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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."

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Louisiana State University Press published yet another full length collection of poems by Kathryn Stripling Byer, on November 5, 2012, this her sixth collection.

Descent (poetry) by Kathryn Stripling Byer
Louisiana State University Press
$17.95, paperback  ISBN: 978-0-807147504

Navigating the dangerous currents of family and race, Kathryn Stripling Byer’s sixth poetry collection confronts the legacy of southern memory, where too often “it’s safer to stay blind.”
Beginning with “Morning Train,” a response to Georgia blues musician Precious Bryant, Byer sings her way through a search for identity, recalling the hardscrabble lives of her family in the sequence “Drought Days,” and facing her inheritance as a white southern woman growing up amid racial division and violence. The poet encounters her own naive complicity in southern racism and challenges the narrative of her homeland, the “Gone with the Wind” mythology that still haunts the region.
Ultimately, Descent creates a fragile reconciliation between past and present, calling over and over again to celebrate being, as in the book’s closing manifesto, “Here. Where I am.”


Lovers of Poetry, My Fellow Practicing Poets, and My Poetry Students who follow my thoughts that come from Living Above the Frost Line, you must buy Descent if you have not done already so. Well, of course, you do not have to if you do not want to buy the book. It's not my business to twist your arm. I can't stop myself.  Between the pages of this book there is immeasurable understanding of that long ago time.  You can gain much from reading it, wisdom for your life and advancement for your own poetry writing. --Nancy Simpson

Descent, a major collection is also endorsed by two of the south’s most prominent  poets: Alice Friman and David Huddle.

“From the glorious opening poem, the mourning sound of the morning train weaves through Kathryn Stripling Byer’s new collection, as much a part of the hills of home as are its sins and beauties. Oh, the longing to shed forever what we are and what made us, at the same time hugging the litany to us that brings it all back: Cullowhee Creek, Buzzards Roost, hay bales, blackberries, grandmother’s gladiolas and lace doilies, and the earth that knew us better than we knew ourselves. Such longing in these pages, such hunger, such ‘grabbing at air.’"
—Alice Friman

“A Kay Byer poem is utterly compelling from its opening lines: “Now take this, she’d say, her mouth / full of pins—a bird’s tail / of fastenings held tight / against revelation.” Even those of us who’ve read and loved her work for years scratch our heads and mutter to ourselves, How does she do that? The poems in her new book, Descent, both embrace and struggle against her heritage as a woman of the both the deep South and the southern mountains. Her work is to be cherished for its beauty, its courage, and the gift of its revelation. Her poems shine a light that we yearn for here in the darkness of the Twenty-First Century.”
—David Huddle

Want to buy the book?  Click below L.S.U. Press or Amazon.com
and City Lights Book Store in Sylva, NC 

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