About Me

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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."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

NC Writers' Network West Announces New Meeting Place for Coffee With the Poets

New Venue for Coffee with the Poets and Writers - 
Clay County, NC

Coffee with the Poets and Writers has met at Blue 
Mountain Restaurant in  Murphy for the past two 
years. Beginning in March, 2015, this event will 
meet at Joe's Trading Post and Coffee Shop, 
32 Main Street, Hayesville, NC. Joe Powell is owner
of the coffee shop. We met at this location when it 
was  Cafe Touche and run by Liz. The seating is 
different now and probably will be better for our 
group. This event is open to  the public and everyone 
is invited to read a couple of  poems or a prose piece 
of around 1,000 words.

The only food sold at Joe's will be his fine varied 
brands of coffee, soft drinks, tea and a few snack 
items. He will be open to  the public while we meet. 
Please pass this change on to anyone who would 
like to join us on the second Wednesday of each 
month at 10:30 a.m.

We are pleased that Coffee with the Poets, sponsored by
NCWN West, was founded in 2007 and has continued with a
loyal following ever since.

We will NOT MEET in January or February.
well-known man of many talents from Brasstown, NC.
To learn more about reading at Coffee with the 
Poets and Writers contact 
Glenda Beall, gcbmountaingirl@gmail.com 
or call 828-389-4441.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Doris Betts Fiction Prize Deadline Feb 15, 2015

Although this is a poetry site  , if you also write  in the short story genre, here is  a call for  submissions to the Doris Betts Fiction Prize.
January 10, 2015

Dear Nancy:
The 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize is now open for submissions. The Doris Betts Fiction Prize awards the first-place winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the NCLR.
The competition is for previously unpublished short stories up to 6,000 words. The Doris Betts Fiction Prize is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in NC) are also eligible.
For over twenty years, East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary & Historical Association have published the North Carolina Literary Review, a journal devoted to showcasing the Tar Heel State’s literary excellence. Described by one critic as “everything you ever wanted out of a literary publication but never dared to demand,” the NCLR has won numerous awards and citations.
The final judge is NCLR fiction editor Liza Wieland. She the author of seven books and three collections of short fiction. She has won two Pushcart Prizes, the Michigan Literary Fiction Prize, a Bridport Prize in the UK, and fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The North Carolina Arts Council, and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. She has recently been awarded a second fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council.
Laura Herbst of Pittsboro won the 2014 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for her story, “The Cliffs of Mobenga.” Two finalists from the 2014 competition were invited to revise and resubmit their stories for publication consideration: “World Without End” by Taylor Brown of Wilmington and “Big Joy Family” by Jude Whelchel of Asheville.
Doris Betts was the author of three short story collections and six novels. She won three Sir Walter Raleigh awards, the Southern Book Award, the North Carolina Award for Literature, the John Dos Passos Prize, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Medal for the short story, among others. Beloved by her students, she was named the University of North Carolina Alumni Distinguished Professor of English in 1980. She was a 2004 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.
Here are the guidelines for the 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize. The deadline is February 15:
The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in NC) are also eligible.
The competition is for previously unpublished short stories up to 6,000 words. One entry per writer. No novel excerpts. Stories do NOT have to relate to NCLR’s annual special feature topic.
Submit previously unpublished stories online at https://nclr.submittable.com/submit. Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($10 NCWN members or NCLR subscribers / $20 for non-members/non-subscribers).
To pay submission fees by check or money order, make payable to the North Carolina Writers Network and mail to: Ed Southern, PO Box 21591, Winston-Salem, NC 27120- 1591
Documents must be Microsoft Word or .rtf files. Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.) If you have any problems submitting electronically, email NCLR's Submission Manager.
The winner and finalists will be announced in April. The winning story and select finalists will be published in the next year’s issue of the North Carolina Literary Review.
Questions may be directed to Margaret Bauer, Editor of the North Carolina Literary Review, at BauerM@ecu.edu.
The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.
Copyright 2015

(If you are a practicing writer, I hope you will consider joining NCWN now. If you join and if you live in the western NC mountains, within certain counties, you automatically become also a member of NCWN West.--Nancy Simpson)

The North Carolina Writers' Network | calendar@ncwriters.org | North Carolina Writers' Network | North Carolina Writers' Network PO Box 21591 | Winston-Salem, NC 27120

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Death of JUDITH KITCHEN the Literary Author, Editor, Writing Instructor and Literary Critic 1941-2014

From the Los Angeles Times
Jan 4, 2014
by David Ulin

Remembering author, teacher and critic Judith Kitchen
Creative Non fiction essayist and teacher Judith Kitchen, who died last week of cancer at the age of 73.
BY DAVID L. ULIN, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
November 11, 2014, 4:30 p.m.
I only met Judith Kitchen once. It’s my loss. Kitchen, who died last week at 73 of cancer, was a rare spirit, both on the page and in the world. Teacher, essayist, critic, she and her husband and partner Stan Rubin ran the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., where I spent a couple of days last year visiting.
She was also the author of a novel, a collection of poetry and four books of nonfiction, including the luminous “The Circus Train,” which came out at the beginning of this year. The title piece, novella-length, is one of the most astonishing extended essays I’ve read. Moving back and forth through memories, invoking her literary hero Samuel Beckett, it is a meditation on mortality and meaning from the edge of the abyss.
“Here’s what I want: to stitch it all together,” she writes. “Give it the dilated eye of attention. To make it add up. But of course it doesn’t add up, no more than any other life. We take from the box of photos those that lead, one to another. We leave behind the singular, solitary moments that go nowhere except into, and out of, themselves.”
Do we need to say that the miracle of this passage is that she isn’t writing about death exactly, but rather life? Or, more accurately, about meaning, about the way we are always stitching it together all the time? This was the subject of her 2012 book “Half in Shade: Family, Photography, and Fate,” which uses family photos as a hinge for an interior investigation — into love, doubt, family and time. “This is not art,” she writes there. “This is the black and white of birthdays and summer vacations. Grandma’s Sunday best.”
Not art, no, but time, but living, but the bits and pieces by which we have no choice but to define ourselves. Kitchen lived it as she wrote it, asking questions, keeping focus, working until the end. Over the summer, she came up in conversation at a dinner party; “She’s dying,” a friend said, “but I’ve never known anyone so alive.”
It’s true: Even from a distance, Kitchen redefined death for me, or at least, how we might face death with courage and with grace. This is not to say she wasn’t frightened; “[W]ill thinking be my solace, or my curse?” she wonders in “The Circus Train.” “I have relied on the brain — its tickings and tockings — for an entire lifetime. Can I trust it to take me easily into death, or will it resist, fighting the body until the bitter end?”
I think about these questions also, but for me, they remain (for the moment, anyway) abstract. Kitchen was not writing with that luxury. She was fierce and she was loving — and she was rigorous, with no one so much as with herself. I want to say that she was kind (she was certainly kind to me), but kindness seems too soft for her intensity.
“Visual artists have ‘statements,’” she once wrote, “in order to articulate something of what they do instinctively. But a writer’s medium is words, and if the writer has anything to say, it’s best said obliquely. Understated. So let me call up a visual image for what I want my work to be doing: there’s a juggler in the park, wearing a red hat, and he’s tossing a knife, an orange, and three purple balls into the air, deftly catching them, passing them under his legs or behind his back, twirling and catching, then, balancing a stick with one spinning ball on the tip of his forehead, he holds the knife blade-side-up so that when the orange falls it is sliced cleanly into two equal halves which he catches in both hands and holds up to the light.”

From  AWP Association of Writers and Writing Programs Nov. 18, 2014

Judith Kitchen Has Died
November 18, 2014
photo by William Stafford

Judith Kitchen—a novelist, poet, essayist, critic, editor, and teacher—died of cancer at age 73 in early November. She was at her home in Port Townsend, Washington, with her husband, Stan Sanvel Rubin, with whom Kitchen co-directed the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.
In an obituary for the late author, Los Angeles Times book critic David Ulin called her last book of nonfiction, The Circus Train, “one of the most astonishing extended essays I’ve read,” and described one cited passage as a “miracle” in its bold-eyed description of mortality.
“Even from a distance, Kitchen redefined death for me, or at least, how we might face death with courage and grace,” Ulin wrote. “This is not to say she wasn’t frightened; ‘[W]ill thinking be my solace, or my curse?’ she wonders in The Circus Train. ‘I have relied on the brain—its ticking and tockings—for an entire lifetime. Can I trust it to take me easily into death, or will it resist, fighting the body until the bitter end?’”
Kitchen authored several books, including, most recently, The Circus Train (2014); Half in Shade (2012), a book of nonfiction; The House on Eccles Road (2002), a novel, which received the S. Mariella Gable Prize in Fiction from Graywolf Press; and Distance and Direction (2002), a collection of essays. She also received two Pushcart Prizes, the Lillian Fairchild Award, the Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
In addition to teaching in the Rainier Writing Workshop, Kitchen served as advisory and contributing editor of the Georgia Review, where her regular poetry reviews were published, and on the Artists Advisory Board for the New York Foundation for the Arts. She served as a nonfiction reviewer for Water~Stone Review (see Water~Stone’s executive editor Mary Rockcastle’s obituary for Kitchen), and edited a number of anthologies, including, most recently, The Poets Guide to the Birds (2009), which she co-edited with former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.
“Judith Kitchen… delivered good deeds and good works far and wide, as a writer, as an editor, as a teacher, and as a model citizen of high-minded literary living and giving,” said AWP’s executive director David Fenza. “She was one of our better angels.”
For its upcoming May/Summer issue, the Writer’s Chronicle magazine will publish an interview with Judith Kitchen.
Works by Judith Kitchen

Perennials (Poetry Series) Poetry  Collection by Judith Kitchen, Anhinga Press
UNDERSTANDING (Contemporty American Literature) WILLIAM STAFFORD by Judith Kitchen, U of S C Press

The House on Eccles Road Novel by Judith Kitchen Gray Wolf Press
Only the Dance: Essays on Time and Memory Non Fiction by Judith Kitchen, U of SC Press
Half In Shade: Family, Photography, and Fate Non Fiction by Judith Kitchen, Coffee House Press
Distance & Direction Non Fiction Essays by Judith Kitchen, Coffee House Press
The Circus Train (Ovenbird Books) (Volume 1) Non Fiction by Judith Kitchen

The Poets Guide To The Birds (Editor) Judith Kitchen

As Editor and Publisher of State Street Press, Judith Kitchen published 76 chapbooks, 2 pamphlets, 5 full length poetry collections, and one anthology. 
As reviewer for The Georgia Review, she left some 750 pages of book reviews in print. The Georgia Review has named her as one or two leading poetry critics in the US and one in five  in the English speaking world.