Sunday, February 18, 2018

We say Goodbye to a Founder of NCWN-West, Nancy Simpson

It is with deep sadness that I write to you of the passing of Nancy Simpson. Nancy was an important member of the writing community, a practicing poet, a teacher, and a friend.

She was an active member of the North Carolina Writers' Network since its inception in 1985 and served on the Executive Board. In 1991 she co-founded the North Carolina Writers' Network-West, a program to serve writers in the remote areas of the North Carolina mountains. She served as program coordinator for 10 years.

A long time English educator and poet, Nancy Simpson spent 26 years teaching in the exceptional children's programs in North Carolina. Retiring in 2001, she simultaneously spent 14 years as an instructor of creative writing at the Tri-County Community College from 1989 to 2003, in Murphy, NC.

She taught poetry part-time at the Institute for Continued Learning at Young Harris College, creative writing in the middle school grades and English composition, and American Literature.

For 15 years Simpson was employed part-time as a Resident Writer at John C. Campbell Folk School where her job was to schedule writing classes and to teach Poetry and Historical Novel.

Her books include: Across Water, Night Student, and Living Above the Frost Line, New and Selected Poems. Ms. Simpson and Shirley Uphouse co-edited Lights in the Mountains: Stories, Essays and Poems by Writers Living in and Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Simpson also served as editor of Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, an anthology released in 2010. Simpson authored numerous poems published in literary publications. Some were reprinted in anthologies such as The Poet's Guide to the Birds, Word and Wisdom – 100 Years of North Carolina Poetry. Also, 7 of her poems were reprinted in a textbook of Appalachian poets.

Here is a link to Nancy's obituary page

Nancy had requested that donations be made to NCWN-West, in lieu of flowers. If you are interested in donating in her name, please send a check made out to: NCWN-West, with donation in memory Nancy Simpson in the subject line, and send it to:

Newton Smith, Treasurer
6875 Canada Road
Tuckaseegee, NC 28783

The NCWN-West will hold a memorial for Nancy sometime in the spring of 2018.
Simpson blogged at :

Here is a video link of Nancy reading two of her poems:

Joan Ellen Gage
Admin NCWN-West

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Joan, for this post. There is so much to tell about Nancy Simpson that we could fill a book. Thank you for the obituary information. We can visit that site often to keep up with the plans for her funeral.


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