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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, March 7, 2012


Future Cycle Press has just released my new book of poems, For One Who Knows How to Own Land.  These 98 pages of poetry focus on the experience of growing up in the disappearing rural South.  They include some of my favorite oldest poems as well as a lot of new ones.  I am including a brief description of the book as well as comments from Ron Rash, Tim Peeler, John Lane, and   below.  You can order copies from me or on Amazon.  There will be a book launch on March 20 at 6:00 at Taste Full Beans in Hickory, NC, and on March 23 at 7:00 at City Lights Books in Sylva, NC.  I hope you can attend one of those events.
For One Who Knows How to Own Land
Copyright 2012 Scott Owens
Published by FutureCycle Press
Mineral Bluff, Georgia
ISBN:  978-0-9839985-3-2
I grew up in two worlds: my father’s parents’ world of brick homes, city streets, shopping, and playgrounds; and my mother’s parents’ world of dirt roads, livestock, growing our own food, and endless woods.  That second world was undeniably harder than the first.  The work was dirtier, and there was more of it.  The homes had fewer luxuries: no cable, no AC, never more than one bathroom.  Even death was different. In town, death was a polished event that took place elsewhere, hospitals, nursing homes, slaughter houses, funeral parlors.  On the farm, animals were killed every week, and most people died at home, and their bodies stayed there until they were buried.

Somehow, however, that second world still seemed much more alive, much more real and vital.  Despite that vitality, I was aware that most people knew almost nothing about that second world.  It was then, and is increasingly now, an undiscovered country where life and death exist side by side with a natural intensity missing from the artificial world of the city.

This book, dedicated to my grandfather (one who knew how to own land), is a record of my undiscovered country and the people who lived there.

Landscape and memory are seamlessly merged in this excellent volume. Like all the best writers of place, Scott Owens finds the heart's universal concerns in his vivid rendering of piedmont Carolina.
--Ron Rash, author of Raising the Dead

There's not a speck of sentimentality in the rural poetic Americana framed by Scott Owens in FOR ONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO OWN LAND. There are dead crows, red dirt earth, barking dogs, burning coal, fox traps, and flooding rivers. These stories matter. The poems all rattle and sing. This is a jolt of strong coffee for a watery time.
--John Lane, author of The Woods Stretched for Miles: Contemporary Nature Writing from the South
In For One Who Knows How to Own Land, poet, Scott Owens creates with a mature voice, childhood reminiscences of pastoral summers in the red dirt rural Piedmont of upstate South Carolina.  This, his most affecting collection to date, is a remarkable sensory journey that registers narrative moments along the entire emotional scale from harsh to tender, from the threatening to the anodyne.  Through the magical nature of memory, these poems of mystery and loss prove again and again that “The boy who left this country/never stopped hearing its names/echo in his ear.”
 --Tim Peeler, author of Checking Out

“Why should this be home?” Scott Owens asks us in “Homeplace,” his question as much about leaving as going back. We walk his train tracks and ridges as if they were our own, as though home were “something you held tight before you, /your back bending against its going away.”  In this both visceral and meditative rendering of place, decay and rebirth are part of the same landscape. I applaud the skill that directs us down a path of experience and familiarity to “stone steps/ that dead-end in mid-air.” His poetry is wise in knowing the weight of its own footsteps.
-- Linda Annas Ferguson, author of Dirt Sandwich

Scott Owens

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