The Cataloochee Bridge: A Poetry and Prose Anthology

This 80 page Anthology of poetry and short shorts consists of the writings of 60 people from across the USA and S. Africa with the theme of anything about the mountains: mountain people, mountain places, mountain activities , mountain towns, etc. or winter.


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About the book

Anything about the mountains: the rivers, creeks, places, people or winter.

Sample of the work:



Shelby Stephenson


Across the road, alone,

A stoop of collards,

She never rose in radishes

Or flowers in rows,

A vegetable garden she

Called her patch.

Her hands dressed in cut-off socks

She pulled long in weeds,

Mumbling, My Lord,

You gave me a mountain

To work here on this hill,

No roses red as my love for Paul,

No eggplants for the sun,

Just hens to run out in the yard,

An offering of shells

Around my chainey-tree.

And then she hummed

Some more, her nature

Forsaking something

She might could bear, she thought,

As she turned like an arrow

Guarding air to miss her haven.

Shelby Stephenson’s recent books are More, Shelby's Lady: The Hog Poems and Praises. He served as poet laureate of North Carolina from 2015-2018. Shelby lives at the home place near Benson, NC where he was born.


Walking the Appalachian Trail

Tom Davis


When I signed into the 10th Special Forces Group at Ft Devens, Massachusetts, after my one year tour in Vietnam, I was told I would be hiking the Appalachian Trail with a Special Forces A team that was already walking it. I’d just gotten back from Vietnam and had not even drawn my field equipment, much less gotten Polly situated in quarters. She didn’t take the news so well (understatement).

     To appreciate this story you have understand how wild and wooly Special Forces A Teams were at that time (1971). As a group and as individuals we often displayed a morbid and sometimes a juvenile sense of humor. If they could get in trouble, they would. And walking the trail from Baxter State Park in Maine to Massachusetts provided several opportunities the team just couldn’t pass up. Here is just one of many we availed ourselves of.


As we trudged on, we often met other hikers. One time we gave this kid a lift into town in the 3/4 ton truck that we met at predetermined places along the route. I sat in the back of the truck with the rest of the guys while CPT Nelson, the team leader, sat up front with the driver. Filthy Fred Faloon, the Team’s senior demolitions sergeant, sat eyeing the guy as a smile broke across his face. "Hey, Rodgers." Filthy Fred said. Rodgers was the Team’s junior communications sergeant. "Wanna swap spit?" Where upon Filthy Fred brought up a big wad and spit it into his palm. Rodgers did the same; then they each placed their palms on each other’s mouths and licked.

     I never went in for the swapping spit thing, opting instead for the SF lick in the ear. Anyway, the kid, who was sitting directly across from Filthy Fred and Rodgers, looked like he was about to jump out of the truck as it tore down the highway.

     His eyes filled his face. I was sure he was hearing banjo music. The whole back of the truck erupted in laughter. The look on the kid’s face was something that I have never forgotten. When we pulled to a stop at a stoplight, the kid grabbed his back pack, jumped down, and started walking off shaking his head and mumbling to himself. I’m pretty sure he’s telling and retelling this story even today.


From the author’s memoir: The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On: A March from Private to Colonel.

Tom Davis’ publishing credits include Poets Forum, The Carolina Runner, Triathlon Today, Georgia Athlete, The Fayetteville Observer’s Saturday Extra, A Loving Voice Vol. I and II, Special Warfare., and Winston-Salem Writers’ POETRY IN PLAIN SIGHT program for 2013 and 2021. He has authored several books. Tom has completed his memoir, The Most Fun I ever Had With My Clothes On A March from Private to Colonel. He lives in Webster, NC.

About the Authors 

Authors’ Biographies  


Bob Arnold is a native of Americus, Georgia, where he lives with his wife JoAnna and their children. He serves as Team Leader in Care Management at Phoebe Sumter Hospital and has worked as an RN for twenty-five years. Before his career in nursing, Bob farmed family land that he continues to operate. This is his first submission to Old Mountain Press.


JoAnna Arnold is the World Languages Advisor and Service-Learning Coordinator at Furlow Charter School in Americus, Georgia. An enthusiastic educator of French, Spanish, and English, JoAnna develops service-learning programs within her language programs. Her passion is teaching students to use their developing language skills to evaluate and meet the needs of people in their community and around the world. JoAnna nurtures her insatiable love for adventure with her husband Bob and shares personal reflections and stories of travels in her blog and anthologies with Old Mountain Press.


Sam Barbee has a new collection, Uncommon Book of Prayer (2021, Main Street Rag). His poems recently appeared in Poetry South, Literary Yard. His collection, That Rain We Needed (2016, Press 53), was nominated for Roanoke-Chowan Award as one of North Carolina’s best 2016 poetry collections; a two-time Pushcart nominee.


Dorothy Barrow was born in Zebulon, NC and loved to write from an early age. She graduated from Wakelon high school at 16 and from Duke University at 20. She wrote her college senior paper, thoughtfully, about the strengths and weaknesses of Mormonism.


Frederick W. Bassett is a frequent contributor to the anthologies published by The Old Mountain Press. Retired and widowed, he has learned to live alone without becoming a hermit, thanks to family and a host of dear friends. He finds great pleasure in writing (poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction). An Alabama native, Bassett currently live in Greenwood, SC.


Jenny Bates, North Carolina. Member of Winston-Salem Writers. NC Poetry Society, NC Writers Network. Published books include, Coyote with Coffee (Catbird on the Yadkin Press, NC 2014). Visitations (Hermit Feathers Press, NC 2019). Slip (Hermit Feathers Press, NC 2020). Known local animal whisperer to Donkeys, Coyotes and Crow Folk. Jenny currently resides in Stokes Co., NC adjacent to Hanging Rock State Park.

Marcie Behm-Bultz is a population scientist and demographer whose writing is based in human geography and exotic locations. Marcie’s literary work has been featured in numerous publications such as the BorderLines Anthology, Old Mountain Press anthologies, The Deadly Writers Patrol Anthology, the Catfish Stew annual magazine, and the SC Writer’s Association Petigru Review. She is a 2018/2019 Pushcart Prize nominee and a member of the CSRA/Savannah River Poets.  She resides in Vienna, Austria.


Kerri Habben Bosman is a writer in Chapel Hill, NC. She graduated from Peace College in 1993 and North Carolina State University in 1996. Her articles, essays and poetry regularly appear in publications across the United States and Canada.


Harry Brown holds degrees in English from Davidson College, Appalachian State University, and Ohio University.  He has published six poetry collections and co-edited an anthology of KY writing.  After teaching for over forty years in the EKU English Department he has returned to NC and lives with his wife Alice in Burlington, NC. 


Annie Chambers was born into a poor family, but was given a chance by a blind neighbor lady. Annie was an average student until she found that she could express through writing. She moved up the business ladder from stock girl to marketing vice-president as her skills were discovered. She enjoys everyday and all her gentleman callers who bring her presents.


Kenneth Chamlee’s poems have appeared in The North Carolina Literary Review, Cold Mountain Review, The Greensboro Review, The Asheville Poetry Review, Ekphrasis, in seven editions of Kakalak: An Anthology of Carolina Poets, and in many other places. He has two contest-winning chapbooks, Absolute Faith (ByLine Press) and Logic of the Lost (Longleaf Press), and his book of poems, If Not These Things, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in 2022. Ken lives in Mills River, NC. Learn more at 


Steve Cushman is a novelist and poet in Greensboro, NC. He’s published three novels, including Portisville, which won the Novello Literary Award. His first full-length poetry collection, How Birds Fly, is the winner of the Lena Shull Book Award.


Polly Davis, Ed.D, is retired from the NC Community College System where she served as an English department chair and an administrator. She served as a trustee for the Cumberland County Library and Information Center and chairs its program committee. She is the editor of Daddy Pa’s Diary, and Growing Up Southern in Baconton Georgia. She has completed her memoir Stumbling Towards Enlightenment: A Wife’s Thirty-year Journey with Her Green Beret. She’s an avid reader and supporter of the arts in North Carolina. Polly lives in Sylva, NC.


Tom Davis’ publishing credits include Poets Forum, The Carolina Runner, Triathlon Today, Georgia Athlete, The Fayetteville Observer’s Saturday Extra, A Loving Voice Vol. I and II, Special Warfare., and Winston-Salem Writers’ POETRY IN PLAIN SIGHT program for 2013 and 2021. He has authored several books. Tom has completed his memoir, The Most Fun I ever Had With My Clothes: On A March from Private to Colonel. He lives in Sylva, NC.


Suzanne Delaney is a regular contributor to OMP Anthologies She has co-published an Anthology with Carol Mays Poems of Nature, Enchantment and Mystery. Her poems appear in two Anthologies PS: It’s Poetry, & PS: It’s Still Poetry by Inc. Arczis Web Technologies (Author), PoetrySoup (Author) Australian born, Suzanne resides in NC.


Bob Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, published by Beech River Books. He is a retired educator with ties to North Carolina, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. He resides in Burlington, NC, and Wolfeboro, NH.


Nancy Dillingham an educator, editor, and poet is a sixth-generation Dillingham from Big Ivy in western North Carolina.  Recent publications include, Like Headlines: New and Selected Poems and the chapbooks Revelations, I Can’t Breathe, and Vantages. She is associate editor of the on-line poetry journal Speckled Trout Review.  She lives in Asheville, NC.


Sandra Dillingham’s work has appeared in Victoria Press and the anthology It’s All Relative: Tales from the Tree from 50 WNC Women.  Sandra was the editor of Haywood Press at Haywood Community College for five years.  Sandra lives in Asheville, NC.


David Dixon is a physician, poet, and musician who lives and practices in the foothills of North Carolina.  His poetry has appeared in Rock & Sling, The Northern Virginia Review, Connecticut River Review, FlyingSouth, Volney Road Review, and elsewhere. His book of poetry The Scattering of Saints is forthcoming in Spring 2022.


Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of six collections of poetry, including A Sun Inside My Chest (Press 53), winner of the 2021 International Book Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared in “American Life in Poetry,” JAMA, The Christian Century, The Sun, The Writer’s Almanac, and many more. Her awards include the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and a Nautilus Silver Book Award. She lives in Pfafftown, NC. garden and blogs at


Dena M. Ferrari is a regular contributor to OMP Anthologies. Dena’s poetry are featured in Westchester Community College of NY Phoenix (1975), Writers Alliance Poets World-Wide anthologies has many of her published works. Dena’s own books, Poems From the Hearth (2010) Come Closer My Dearies (2013), Charmed Times Three (2015), and her newest book Wyld Earth Magick (2018) shows diversified writing styles, leaving a Living Legacy for her grandchildren. She and her husband, Peter live in Vass, NC.


Joanne Kennedy Frazer is a retired peace and justice director and educator for faith-based organizations at state, diocesan and national levels. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, journals and e-zines. Five of her poems were placed into a song cycle, titled Resistance, by composer Steven Luksan, and performed in Seattle and Durham. Her chapbook, Being Kin, (Creation Rising) was published in 2019. She lives in Durham, NC.


Peggy Dugan French is a California girl with Minnesota roots. She has been the editor of the small print zine Shemom since 1997. Her work has appeared in Lilliput, bear creek haiku, Shemom and Whispers. She has worn many hats over the years, but raising her children has been one of her greatest pleasures. Peggy lives in Cardiff, CA, with her husband, cat and wild garden and blogs at


Bob Garrett is a nurse practitioner with Phoebe Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Albany, GA. He thoroughly enjoyes spending time outdoors hunting and fishing. He has contributed several stories for Old Mountain Press in the anthology series.


Michael Gaspeny, who lives in Greensboro, NC, is the author of the novella in verse, The Tyranny of Questions (Unicorn Press) and the chapbooks Re-Write Men and Vocation. He has won the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition and the O. Henry Festival Short Fiction Contest. His novel, Postcard from the Delta, is forthcoming from Livingston Press. For hospice service, he has received The (NC) Governor’s Award for Volunteer Excellence.


James Gibson, private pilot, scuba diver, and retired corporate manager, writes from Northville, Michigan. His first five novels featured Native American culture in the epic  Anasazi Quest series. His eighth novel, To Live or Die in Taiwan was published in 2018, and a sequel, To Live or Die in Panama is drafted. Review all his published books at . Anasazi Princess and Anasazi Journey are now available as Kindle Books on


Marian Gowan is author of Notes from the Trunk, published by Old Mountain Press. Her work has appeared in several Old Mountain Press anthologies and southern regional publications. She retired to the NC mountains from western NY in 2001,but returned to NY in 2017 to be near family. (


Farley Granger thinks more than he writes, and he writes more than he sees other people. He grew up in a depressed country town and understands the struggles of poor, heartland folks. But he has a lot of hope. Farley lives in La Grange, NC.


Cordelia Hanemann is currently a practicing writer and artist in Raleigh, NC. Besides her chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly, she has published in the Atlanta Review, Redivider Review, Southwestern Review, and California Review; anthologies for The Poet Magazine, [Heron Clan and Kakalak. Her poems have been nominated for Pushcarts and have been performed. She is now working on a novel.


Gloria Harrington has been a member of both the Georgia Poetry Association and John's Creek Poetry Group for over ten years. Her poems have been published six times in the yearly anthology: Reach of Song. Also, she placed 3rd in a national poetry contest several years ago. She lives in Tucker, Georgia, and is a retired teacher.


Jill Jennings’ work has appeared in Atlanta Review; Oberon; Calamari; and Please See Me journals. Her 3 full-length books include The Poetry Alarm Clock; Dead Man’s Flower; and Pineapple Wine: Poems of  Maui.  She has received numerous awards including the U.S Congressional Commendation. A GA native, she now lives in Fort Myers, FL.


Jerry Judge lives in Cincinnati with his two royal cats and an older, yet still spunky dog, who walks him twice daily. He is active in the Cincy writing community, and his last poetry collection, The Cold Moon, was published in 2021.


K. D. Kennedy, Jr. has published Eight Books (8) books of poetry, short stories, and essays: Our Place On Time, Waiting Out In The Yard, For Rhyme Or Reason, Progenitors: A Kennedy Genealogy, The Works Of K. D. Kennedy, Jr., Poems Worth Remembering, Family...Forever’s Lovesong, and Truth Instead. He has also published works in over forty anthologies and periodicals.


Patsy Kennedy Lain resides in Hubert, North Carolina and released her first book, BACKROADS, during 2021. She continues to paint as well and just finished her second book to be published this year. Patsy continues to be inspired by her surroundings as well as life.


Brenda Kay Ledford lives and writes in Hayesville, NC. Her work has appeared in all of the Old Mountain Press anthologies. Her latest book, Blanche, poems of a Blue Ridge Mountain Woman, was recently released by Redhawk Publishing. She won the 2021 Paul Green Multimedia Award for her children’s picture book, The Singing Convention.


Preston Martin teaches at Duke’s Continuing Education OLLI program. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Iodine, Tar River Poetry, Chaffin Journal, Kakalak, Broad River Review, Appalachian Review, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, “I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing” Ohio’s Appalachian Voices, and other anthologies and journals including Every River on Earth: writings from Appalachian Ohio (Ohio University Press). He lives in Chapel Hill, NC.


Celia H. Miles is a native of Jackson County, now retired and living in Asheville. She is the author of nine novels, set in western North Carolina. Her fourth grist mill mystery will be out this spring.


Beverly Ohler grew up in the Northeast, although the NC Mountains have been her home most of her life. She is an artist, designer, teacher, and writer, who has worked most of her life at Warren Wilson College; her early years in NYC. Theater has primarily been her most creative platform. She has published five books, appears in countless publications, and currently lives in Black Mountain.


Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, ND. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including, Frogpond, Setu, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Atlas Poetica and NeverEnding Story. Karen edited an international online journal called Whispers  for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

Martha O’Quinn is a longtime contributor to OMP Anthologies. She is a true southerner, having lived in five different southern states. Her writing consists of non-fiction and poetry taken from real life experiences.  After retirement, she and her husband spent twenty-two years in Hendersonville, NC. Three and a half years ago they moved to Loganville, GA to be near their daughter. Come Spring, a sixth great-grandchild is due to join their family.


Bill Petz is a retired educator and public health trainer. His writing has appeared in The New Verse News, The Chronicle Of Higher Education, the Asheville Citizen-Times, Artists & Writer’s Quarterly, Status Hat, and other places. He teaches poetry at the OLLI College for Seniors of UNC- Asheville. Bill lives in Fairview, NC.


David W. Plunkett’s first novel, Chessboard, came out in 2019 with a second novel, Poisoned Pawn, to come out this year. He is a member of the North Carolina Writers Network. Prior to retirement his careers spanned work as an award winning newspaper reporter, Congressional staffer, and lawyer in Washington, DC. He lives on Lake Chatuge in Young Harris, GA, and within walking distance of North Carolina.


David E. Poston’s poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in Atlanta Review, Pembroke Magazine, North Carolina Literary Review, The MacGuffin, and Pedestal Magazine, among others. He is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Slow of Study, and a coeditor of Kakalak.


Michael Potts is the author of the novels End of Summer, Unpardonable Sin, and Obedience. He also authored the poetry anthologies From Field To Thicket and Hiding from the Reaper. His most recent publications include Death Rattle and Other Dark Tales and Slipknot and Other Dark Poems, both published by Heartsblood Press. He lives with his wife, Karen, and eight cats in Coats, NC.


Mary Ricketson lives in Murphy NC, works as a mental health counselor and a blueberry farmer. Her poems often reflect the healing power of nature, surrounding mountains as midwife for her words. Her published collections are I Hear the River Call My Name, Hanging Dog Creek, Shade and Shelter, Mississippi: The Story of Luke and Marian, Keeping in Place, and Lira, Poems of a woodland woman.


Dwight Roth is a retired elementary school teacher of 29 years, who grew up in the mountains of Southwestern Pennsylvania. He enjoys writing poetry, painting, and music. His work appears in several OMP anthologies. He has self-published four memoirs and several books of poetry, as well as children’s books. Nine books or booklets are published on Amazon Kindle. Dwight and his wife Ruth live near Monroe, NC. He writes daily on his blog: .


Paul Sherman lives in the Pisgah forest outside Burnsville, NC. He works at an artist retreat on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland, NC. He enjoys thinking poetry in a darkened room lit by fire.


Rishan Singh currently lives in KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. Rishan’s publishing credits include 2 publications in the quarterly magazine of Poetry Potion, and the 2014 English Guide for school learners. His postmatric qualifications include courses in biology, creative writing, poetry, and journalism. He is heavily involved in the research projects. He produces creative content for all types of media. He has proudly appeared in other volumes of this anthology series as well.


Shelby Stephenson’s recent books are More, Shelby’s Lady: The Hog Poems and Praises. He served as poet laureate of North Carolina from 2015-2018. Shelby lives at the home place near Benson, NC where he was born.


Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & soft-cover book anthologies.  Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.  The Smithsonian selected her photo to represent all teens from the 1950's; a large showcase in its American History Museum features her photo. hand-designed clothing, and her costume sketches. ‘Girlhood’ exhibit opened 10-2020 and will go on tour beginning Jan. 2023


Barbara Tate is an award winning artist and writer, a member of the British Haiku Society, the Haiku Society of America and the Tanka Society of America. Her work has appeared in many of the Old Mountain Press Anthologies as well as publications world wide. Barbara currently resides in Winchester, TN. Her two latest books darkness in a noonday night and far more than I ever was were published this past year.


Carroll S. Taylor is the author of two young adult novels, Chinaberry Summer and Chinaberry Summer: On the Other Side, as well as a children’s book, Feannag the Crow. Feannag teaches children the importance of making friends. Carroll's novels emphasize generational storytelling and anti-bullying. Her writing captures her love for nature, including reptiles and amphibians. She retired after teaching more than forty years, from kindergarten to university. She and her husband live in Hiawassee, GA.


Rebekah Timms lives with her cat in Greenwood, SC, about 15 miles from the house in which she was born. She has published a memoir of her mother and two collections of poems. Rebekah enjoys writing and feels that her work is an expression of her gratitude and joy of life.


Vicky Whedbee earned the Five-Star Seal from Reader’s Favorite for her first two novels, Things He Hadn’t Told Her, and Sarah’s Song, and has since authored the sequel to Sarah’s Song titled Sarah’s Home. She currently lives in San Mateo, FL., but loves to spend as much time as possible at her mountain home in Parrottsville, TN. All three of her books are based in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee.


Barbara Ledford Wright resides in the foothills of NC. However, most of her life was spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains, of which she writes about. After retiring from teaching, she began writing and had her stories accepted in Old Mountain Press anthology series, and many other journals and anthologies.

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