Showing posts with label JCCFS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JCCFS. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Poets Joan M. Howard and Rosemary R. Royston to read at the John C. Campbell Folk School Literary Hour, Brasstown, NC, Wed., May 17, 2017 at 7:00 PM

 On Wednesday, May, 17, 2017, 7:00 PM, two local poets will read at the John C. Campbell Folk School's, "The Literary Hour", at Brasstown, NC. Poets Joan M. Howard, and Rosemary Rhodes Royston will be reading selections of their poetry, and the public is invited.

Joan M. Howard’s poetry has been published in The Lyric, The Road Not Taken: The Journal of Formal Poetry, Lucid Rhythms, Victorian Violet, Our Pipe Dreams, Aurorean, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Miller's Pond, the 2012 Georgia Poetry Society's anthology Reach of Song, POEM, Wayfarer, and others.

Howard recently published a book of poetry, Death and Empathy: My Sister Web, a tribute to her sister Webster, and to Howard's husband, Jack. The book focuses on Howard’s grief and the gift of life itself, through nature, animals, travel and love. 

 She is a former teacher, member of North Carolina Writers' Network West, has studied German and English literature. Howard goes birding and spends time in Athens, GA, and on the beautiful waters of Lake Chatuge, in Hiawassee, Georgia.

Rosemary Rhodes Royston holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University, is a lecturer at Young Harris College, Georgia, and is a Rep for North Georgia for the NCWN-West. Royston’s poetry has been published in journals such as The Southern Poetry Review, The Comstock Review, Main Street Rag, Coal Hill Review, FutureCycle, STILL, New Southerner, and Alehouse. Her essays on writing poetry are included in Women and Poetry: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing by Successful Women Poets, McFarland. 

Royston’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and she was the recipient of the 2010 Literal Latte Food Verse Award. Her chapbook, Splitting the Soil, is available at Finishing Line Press. 

Most recently, she received Honorable Mention in the George Scarbrough Poetry Contest, Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, along with her short fiction being selected as Honorable Mention in the Porter Fleming Literary Awards, 2012. Royston blogs at The Luxury of Trees.

The Literary Hour at JCCFS is sponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network-West.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Brasstown, NC's John Campbell Folk School readings Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, to feature writers Mary Michelle Keller & Lucy Cole Gratton

Mary Michelle Keller
Lucy Cole Gratton
On Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM, the John Campbell Folk School and NC Writers Network-West are sponsoring The Literary Hour, an hour of poetry and prose reading held at Keith House on the JCFS campus, Brasstown, NC. This is being held on the third Thursday of the month unless otherwise notified. The reading is free of charge and open to the public. Poets and writers Mary Michelle Keller and Lucy Cole Gratton will be the featured readers, returning to the Folk School as one of the more entertaining pair of readers.

Mary Michelle Keller has lived in Town County 20 years. It is here that she began to write poetry followed by the natural progression into prose. She is a musician, artist and photographer. Keller says that all those loves give root to her poetry as inspiration. Her poem, As The Deer, published in the anthology, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, was inspired by an old hymn by the same name that she plays on the dulcimer.

Keller enjoys words; moving them around on paper until a poem, short story or essay emerges. She finds pleasure in reading to a few or many, be it her own words or those of others, and says reading at the Folk School is always a treat. Keller always enjoys reading her pieces to locals and students of the school.

Lucy Cole Gratton is a retired CPA who has lived in the Murphy area over 20 years. She received her BA in mathematics from Agnes Scott College, her MEd in secondary math from the University of Florida and her accounting hours from Florida Atlantic University.

Since her retirement she served as Executive Director for the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition, Inc for several years and continues to assist with the accounting and tax preparation for the Coalition as a volunteer. She is a member and serves as Treasurer of the Mountain Community Chorus Inc., which rehearses at Young Harris College, presenting a concert each spring and Christmas.

Gratton is a Cherokee County representative for NCWN and a member of NCWN-West. She coordinates the program at John Campbell Folk School for NCWN-West and serves as moderator. Her poems include various topics but predominantly center around her concern for the environments and her home in the woods of Lake Appalachia. Gratton’s writing has been published in various venues but has had limited publication since she writes predominantly for the love of writing, sharing it with family and friends.

Contact: Lucy Cole Gratton, Cherokee County Representative –NCWN-West


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Estelle Rice and Glenda C. Beall To Read At JC Campbell Folk School

On Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM, John Campbell Folk School and N.C. Writers Network West are sponsoring The Literary Hour, an hour of poetry and prose reading held at Keith House on the JCFS campus. This is being held on the third Thursday of the month unless otherwise notified. The reading is free of charge and open to the public. Poets Estelle Rice and Glenda Council Beall will be the featured readers, both of whom are well established poets in the mountain area. 


Estelle Rice, author of Quiet Times, a book of poetry, 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. 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 the North Carolina Writers’ Network West for many years and has endeared herself to her friends and co-writers alike.


Glenda C. Beall’s poems, essays and short stories have been published in numerous literary journals and magazines including Reunions Magazine, Main Street Rag, Appalachian Heritage, Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, The Dead Mule, School of Southern Literature and Wild Goose Poetry Review. Her poems have been anthologized in 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.

Glenda enjoys writing articles for newspapers on subjects that are important to her such as indoor air pollution and spaying and neutering pets. She supports animal rescue shelters with her articles. She has taught memoir writing at John C. Campbell Folk School for several years. She also teaches writing at Tri-County Community College.

Glenda served as program director of North Carolina Writers’ Network-West in 2007 and 2008, and is now Clay County Representative for NCWN-West. Glenda is author of Now Might As Well Be Then, poetry published by Finishing Line Press, and she compiled a family history, Profiles And Pedigrees, 
Thomas Charles Council And His Descendants, published by Genealogy Publishing Company.

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 the area. Find her online at: and

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No JC Campbell Folk School Reading in July

The Folk School’s schedule is extremely crowded every July, so our readers will take a break. However, the readings will resume in August, with featured readers Glenda Beall and Estelle Rice. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Literary Hour at JC Campbell Folk School

On Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 7:00 PM, John C. Campbell Folk School and N.C. Writers Network-West are sponsoring The Literary Hour, a monthly hour of poetry and prose reading held at Keith House on the JCCFS campus. The reading is free of charge and open to the public. 

This month presents an exceptional opportunity to meet and listen to the featured readers, Nancy Simpson and Brenda Kay Ledford, whose poetry mostly centers around the mountains.

Nancy Simpson is the author of three poetry collections: Across Water, Night Student, and most recently Living Above the Frost Line, New and Selected Poems (Carolina Wren Press, 2010). She also edited Echoes Across the Blue Ridge (anthology 2010). She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a BS in education from Western Carolina University. She received a NC Arts Fellowship and co-founded NC Writers Network-West. For more than 30 years, young writers have known her as “beloved teacher.” Simpson’s poems have been published in The Georgia Review, Southern Poetry Review, Seneca Review, New Virginia Review, Prairie Schooner and others. Her poems have been included in anthologies, Word and Wisdom, 100 Years of N.C. Poetry and Literary Trails of N.C. (2008). Her poems have also been featured in Southern Appalachian Poetry, a textbook anthology published at McFarland Press.

Nancy lives in Hayesville, NC. Through 2010 she served as Resident Writer at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Presently she teaches Poetry Writing at the Institute for Continued Learning at Young Harris College.


Brenda Kay Ledford is a seventh generational native of Clay County, NC, and holds a Master of Arts in Education from Western Carolina University.

She writes about her heritage and has done post-graduate work in Appalachian studies. Brenda received the Paul Green Multimedia Award from North Carolina Society of Historians seven times for her books, collecting oral history, and blog, Historical Hayesville.

Her work has appeared in Our State, Carolina Country Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Appalachian Heritage, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Asheville Poetry Review, Country Extra Magazine, Blue Ridge Parkway Silver Anniversary Edition Celebration, and many other journals.

Finishing Line Press published Brenda’s award-winning poetry books: Shewbird Mountain, Sacred Fire, and Beckoning. She co-authored Simplicity with Blanche L. Ledford. These books are available at the John C. Campbell Folk School Craft Shop. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Literary Hour at JC Campbell Folk School

On Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM, John Campbell Folk School and N.C. Writers Network West are sponsoring The Literary Hour, an hour of poetry and prose reading. The reading, held in the Keith House, is free of charge and open to the public. Accomplished poets Heidi Sherlock and Rosemary Royston will be the featured readers.

Heidi Sherlock

Heidi Sherlock is a student at The University of North Carolina-Greensboro and is pursuing her MA degree in English. She is a 2012 graduate of Young Harris College. Besides being published in Wild Goose Poetry Review, she has won multiple awards for her poetry and prose through The Corn Creek Review and the Clay County Historical and Arts Council annual literary awards programs.

Rosemary Royston

Rosemary Royston, author of Splitting the Soil (Finishing Line Press, 2014), is a poet living in northeast Georgia. She administrates and teaches at Young Harris College. Her poetry has been published in Southern Poetry Review, The Comstock Review, Main Street Rag, Town Creek, *82 Review, KUDZU, Coal Hill Review, STILL, New Southerner, FutureCycle, Flycatcher, Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume V: Georgia, and Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. Two of her essays are included in the anthology Women and Poetry: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing by Successful Women Poets(McFarland). She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Writers and Poets Reading Stories and Poems

JC Walkup from Canton, NC and Paul Donovan from Murphy, read to an enthusiastic audience at John C. Campbell Folk School Thursday evening. Dr. Gene Hirsch and students in his current poetry class were present for the reading, as well as Nancy Simpson, writer-in-residence at JCCFS. Paul Donovan told the group, representing many different states in the United States, that they were in the presence of some very important people to writers in western NC. Dr. Hirsch founded the writing program at the folk school, and Nancy Simpson brings in the wonderful faculty each year. Nancy served as Program Coordinator for Netwest for 13 years and continues to mentor and teach poetry.

JC read a gory horror story which kept the listeners on the edge of their seats. Her husband Bob says JC finds ideas for her stories wherever they travel. Just one little incident can grow into an interesting mystery.

Paul Donovan gave one of his very best readings ever. With his tongue-in-cheek humor his poetry often ends with a twist, but a little of the dark slips into his work occasionally.

Reading in May, on the third Thursday, will be Shirley Uphouse, non-fiction writer and Brenda Kay Ledford, award winning poet. Time is 7:00 p.m. at John C. Campbell Keith House living room.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Are you a poet? Do you want to be a poet?

Nancy Simpson will teach YOUR POETRY, LETS HEAR IT with focus on sound techniques at the John C. Campbell Folk School
in late July. Whether narrative or meditative, sound is important in a poem.

Nancy is the best at teaching free verse poetry. If you haven't had the opportunity to take a class with Nancy, be sure to find some way to register for one. Go to and look under writing or under instructors and find her class. This is a beautiful time to visit the mountains of western North Carolina.

It was spring of 1995 when I took my first class with Nancy in the Orchard House at JCCFS. I remember asking her, "Is this a poem?" I was unfamiliar with elements of free verse poetry and had shared very little of my writing with anyone. From that time on, I practiced Nancy's advice on writing poetry and by 1996 I had published several poems. Over the years I studied with Nancy Simpson at every opportunity. Many of us in Clay, Cherokee, and Graham counties of NC and in Towns, Union, Fannin and Rabun counties in Georgia claim Nancy as our mentor. Through her classes at JCCFS, Nancy continues to teach and encourage students from all over the country in their quest to write and publish poetry.

Have you taken a class with Nancy Simpson? Please comment or email and let us know.