Showing posts with label poet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poet. Show all posts

Friday, February 17, 2017

Paul Donovan, member of NCWN-West for many years, passed away.

Paul Donovan, poet, from Murphy, NC,  published an autobiographical book of poetry, Ramblings of an Idiot, and is published in journals and anthologies including Lights in the Mountains. He  spent his time since becoming aware of the healing art of Reiki, writing poetry and essays from a more
spiritual prospective. Paul was the host of Fireside Friday, a monthly reading sponsored by the Curiosity Book store at the Shoppes of Murphy. Some years before, as NCWN-West Rep for Cherokee County, he held a reading each month at Shoebooties restaurant.

Paul also initiated the first Netwest anthology, Lights in the Mountains, with his ideas for a poetry anthology by local poets. For many years he conducted the annual essay and poetry contest for high school students of Cherokee County. He was well liked and it seemed easy for Paul to collect funds from local businesses in Murphy to award cash prizes to the student winners.The winners of the contests and their parents were guests for a dinner at Shoebooties each spring.

From the early days of Netwest, Paul was active and a loyal member. In more recent years, his writing turned to personal essays about his childhood and growing up in Pennsylvania. He enrolled in a class on memoir at Tri-County Community College and his classmates enjoyed his stories.

If you knew Paul and would like to add to this post, just leave a comment. If you don't have a gmail account, you can easily  publish as anonymous. Write your name in your comment or leave it anonymous.

We will miss Paul. Condolences to his lovely wife, Ann.


Paul Donovan, Ramblings of an Idiot                        Main Street Rag, 1999

Eroding Conversation
I feel the inner confusion
            Much deeper than what
I’ve ever felt before

            Control is just a word
until you lose it

            It’s like the babbling brook
that slowly erodes the
            unmovable force
that once was me

            the rains come
the brook gets higher,
the erosion continues

            perhaps there is peace,
if I should decide to go with
the flow.

            That would be nice, but
for some ungodly reason
I can’t
            I just can’t

Shattered Mirror


            I feel as though I am a mirror
others look into and take out what is
best in me

            leaving the rest behind,
the shattered unwanted pieces that
are me too.


Morning mist
clinging to my window,
like a salamander
to the wall
of a swimming pool
sensing his demise.

Peering through the dense fog,
seeing only dark shadows,
trying to make sense
of a fuliginous world,

            I realize,
my tears are adding
to the darkness.
            I may never
again see the light of day,

            as it once was.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Poet & Writer Glenda Barrett to read at Coffee with the Poets and Writers, on Wed. October 19, 2016, at the Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC

Glenda Barrett
Poet and writer Glenda Barrett will read at Coffee with the Poets and Writers, on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, at 10:30 AM, at the Moss Memorial Library, 26 Anderson Street, Hayesville, NC. 

Glenda Barrett, a native of Hiawassee, Georgia, is an artist, poet, and writer. Her work has been widely published yearly since her first writing class in 1997 and has appeared in: Woman's World, Farm & Ranch Living, Country Woman, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Journal of Kentucky Living, Nantahala Review, Rural Heritage, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Kaleidoscope Magazine and many more.

Glenda's poetry chapbook, When the Sap Rises, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. She has completed two more books since that time, a full-length poetry book which is currently under review by a publisher and a book of Appalachian essays. Glenda worked many years in various healthcare system jobs and retired due to a form of Muscular Dystrophy.

She is very grateful to be able to devote her time to the two things she loved as a child, painting and writing. She has two grown children and lives with her husband of forty-two years in the North Georgia mountains.

Coffee with the Poets and Writers is a free event sponsored by the North Carolina Writers Network-West. The public is welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact Glenda Council Beall at 828-389-4441.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Maren Mitchell's poem in Town Creek Poetry

Visit Town Creek Poetry  and read a poem by Netwest member, Maren O. Mitchell.
Maren is a well-published poet and author of Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider's Guide.

                                                                Kudos to Maren. 

Click on the title of the poem and take time to read all the poets in the new issue of Town Creek Poetry, an online journal, edited by William Wright.

Maren O. Mitchell, poet and author of Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider's Guide

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Coffee with the Poet and Writer, Estelle Rice

Estelle Rice, author of Quiet Times, a book of poetry, will be featured at Coffee with the Poets and Writers on Wednesday, June 11, 10:30 a.m. at Blue Mountain Coffee and Grill. 

Rice is a well-published writer whose short stories have appeared in The Appalachian Heritage Journal, the Journal of Kentucky Studies, and in anthologies and magazines, including Lights in the Mountains and Echoes Across the Blue Ridge.

She is a native North Carolinian, born in Rocky Mount and raised in Charlotte. She now lives in Marble, NC. Estelle received her BA in psychology from Queens University in Charlotte and a MA in counseling from the University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama. She is a retired Licensed Professional Counselor.
Although she is a full-time caregiver for her husband now, she still attends writing workshops and continues to create poems and stories. Her poetry has been published in The Back Porch, the Freeing Jonah series and others.

Estelle has been a member of Netwest for as long as I have known her, around twenty years. Her positive personality has always endeared her to those who know her and is reflected in her poems such as the one below from Quiet Times.

When I am silent,
thoughts surge onto the shore
of my consciousness.
There is no place to hide
or deny my fears.

Silence endures my frailties,
nudges me toward the paths
where I will meet myself.

Silence encourages me
to listen to the universe,
that I may hear
the songs of angels.
             ---Estelle Rice

Come out to Blue Mountain, on the corner of Hwy 141 and Hwy 64 near Murphy Medical Center, and hear Estelle’s reading as well as participate in our regular open mic session. Stay for lunch. We pull the tables together and enjoy a social hour. This event is sponsored by NCWN West and is open to the public. Contact Glenda Beall, 828-389-4441 or for further information. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Brenda Kay Ledford, Featured at Coffee with the Poets at Blue Mountain Restaurant

Join us for Coffee with the Poets, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 10. Blue Mountain Restaurant on the corner of Hwy 141 and Old Hwy 64 hosts this event each month. The restaurant is between Murphy and Hayesville, NC. The public is invited to attend.
Brenda Kay Ledford, author of Beckoning

Our featured reader for the month of April is Brenda Kay Ledford, author of a new poetry book, Beckoning, published by Finishing Line Press. 
Her book is available locally at the Clay County Chamber of Commerce; Hayesville, NC; and online: and
Brenda Kay’s work has appeared in many publications including Yesterday’s Magazette, Our State, Pembroke Magazine, Appalachian Heritage, Broad River Review (Gardner-Webb University), Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, The Reach of Song, and other journals and anthologies. Ledford co-authored the book, Simplicity, with her mother, Blanche L. Ledford.

She’s listed with A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers and is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network West, North Carolina Poetry Society, Georgia Poetry Society, and Byron Herbert Reece Society.

Ledford received the Paul Green Award from North Carolina Society of Historians for her three poetry chapbooks.

April is poetry month and there is no finer way to celebrate than attending Coffee with the Poets, now in its seventh year. Open Mic is for anyone who brings a poem or short prose piece.

This program is sponsored by NCWN West. For more information contact Glenda Beall, 828-389-4441.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Coffee with the Poets at Blue Mountain Restaurant

COFFEE WITH THE POETS hosts Asheville poet and cellist CAROL BJORLIE

On Wednesday, March 13th at 10:30 AM, Blue Mountain Restaurant on Alternate US 64, hosts Coffee with the Poets, sponsored by NC Writers’ Network West. Poet and musician Carol Pearce Bjorlie of Asheville, NC, author of The Poet Behind the Cello will be featured. This event is free and open to the public.

The Poet Behind the Cello is a collection of poems for those who love the sound of words as much as the hum of a cello. In this collection is humor, love in abundance, attentiveness to sound, singing, and gratitude. Carol has been behind the cello since she was ten years old. She began writing when her father died days after her sixteenth birthday.

Carol graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Cello Performance. She has a MFA in Writing from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Carol was a member of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra for twenty-eight years. She was a Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Her poetry and essays appear in Water~Stone, The Southern Poetry Review, and Great River Review. Her 2007 chapbook, Winter, is a collection of poems written in response to playing cello on Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Oncology Unit.

A freelance cellist and member of the Asheville Cello Choir, she teaches writing at the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. Her motto, from a poem title by Lucille Clifton is, "I am not done yet."

The community is invited to enjoy Carol’s playing cello and reading at no charge and everyone is also invited to bring a poem or short prose piece for open mike.

Call Glenda Beall at 828-389-4441 or email: for more information.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Netwest Member Janice Moore Honored

YHC Senior-Most Faculty Member Janice Moore Receives Special Honor  

Young Harris College's senior-most faculty member Associate Professor of English Janice Moore recently received a unique gift to commemorate her 50 years of dedicated service to the College. During a special ceremony in November 2012, YHC faculty unveiled a reserved parking spot in the Goolsby Center parking lot that names her "YHC Poet Laureate." 

Moore teaches creative writing and poetry at YHC, and her special areas of interest include contemporary poetry and Southern literature. In addition to her teaching duties, she was chair of the YHC Humanities Division for eight years and served 12 years as poetry editor for the Georgia Journal. Moore claimed first prize in the 2009 Press 53 Open Awards and was awarded first place in the Georgia Poetry Society's annual competition in 2011. Her work has appeared in more than 60 esteemed journals, anthologies and textbooks, including The Georgia Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology: Contemporary Appalachia, Contemporary Georgia Poets, Women Writing in Appalachia and the Southern Poetry Review.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center Visit

For those who have not visited the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center outside Blairsville, GA, this is a wonderful time of year to spend an hour or more learning about life in these mountains as it was 100 years ago, and to learn about the interesting poet, Byron Herbert Reece. He grew up here and lived on the farm where the center has been built. He taught at Young Harris College. His story tells the story of this land, of Choestoe, where he was born in a cabin in 1917.

The anthology, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, is dedicated to Reece and several of his poems are in the book. I was fascinated to read Reece's actual letters and the newspaper articles I found at the center. The lost art of letter-writing is a window to the writer's heart. My appetite has been whetted and I want to read all of them.
On the day I visited the center, Mrs. John Kay was there and filled our heads with interesting facts about the noted poet.

My guests and I watched a video about Reece's life told by poets, Mildred Greear and Bettie Sellers, and other well-known people of this area. I hope to get back over to continue my tour and purchase some of the books on sale at the gift shop, but I must go soon. They will only be open a few more weekends.

(from the Reece website)
The remaining days of fall

We’re back to clear blue skies, and while the wind was hard on the leaves, it’s still lovely at the Reece Farm and Heritage Center. We’ll be open just a few more weekends, so be sure to stop by soon. The Gift Shop is full of unique items for gift giving, and Shelley will be glad to guide you through the selections. The Farm and Heritage Center is located south of Blairsville on the Gainesville Highway (Hwy 129), just north of Vogel State Park. Watch for the signs! We’re open the remaining weekends in November, including the weekend following Thanksgiving, on Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 to 4:00.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dana Wildsmith, poet

Dana Wildsmith is my new favorite poet. She grew up in the same hot, humid area of south Georgia where I lived. I like the following poem, Peopleing, which Dana gave me permisssion to post on our blog.


Our border collie Max, I say, would be a bow-tie guy,
a grey slacks with cuffs kind of guy,
his solid-color long-sleeved shirts always lightly starched.
For casual, he’d keep pressed khakis on wooden hangers
and white golf shirts with left-sleeve monogram.

Fred the red hound would live in faded 501’s
and Carhartts, Dixie Outfitter shirts, and ball caps
promo-ing beer and football and backhoes.

We’re sure Max is a Whiskey-Palian,
20-year deacon, high church, early Mass.
Fred’s kin have been Baptists, by God,
since time began on Sunday, October 23rd, 4004 B.C.

Sndays after church, Fred eats Mama’s fried chicken
and watches the game. Max does the buffet at the Club,
drives his white Volvo home and now politely corrects us,
“You have me all wrong, you know.”
But he won’t say how.

Fred’s F-150’s spinning gravel out front
and he yells he’ll catch us later--
gotta get that squirrel before it makes it to a tree.

So we sit on the porch with Molly,
the damaged black Lab. She was a preacher’s kid,
never heard a cuss word till high school,
believed in the goodness of man
until one man beat that guilelessness out of her.
Now Molly slips around the edges of her days
not looking at the world so the world won’t exist.

But even Molly’s pleased when Barney, the old beagle,
comes bowlegging over to find out what’s new with us.
He’s got time to palaver, now he’s retired from the mill.
He hitches his overalls at the knees
and eases to a rocker, informing us that
whoo, lordy—it’s going to be a hot one today.

Later this evening he’ll have his coffee
at Waffle House with Roscoe and Willie,
and he’ll tell the other dogs how he talked to me earlier
and don’t they think I’d be an Irish Setter?
Not a prissy bred-for-show, mind you,
but one of those country Setters, always up for a walk….

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What is Free Verse Poetry? Part I

Hello fellow Netwest Writers. Below is part of a talk I gave Oct. 21, 2007 at Young Harris College at the state meeting of the Georgia Poetry Society. I am happy to share it with you. Please feel free to share this with others, but do not reprint or publish without my permission. For the sake of learning, the speech has been adapted and presented here in three parts. Positively, Nancy Simpson 2-3-08


The best “What is Poetry” definition yet known to me is Laurence Perrine’s definition (from the Sound and Sense textbook) in which Perrine said, “Poetry is language that says more and says it with more intensity than ordinary language.” Perrine also said, “ Poetry is as universal as language and almost as ancient.” He said, “The most primitive people have used poetry and the most civilized have cultivated it.” I celebrate Perrine's understanding. I celebrate being among fellow poets who are practicing and cultivating poetry.

In all ages and in all countries and even now, this day, poetry is being written. The most popular form of poetry being written throughout the world today is free verse. As someone who has studied, practiced, published and taught poetry for thirty years, I will do my best to share what I understand about free verse. Free Verse has been a recognizable form since Walt Whitman, called the Father of Free Vese, published Leaves of Grass in 1855, 153 years ago.

Free verse is a poetic form in which the line does not conform to rules of meter and rhyme. The purpose of free verse is to break with tradition and that means to shun meter and rhyme. After saying that, we still have to ask the question, What is free verse?

I stongly believe the writer of free verse has much freedom, but it is a misconception to think that the poet can write with total abandon of rules. From study, practice and a publishing career, I am certain that except for breaking with traditional meter and rhyme, and a few other minor changes, the other guidelines that poets of old followed are the guidelines we must follow today. Here they are:

1) A poem is made of tightly compressed language. This has been true since the beginning of written poetry. As free verse poets, we must practice economy of words. If you can’t cut, if you can’t
prune, as they say, if you cannot joyfully and willfully give up your words, my advice to you must be, go no farther in writing poetry, for economy of words is poetry’s first rule.

2) Poetry is written in sentences and lines. The master poets practiced this. It is a guideline we must follow. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetics says “Poetry is cast in sentences and lines. Prose is written in sentences and paragraphs.” Why is writing in sentences essential? Syntax, for it is syntax of sentence that gives our poems their meaning. If you want your reader to understand, write in sentences.

3) Traditional poets made poems with comparisons, using figures of speech such as metaphor, simile, understatement, and hyperbole. Free verse poets must make fresh metaphors. Similes do not seem to be appreciated by poetry editors these days, but the task for poets is still the same: Use metaphorical language in your poems.

--Nancy Simpson (Part II More Guidelines For Writing Free Verse will be posted here tomorrow.)