Showing posts with label Nancy Simpson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nancy Simpson. Show all posts

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Do You Know about Marsha White Warren? What does she mean to NCWN-West?

We are kept up to date on the literary world by North Carolina Writers' Network. Did you know about the NC Literary Hall of Fame? New inductees this year will include Marsha White Warren who was Executive Director of NCWN in 1987 – 1996. She is responsible for our program, NCWN-West.


This is from Nancy Simpson’s history of NCWN-West:

When NCWN-West Began
During 1990, NCWN Executive Director Marsha Warren mailed a survey to NCWN members living here in the mountains. At the same time, then NC Arts Council Literature Director in Raleigh, Debbie McGill, also mailed a different survey to writers. Both organizations seemed to want to know about the mountain writers. They asked questions about what we needed. Included was a place for comments. The results of both surveys moved these leaders to reach out and help writers in the mountains.

In 1991, I applied for and received an Artist Fellowship in Poetry at NCAC. Soon after I got a call from NCAC Literary Director Debbie McGill congratulating me and asking me to come have dinner with her in Sylva (a two and a half hour drive for me at the time.) I immediately said, “Yes.”

A few days later, I received a formal letter on NCAC stationery signed by Kathryn Stripling Byer. That letter was sent to all writers in the area, asking us to come to a meeting on the same evening that I was invited to have dinner with Debbie Mc Gill. I rode over the mountains with Bettie Sellers of Young Harris, Georgia (she would become Poet Laureate of Georgia) who had also received a letter.

At dinner before the meeting, Debbie McGill asked me to help form a writing group in the mountains west of Asheville. I said I would. That evening in Jackson County, Rita Rudd, a writer who lived there, volunteered to get organized in Jackson County. I took a copy of the membership list of NCWN and NCAC members living in Clay County (Hayesville), in Cherokee County (Murphy), and in Macon County (Franklin). I set up a meeting for NCWN members in those three counties. We met in Murphy. …

I will always be grateful to Marsha Warren, who worked with dedication to get NCWN West organized. She is the one who named the counties and areas to be served as NCWN West: Cherokee County, Clay County, Graham County, Haywood County, Jackson County, Macon County, Swain County, Transylvania County, and adjacent counties in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. During my service as Program Coordinator, I was asked to include Qualla Boundary.”  Read more here.

SOUTHERN PINES—On Sunday, October 7, at 2:00 pm at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame will welcome five new inductees.
James W. Clark, Jr., Randall Kenan, Jill McCorkle, Penelope Niven, and Marsha White Warren will join the sixty inductees currently enshrined.

Marsha Warren 
Marsha White Warren was an elementary school teacher, poet, and children’s book author when she became Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network in 1987, only two years after its founding. She would serve in that role until 1996. During those years she helped Sam Ragan develop and open the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, as well as serving on numerous state and national literary boards and as a consultant to literary centers in Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Idaho. In 1991, she also became director of the Paul Green Foundation and is still with the Foundation after twenty-seven years. In that position, she has overseen $575,000 in grants to nonprofits that support the arts and human rights. Her awards include the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities, R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award for Lifetime Contributions to Literature, Sam Ragan Award for Contributions to the Fine Arts, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Andrews College. She lives in Chapel Hill.

Like Nancy Simpson, I am grateful to Marsha White Warren for creating NCWN-West. I moved to NC in 1995, just as our program was taking off and building community for writers here in the mountains. 
Thanks to Nancy, Kay Byer and to Marsha Warren, we are a thriving organization, the western arm of NCWN, but many, many writers and poets don’t know how we began. Now you do. 

Congratulations to Marsha Warren, 2018 NC Hall of Fame Inductee.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Photo of Nancy Simpson Gifted to the Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC



Glenda Council Beall and Mary Fonda

On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, the Moss Memorial Library received a photo of late poet, Nancy Simpson Brantley, given from the North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN), in Simpson Brantley’s, honor for her many achievements, most of which were in Western NC. Librarian Mary Fonda received the photo from North Carolina Writers’ Network-West’s (NCWN-West) Program Director, Glenda Council Beall. Simpson Brantley's work was written under her maiden name, Nancy Simpson.

Nancy Simpson Brantley was a poet, teacher, and mother of three children. She taught in Clay County Schools for 28 years, in the Exceptional Children’s programs. She received a Master’s in Fine Arts from Warren Wilson College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Western Carolina University. 

A member of the NCWN, Simpson Brantley served on its executive board, and in 1991 co-founded the NCWN-West, a program of NCWN, to serve writers in the remote NC mountains. She was NCWN-West’s Program Director for over 21 years.
She taught writing at Tri-County Community College, Murphy, NC, The Institute for Continuing Learning at Young Harris College, Georgia, at John C. Campbell Folk School (JCCFS), Brasstown, NC, and was Resident Artist for Writing at JCCFS 1998-2010. 

Simpson Brantley’s poems were widely published in Literary Journals, and she had three published books: Living Above The Frostline, New and Selected Poems, Night Student, and Across Water. Simpson Brantley won first place for her poem, “Night Student,” at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, GA, in 1978, received the NC Arts Council Writing Fellowship for Poetry in 1991, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Tri-County Community College in 1998. She was named a SIBA Poetry Award Finalist in 2011. Simpson Brantley co-edited Lights in the Mountains and edited Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, both anthologies with Western NC writers. Simpson Brantley has been included in several editions of Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in the South and Southwest, and Who's Who of American Women. In 2018, she was given the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who.

Nancy Simpson Brantley passed away on February 17, 2018. A memorial in her honor was held at the John C. Campbell Folk School on May 5, 2018. You can visit her blog at: http://nancysimpson.blogspot.com/

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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNVqLYQGmzc
Video #10: Shelby Stephenson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ8_GYXPKKw

Photos will follow at a later date.