Showing posts with label Glenda Council Beall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glenda Council Beall. Show all posts

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Poet of Distinction, Nancy Simpson

It was with a very sad heart that I heard the news I had feared hearing today. My mentor and teacher, Nancy Simpson, poet and co-founder of NCWN-West, passed away today, February 17, 2018. She had been ill for a few months and had surgery at Emory Hospital.
We will miss her advice, her knowledge of our history and the journey she traveled to bring writing and publishing opportunities to those who lived where the difficult terrain of these mountains made it hard to find, and form a writing community. She was a strong advocate for those of us who were being short-changed because of where we lived. She was often a force to be reckoned with when she saw discrepancies in the way the poets and writers here in our area, back in the nineties, seemed to be ignored although we paid the same dues as those in the Piedmont area.
Nancy Simpson was a poet of distinction. Her poems appeared in the best journals. She authored three poetry books, Night Student, Across Water and Living Above the Frost Line, New and Selected Poems published by Carolina Wren Press (N.C. Laureate Series, 2010.)  With the late Kathryn Stripling Byer, Nancy Simpson went to the leaders of NCWN and the NC Arts Council to insist they bring to us a program which we have used for more than twenty-five years to form a writing community that has grown in number and in quality of work published. At first the program stumbled when the original program coordinator moved away. But Nancy Simpson stepped in and dedicated her time and energy for thirteen years as program coordinator and kept NCWN-West working for all of us. 
As many of us who enrolled in classes with Nancy at Tri-County Community College can attest, she gave generously of herself to her students. With Nancy's mentoring we fell in love with poetry as she had. In my first class with Nancy at the John C. Campbell Folk School, I shyly handed her some verses I had written. "Is this a poem?" I asked. She read it, smiled, and said, "Yes, this is a poem."
Within a year I had submitted and had published several poems. So many of us in Clay and Cherokee Counties in North Carolina and Towns and Union Counties in Georgia owe Nancy Simpson more than we could ever repay.

As program coordinator, she always had two representatives in the eight counties of NC, and the north Georgia region when she had only the telephone with which to communicate to those members so far from where she lived. All counties were involved through their representatives. This was before there were any regional reps for NCWN. Unlike in a city, writing groups were scarce in our area.

Nancy taught us how to hold a critique group where everyone respected each other and no one was rudely treated, verbally attacked, or made to feel they did not belong. She was a teacher and a leader. She helped to create professional critique groups for our members. This brought writers from miles away who were looking for that kind of group.

As a teacher of writing now, I refer to my notes from Nancy's classes in 1995, 1996, and later. I pass on the teachings of my mentor, my friend. Even after she resigned as program coordinator, she stayed involved with NCWN-West. She edited our last anthology, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, which sold nearly 2,000 copies.

Nancy Simpson was also a special needs teacher in the schools in Hayesville, NC. After teaching all day, she drove two hours one way at night to Warren Wilson College to earn her masters degree.

The death of her son from cancer was a devastating blow. I believe that was when her health began to fail. While grieving her loss, she worked day and night on Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. It was a big undertaking for someone who was in mourning. She was proud of the book and so were we all. 
She spent so much of her time encouraging and teaching others, that she fell behind in publishing her own books of poetry. When her last book was submitted to a press, I heard that the editor was not eager to publish it because of Nancy's age. Her age was not the problem. It was her health. Sadly, by the time the book came out, Nancy was not strong enough to travel and do book signings. Although all of us who knew her treasured that book, if she had been able to travel across the state so many more people would own one of them. The book is still available  Here.

To know more about this outstanding woman, visit her blog. She had the most gorgeous flower garden and joyed in sharing pictures with her readers. Read her poetry and learn from this poet who published in all the major journals and was highly respected by editors and publishers, not only in North Carolina, but from California to Maine.

While Nancy Simpson is not with us physically we will always carry with us the memories of her teaching, her mentoring and her love for poetry.

Glenda Barrett, one of Nancy's poetry students,  and Nancy Simpson

Friday, January 26, 2018

NCWN-West's Program Coordinator, Glenda Council Beall to teach writing classes this spring at Tri-County Community College and Young Harris College's Institute for Continuing Learning

Glenda Council Beall will teach writing classes this spring at two colleges.

Beall will teach on Monday evenings beginning in March 2018, from 5:30 – 8:00 PM, at Tri-County Community College in Murphy, NC. Her topic is Creative Writing. Beall writes: Perhaps you want to write about yourself or people you know, places you have been or family history. Perhaps you have always had stories wandering around in your brain and you want to write fiction. Poetry? Prose? Not sure? Your questions will be answered to help you discover your writing niche. This class is for new or aspiring writers. To register, please contact:

Lisa Long
Director of Community Outreach
(828) 835-4241

Beall will also teach at Young Harris College's Institute for Continuing  Learning , beginning in May, the 3rd-24th, 2018, Thursdays from 3:15-5:15 PM.  Registration is made through ICL. More information will  be available as the class gets closer. Institute for Continuing Learning's link is:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Round Robin Reading with Poets and Prose writers at Coffee with the Poets and Writers, at the Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC, Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On November 15th, 2017, at 10:30 AM, the North Carolina Writers’ Network-West will host Coffee with the Poets and Writers at the Moss Memorial Library. The event will be round-robin style, with several members reading from their works for approximately 40 minutes. Members will include: Glenda Council Beall, Joan Ellen Gage, Bob Grove, Joan M. Howard, Mary Ricketson, and Carroll Taylor. 

After the member readings, guest attendees will be invited to read their work. All open Mic readings will be approximately 3 minutes. 

Coffee and cookies will be provided, and the public is invited. For more information, please contact Joan Ellen Gage at 828-389-3733.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Literary Hour at John C. Campbell Folk School, Thursday, August 17, 2017, in Brasstown, NC, to feature local writers Glenda Council Beall, Glenda Barrett, and Jo Carolyn Beebe

On Thursday evening, August 17, 2017 at 7:00 PM, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC, and North Carolina Writers Network-West will co-sponsor The Literary Hour, an hour of poetry and prose reading in the library of Keith House. This event is held on the third Thursday of the month, unless otherwise indicated.  It is free of charge and open to the public, and the reading will be followed by an open Mic.  Poets Glenda Council Beall and Glenda Barrett, with poet and prose writer Jo Carolyn Bebe, will be the featured readers.  This month is unique in that we have three members of NCWN-West entertaining during The Literary Hour.

Glenda Council Beall

Glenda Council Beall’s writing has been published in numerous literary journals including, Reunions Magazine, Main Street Rag Poetry Journal, Appalachian Heritage, Journal of Kentucky Studies and online journals, Your Daily Poem, Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Wild Goose Poetry Review. Robert Brewer, editor at Writers Digest published one of her essays online. She read her work with Carol Crawford on the Writer's Radio Program, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Her poems have been anthologized in The Southern Poetry anthology: Volume VII: North Carolina 2014,  Lights in the Mountains, The Best of Poetry Hickory Series, 2011, Kakalak: North Carolina Poets of 2009, and Women’s Spaces, Women’s Places, among others. Her poems have won awards in the James Still Poetry Contest and the Clay County NC Poetry Contest. Her poetry Chapbook, Now Might as well be Then, is available at Finishing Line Press.

She serves as Program Coordinator of North Carolina Writers’ Network West She is also a Clay County Representative for NCWN-West, and in that capacity she hosts Coffee with the Poets and Writers once each month.

Glenda is Owner/Director of Writers Circle where she invites those interested in writing poetry or prose to her home studio for classes taught by some of the best poets and writers in North Carolina and Georgia.  Find her online at and

Glenda Barrett

Glenda Barrett, a native of Hiawassee, Georgia is an artist, poet and a visual writer.  Her work has been widely published in magazines, anthologies and journals.  These include Country Women, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Farm and Ranch Living, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Deep South Magazine, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Woman’s World, Greensilk Journal and others.  

Barrett's Appalachian artwork is for sale on and her poetry chapbook, When the Sap Rises, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008.  She now has a full-length poetry book titled, The Beauty of Silence, that was published in July of this year by Aldrich Press, and is available on

Jo Carolyn Bebe           

Jo Carolyn Beebe is a native of Mississippi. Many of her poems and stories are based on her recollections of conversations with her grandparents. Her Grandmother Anderson said, "The Bartletts are kin to Daniel Boone. They came through the Cumberland Gap with him." Great-grandfather Ricks showed her a greasy circle in his front yard where no grass would grow. "This is where the Indians cooked their food," he told her.

She also has her own memories of life in a small, rural town. Her story, "The Way You Hypnotize a Chicken," really happened when she and a friend hypnotized one of Grandmother's hens. And where else but in a small town could two little girls play in the funeral home and pick out their everyday casket and their Sunday casket?

Jo Carolyn has been published in Main Street Rag, Clothes Lines, Women's Spaces Women's Places, Lonzie's Fried Chicken, Lights in the Mountains, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge and by Abingdon Press. She has been most gratified with her family history book The Beekeepers and Sons of Ander.

She is a graduate of Miami University, Oxford and has been a resident of Towns County for 21 years.