

I hip the front door open

and hear my father singing

to my mother,

I gave my love a cherry

that had no stone.

He stretches out her right leg

and then slowly rotates it in circles.

She hasn’t walked in three years
or gotten out of bed in two.
I gave my love a baby
with no crying.
Her legs resist, the muscles
tight as fists. He massages
the leg nearly straight, moves
to the next one still singing.
A baby when it's sleeping
it's not crying.
The story of how I love you
it has no end.

Of course I’m crying
in the kitchen doorway.
I can’t see her eyes from here,
but I’m hoping that their open
that she’s awake
looking directly into his eyes.
He moves to her left arm,
tucked beside her body
like a broken wing,
and gently spreads it out.

published in Wild Goose Review

How to Stay Afloat 

This morning, he’s gone when we wake up.
Amani says, Where’s Pop Pop?
Did he go to get biscuits?
I walk outside, and his car’s there,
and in the driveway,
the empty canoe stand.
He’s been threatening
to lug that old dugout canoe
into Cat Point Creek and paddle
to the small island in Menokin Bay.

On the pier I stand in the morning fog
and cold drizzle and scan the water
for movement. Nothing.
Then I hear him whistling a song.
I step to the edge of the dock
and see him. Floating with the outgoing tide
towards home, he’s kneeling
in the canoe, bailing with a kitchen pot.
On all sides, water breaches
the canoe gunnels. He sees me
and yells, See. She still floats.

published in Lessons in Forgetting Book

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Institute For Continuing Learning at Young Harris College.

   I hope you are so proud of the Free Verse class.  You did a super job of organizing and presenting one type a week with clear examples, and then we had time to respond with our own writing.
   The submitting information was very good. I think I submitted more poems in the last few weeks than in the last few years. The way you sent us submission and contest information at the beginning, and then ended with more ambitious projects was perfect.
   The opportunity for having two poems critiqued each week, one for whole class, one for you and another poet, was not only very helpful, but also stimulated me to write more than one a week.  Great technique.
   Mary and I on the way home (we had to rush, she had a client waiting) both talked about the growth we thought we saw, and how much better the last poems were.  Wasn't Mary's good about her mother?  And the other Mary's poem was excellent.  Having two versions of Janet's poem to discuss was very interesting, too. I've only been to a limited number of writing  
classes up here, but this was by far the best. --Peg Russell

(Photo above )Janet Bentley, Joan Howard, Clarence Drummond, and (front) class supervisor Ann Cahill. 

  Yes, I am proud of this class. Your appreciation message means more to me than you realize.  During the past 8 weeks, with such a large class, with some beginners and more advanced poets preparing  chapbook and full length book  manuscripts, my teacher-training provided back-up when I needed it the most. I still believe in "The Teachable Moment." We had a few of those during our 8 weeks together, thanks to the practicing poets in the class who generously shared their knowledge. I saw each class member advance their understanding of poetry week by week. There were many fine poems shared. I expect to see some of those poems in print in the months to come.   
-- Nancy Simpson

Carol Richard Thompson, Jo Carolyn Beebe, Del Delcuze, Mary Ricketson, Peg Russell 
and Mary Anderson.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nancy Simpson Will Teach POETRY WRITING HERE AND NOW at the NC Writers Network Fall Conference in Asheville Nov. 19th. Register now.

"Start packing your bags, books and poems. Come join us in Asheville." --Nancy Simpson

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 in 2010 by Carolina Wren Press. She is also the editor of the recently published anthology Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. Her poems have appeared in the Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, and other literary magazines, as well as in several anthologies. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and is a recipient of an NC Arts Council fellowship. She is one of the co-founders of North Carolina Writers’ Network – West, the Network chapter for writers in the westernmost counties of the state. 

Poetry Writing Here and Now with Nancy Simpson
Poets of today have many choices and much freedom, but it is a misconception to think that as practicing poets we can write with a total abandon of rules. Yes, Free Verse breaks with traditional forms and rhyme is shunned. This workshop will cover and promote a list of specific guidelines that – although not rules – can greatly advance your poetry and make it more publishable. Where to break the line, and how to make your poems sing with sound, will be discussed. We will also talk about how to connect with the reader on a sensory level, on an emotional level, and on an intellectual level. We’ll consider specific free verse forms, especially the lyric poem, and we’ll write one in this workshop.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


October 07, 2011
By Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY
Nothing like the Nobel Prize for Literature to boast a poet’s reputation — and readership.A day after Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer was awarded the 2011 prize, one of his American publishers, Ecco, a division of HarperCollins, announced it’s reissuing two volumes of his poetry: For The Living and the Dead: A Memoir and Poems, and Selected Poems, edited by Robert Hass.
Both titles will be reissued in paperback next week, with e-books to follow.
Tranströmer’s other English translations include The Sorrow Gondola (published by Green Integer), The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems (New Directions), and The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer (Graywolf).
Tranströmer suffered a stroke two decades ago, which affected his ability to speak, though he has continued to write.
Ecco Publisher Daniel Halpern, who first published Tranströmer in 1987, said in a statement, “So much poetry, not only in this country but everywhere, too often feels small and exclusively confessional – it doesn’t look outward, it looks back at itself. But there are some poets who write a true international poetry and Tomas is among them. It’s his particular sensibility that runs through the poems that’s so deeply seductive. What a wonderful writer he is – lyrical and open, curious and intelligent.”
Hass, a former U.S. poet laureate who edited Tranströmer’s Selected Poems, writes of him, “Perhaps more than any other living poet, Tranströmer conveys a sense of what it is to be a private citizen anywhere in the second half of the twentieth century.”
 By Emily Witt 10/10 3:34pm
When Barbara Epler received the news last week that Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer had won the Nobel Prize for literature, she had one reaction: “I said, ‘Call the printers!’” she recalled.
Ms. Epler is the president of New Directions, publisher of Mr. Tranströmer’s The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, an anthology translated by the Scottish poet Robin Fulton. For New Directions, Mr. Tranströmer’s win was big news — by Friday its book was ranked #12 on Amazon, a rarity for the independent publisher, which is known for its commitment to publishing difficult poetry and literature in translation.
“For a poetry book to be number 12 that just kills me,” said Ms. Epler, adding that while Mr. Tranströmer “sells perfectly well in our terms” the spike in sales last week was positively “stratospheric.” In response, New Directions quickly arranged to have an additional 1,500 copies of The Great Enigma printed for shipment by tomorrow, forcing its short run publisher to work through the Columbus Day holiday. Another 8,000 copies will follow in a few weeks.
In Minneapolis, Graywolf Press, the independent publisher of The Half-finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer, selected and translated by the poet Robert Bly, celebrated the award with scones and muffins. Then they went to work. “We were all pretty busy actually,” said Graywolf publicity director Erin Kottke. “We didn’t have time to really revel in it because we were scrambling to figure out what the next step was.” Graywolf’s reprint is now also underway: 10,000 copies with a Nobel Prize sticker on the cover for release in three weeks and a planned second printing with an amended cover to follow.

Thomas Transtromer . Net  click below