About Me

My photo
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, December 31, 2014

In Memory of Judith Kitchen August 6, 1941 - November 6, 2014, HERE AT THE END OF THE YEAR

Tonight at midnight 2014 ends for me. It is a year I will be happy to see end, it being one of the most difficult years in my life. My writing life has been on hold. I do not want to think about 2014 nor relive any of it again. This admission would disappoint my life friend, Judith Kitchen, for she treasured focus and remembering. I’ve spent almost every day during this year in physical therapy, and I want to forget it. I did regained much of my health. Seeing the end of 2014 gives me the measure of hope that in 2015 I will be productive. Let the unfinished projects return. Let words spring forth and flow again. 
Tonight, I must remember that during 2014, I lost my dear friend. Judith Kitchen will not be coming into the new year with me.  After years in a vicious struggle with two potentially fatal illnesses, Judith Kitchen, born on August 6, 1941, finished her last tasks and died peacefully in her home on November 6, 2014. Her lungs gave out.  I am thankful for the long three hour talk I had with her husband Stan Sanvel Rubin.  We talked and we cried. Stan had to go over every detail. It was necessary. After that he said again how everything changed for them when I drew the heart around them in the sand at Lake Chatuge one summer when they were visiting me. He said again as he had said before how happy they were that I could be with them for their wedding. I remember their wedding well in  Brockport, NY and that I stood with Judith as her best woman.  Some things here at the end of 2014 I will not forget. I will remember Judith.

photo by William Stafford

photo by Cheryl Merrill


JUDITH KITCHEN taught nonfiction in the Rainier Writing Workshop, the Low-Residency MFA Program at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. She was the author of seven  books: Perennials (poetry, Anhinga Press); Writing the World: Understanding William Stafford (criticism, Oregon State Univ. Press); Only the Dance (essays, Univ. of S. Carolina); Distance and Direction (essays, Coffee House Press), and The House on Eccles Road (novel, Graywolf Press; Penguin paperback) which was awarded the S. Mariella Gable Prize in fiction. A third book of nonfiction, Half in Shade, was published by Coffee House Press in Spring 2012.Her most recent book was The Circus Train, Ovenbird Books (2013).In addition, she has edited or co-edited three collections of nonfiction (In Short, In Brief, and Short Takes, all W. W. Norton) and, with Ted Kooser, an anthology, The Poets Guide to the Birds (Anhinga Press).  Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including  essays in Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, Great River Review, and The Georgia Review. Her awards include two Pushcart Prizes for an essay, the Lillian Fairchild Award for her novel, the Anhinga Prize for poetry, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She has served as judge for the AWP Nonfiction Award, the Pushcart Prize in poetry, the Oregon Book Award, and the Bush Foundation Fellowships, among others. Kitchen was an Advisory and Contributing Editor for The Georgia Review where she was a regular reviewer of poetry.
A native upstate New Yorker, she grew up in Painted Post, a small town on the Pennsylvania border. After college in Vermont, a junior year in Edinburgh, Scotland, and some years living in both Scotland and Brazil, she returned to upstate NY where she worked as a part-time secretary, an assistant in a carnival supply business, with the NY state Poets in the Schools, and finally as an instructor at SUNY College at Brockport, where she taught courses in Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and The Writer’s Craft. 
For twenty years, she served as editor and publisher of the State Street Press Chapbook Series, producing a total of 76 chapbooks, 2 pamphlets, 5 full-length books, 2 translations, and 1 anthology. In 1997, she was named Writer-in-Residence at SUNY Brockport, and in 2003, she and her husband, Stan Sanvel Rubin, moved to Port Townsend, WA, where they co-directed the Rainier Writing Workshop.

1 comment:

Joan Ellen Gage said...

Nancy, You did it! You wrote your tribute to Judith Kitchen, as you wanted to do. She sounds like she was an amazing woman, and you enjoyed her company.

You see, you are already moving toward your goal in 2015. You are on the move, both literally and figuratively! Go Nancy, go!