Showing posts with label Brenda Kay Ledford. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brenda Kay Ledford. Show all posts

Saturday, April 13, 2019

April is Poetry Month and We Celebrate at Moss Memorial Library

We will celebrate in Hayesville, NC at the Moss Memorial Library with award-winning poet, Brenda Kay Ledford reading from her new book, Red Plank House.

Brenda Kay Ledford
 A seventh-generational native of Clay County, Ledford grew up in a red-plank house eating apple butter, wearing homemade clothes, playing hopscotch, and singing shape-note music in country churches. Later she took piano lessons and played hymns for worship services.

Ledford was an honor graduate of Hayesville High School.  She rode a bus over the winding dirt roads.  It was a long route and she observed the mountains changing colors with seasons.  That’s when she grew to appreciate the beauty of our region.

Her favorite teachers were Leslie Carter, media specialist, and Josephine Thurman, senior-year English instructor.  Both educators instilled within Ledford the magic of books.

After Ledford was graduated from HHS, she worked as a clerk-typist with the FBI in Washington, DC.  It was cultural shock.  Ledford returned to her beloved roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
She worked as a secretary at Hinton Rural Life Center.  She also taught Sunday school and directed Bible School.  Ledford loved children and wanted to become an educator. She earned a MA in Early Childhood Education from Western Carolina University and taught the fourth grade at Murphy Elementary School.

While she was teaching, Ledford’s father got Hodgkin’s disease.  She obtained an emergency medical technician certification to help care for him.  She worked in the emergency room at Towns County Hospital part-time and with the Clay County EMS.

 Ledford also took a Creative Writing class at Tri-County Community College under Nancy Simpson to renew her teacher’s license.  Nancy was her mentor and encouraged Ledford to submit her work for publication.  Her poetry has appeared in Pembroke Magazine, Asheville Poetry Review, Our State, Angels on Earth, Chicken Soup for the Soul, 39 Old Mountain Press anthologies, and many other journals. Ledford’s latest poetry book, Red Plank House, was released by Kelsay Books, available at

Ledford is presently working on a collection of poetry for children.  Many poems are about her great-niece, Reagan Blanche.  Ledford’s favorite pastime is reading to her little niece and viewing the world through the joyful eyes of kids.

Each month Coffee with the Poets and Writers meets at the library on the third Wednesday of the month, 10:30 AM. We feature a member of NCWN-West, sponsoring organization, and we hold Open Mic to allow our guests to read an original poem or two.

This month we will celebrate two poets who were special to us in this region, the late Nancy Simpson and Kathryn Stripling Byer. Everyone is invited to bring a poem by one of them to read at open mic along with an original poem.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Popular NC poets to read on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, at the JCCFS, Brasstown, NC

At 7:00 PM on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, the John C. Campbell Folk School and the NC Writers' Network-West will sponsor The Literary Hour. At this event, NCWN-West members will read at the Keith House on the JCCFS campus, in Brasstown, NC. The Literary Hour is usually held on the third Thursday of the month unless otherwise indicated. This reading is free of charge and open to the public. This month's featured readers will be Linda Grayson Jones, Brenda Kay Ledford, and Maura Payne Way.

Linda Grayson Jones
Linda Grayson Jones has read and written poetry since childhood and recalls reading The Highwayman to her 3rd grade classmates. She has a B.S. in Biology from Stetson University, an M.A. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Pathology from Vanderbilt University. Her career path has been primarily in academic biomedical research, but in 2009 she returned to her first love—teaching. 

Jones is currently an Associate Professor of Biology and Dean of Math and Science at Young Harris College. She remains a reader and writer of poetry and is a member of North Carolina Writer’s Network.  She credits Nancy Simpson for encouraging her to use Grayson Jones as her published poet’s name.

Brenda Kay Ledford
Brenda Kay Ledford is a seventh-generational native of Clay County, NC.  She was an honor graduate of Hayesville High School, earned her Master of Arts in Education from Western Carolina University, and received a diploma of highest honors in Creative Writing from Stratford Career Institute. 

Her work has appeared in many journals.  Her latest poetry collection, "Crepe Roses," won the 2015 Paul Green Multimedia Award from NC Society of Historians.  She's won this award 10 times for her books, blogs, and collecting oral history of Southern Appalachia.

Her life-experience essay, "The Front Porch," won first place in the 2018 Cherokee/Clay County Senior Games Silver Arts Literary Contest.  She qualified for the State Finals that will be held this fall in Raleigh.

Maura Payne Way: Originally from Washington, D.C, Maura now makes her home in Greensboro, NC. Her debut collection, Another Bungalow, was released by Press 53 in 2017. Her work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, O. Henry Magazine, Verse, DIAGRAM, and The Chattahoochee Review.
Payne studied poetry at Mary Washington College and Boise State University. In addition to her being a poet, Maura teaches 9th and 10th grade English at New Garden Friends School. She has been a teacher for twenty years.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Video Links for Nancy Simpson Celebration, held May 5, 2018, at the John C. Campbell Folk School

Left to right, Glenda Beall, Jeremy Brantley, Lynn Rutherford, Yan Yang Brantley, and Janice Moore
The Nancy Simpson Celebration was a success. Many noted authors spoke and read, most from Simpson's books. Some read poems they had written for Nancy.

Readers included:

Shelby Stephenson, Poet Laureate of NC, Steve Harvey, Debbie McGill, Janice Moore, Brenda Kay Ledford, Karen Paul Holmes, Mary Ricketson, Rosemary Rhodes Royston,Glenda Barrett, Joan Ellen Gage, and Glenda Council Beall.

Glenda Council Beall led the Celebration as Emcee. Here are video links from the Celebration, (taken by Yan Yang Brantley), note, they are not in order:

Video #1: Glenda Beall
Video #6: Rosemary R. Royston
Video #10: Shelby Stephenson

Photos will follow at a later date.