The Outer Side of Life: A Poetry and Prose Anthology 83 pages containing 62 authors. See bios below.

Selected works nominated for a Push Cart Prize 2009



About the Book
About the Contributors

Upcoming Anthologies
Anthologies in Print

About the book

A collection of poetry and prose that makes the reader smile or better yet laugh out loud! 
Samples of included works
The Outside Loo
      Joanna Catherine Scott

If you crossed the yard 
and went around the tool shed,
past the blood orange, the trash cans,
the row of paper almond trees,
you would come to a hunch-backed door 
that scraped – the outside loo.

Calcimined walls. A heavy wooden seat.
A high tank trailed a rusted chain 
to haul on after you were done 
and turned, hitching at your skirt,
to watch the metal triangle on its end rise 
to the rush of water down the pipe. 

You could spend hours there, panties 
round your knees, kicking your heels 
on the wooden toilet box, reading Eagle magazine, 
picking lumps of plaster off the wall 
like sunburnt skin. You could be Biggles,
or tomboy George from Famous Five.

No need to shut the door. Only the dog 
came calling (once your little brother 
offering five small pieces of bright candy).
You could sit forever 
above the pure smell of yourself. 
You could dream.

Joanna Catherine Scott is a well-known North Carolina writer, a recent winner of the Brockman Campbell Book Award from the N.C. Poetry Society for Fainting at the Uffizi and the Black Zinnias Poetry Book Award for Breakfast at the Shangri-La. Her winning poem in the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition is part of a collection, Night Huntress, published in April 08. Her novel, The Road from Chapel Hill, is a SIBA/ Book Sense Southern Literary bestseller. A sequel to that book, Child of the South, is due out in Spring 2009. Joanna is the winner of the 2008 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition of the North Carolina Writers Network

Eat This Okra, It’s Good for You
Tom Davis

I HATE OKRA. I can’t stand the sight, the smell, and, most of all, the taste of it. Feeling this way started when I ate too many bowls of Maw Maw’s vegetable soup and got sick. The only memory I have of that occasion is the taste of okra. Ugh!
      I remember it like it was yesterday. The new preacher was coming for Sunday dinner, and Mama went all out. Including our family, we had coming Paw Paw, Maw Maw, Aunt Josie, Uncle Bud (“no-a-count Bud,” as Daddy called him), the new preacher, and his wife.
      The preacher finally finished saying grace, and before the chorus of “Amens” died down, I commenced eating. In no time, I cleaned my plate and asked Mama if I could be excused. Well, you’d have thought I’d asked permission to strip naked and dance around the table.
      “No, you can’t be excused! Our guests haven’t finished and besides you haven’t had enough vegetables. Eat this okra. It’s good for you.” And with that, she plopped a big spoon full of slimly, smelly, boiled okra on my plate and smiled.
       “Mama, I can’t eat that stuff. It makes me sick!” The smell crep up my nose and turned my stomach.
      It wouldn’t do but the new preacher had to get involved. From his seat directly across from me he flashed a big toothy grin, then said, “Tom, try a bite. I dearly love boiled okra, and this is the best okra I’ve ever put in my mouth!”
       If I wanted to leave the table early, I knew I’d have to try a bite, so I threw a piece of that slimly okra into my mouth, thought about the catfish I was going to catch that day, and swallowed hard. It started down fine, but halfway between my mouth and stomach it decided to come back up along with some fried chicken, a helping of Mama’s famous mashed potatoes, and a generous portion of creamed corn. It all rocketed toward the new preacher, hitting him square in the chest and splattering all over the table.
     Well, I think Mama was pretty sorry she pushed me into eating okra that day, and I know for sure that the preacher was.

Tom Davis’s publishing credits include Poets Forum, The Carolina Runner, Triathlon Today, Georgia Athlete, The Fayetteville Observers Saturday Extra, A Loving Voice Vol. I and II, and Special Warfare. He’s authored a collection of short stories, The Life and Times of Rip Jackson; a children’s coloring book, Pickaberry Pig; a how to book on writing a ranger patrol order, The Patrol Order; and an action adventure novel, The R-complex. Tom lives in Fayetteville, NC.

About the Contributors 

JS Absher ( lives in Durham, NC. The Burial of Anyce Shepherd was published by Main Street Rag Press in 2006.

Sandra Ervin Adams’ poetry has appeared in all previous Old Mountain Press anthologies. Her first book of poetry was Union Point Park Poems, and her second will be Weymouth and Beyond. Her poem, [Another Beautiful Mind], was accepted for TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN: a caregiving anthology, which will be published in 2009 by the North Leitrim/West Cavan Carers Group in County Cavan, Republic of Ireland. She resides in Jacksonville, NC.

Katherine Russell Barnes lives in Wilson, NC. She has had many poems published in literary journals and anthologies including Crucible, Pembroke Magazine, Wellspring, Here’s to the Land, Earth and Soul, Poets for Peace, Looking Back,Southern Mist and others. She has served on the boards of the NC Poetry Society and the Poetry Council of NC.

Frederick Bassett grew up in Alabama eager to hear the stories of his elders. His poem published here was inspired by one of those stories. The original narrator told it about someone he ran with as a young man. Bassett decided to let the woman tell the story. His poems have appeared in more than forty publication. A retired academic, he live at Hilton Head, SC with his wife Peg.

Ervene Boyd is a poet, multi-media artist and a healing minister whoofficiates weddings and lives in her hometown of Raleigh, NC. She has previously published with Blue Mountain Press. She has just completedher second book, A Soul Voice, which will include her art work being exhibited in December 2008 at UNC Women’s Hospital.

Rachel Bronnum lives in Lawrenceville, Georgia and escapes to Highlands, North Carolina as often as possible. She avoids excursions to the steamy lake of her poem.

Beth Browne’s writing has been published in various print and online journals and she was the recipient of a 2008 Regional Artist Project Grant for Literature from the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. Ms. Browne lives on her great grandfather’s farm near Clayton, NC, with her two children, a pair of fancy rats and two barn cats.

BudCaywood lives and works in Alexander County, NC, where he is the staff designer for La-Z-Boy Furniture, an artist and writer. He has been creating art and word for more than thirty-five years. His prose and poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies including Thundersandwich, Iodine Poetry Journal, Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum, and Pinesong by the NC Poetry Society. He has written one full-length collection of poems and eleven chapbooks.

JIM CLARKis the Elizabeth H. Jordan Professor of Southern Literature and Writer in Residence at Barton College in Wilson, NC. His books include Notions: A Jim Clark Miscellany, Dancing on Canaan’s Ruins, Handiwork, and Fable in the Blood: The Selected Poems of Byron Herbert Reece. He has also released a CD of original poems and Appalachian folk music, Buried Land, and two CDs, Wilson and Words to Burn, with his band The Near Myths.

Sara Claytor lives in Carrboro, NC. She is a former teacher of English, writing and speech communication types on both the public school and university levels. Main Street Rag published her first full-length poetry book Howling on Red Dirt Roads in 2008. In 2007 Puddinghouse Pubs. published her chapbook Reviving the Damsel Fish.

Ed Cockrell lives in Chapel Hill, NC, on 10 acres served by well and septic. He sometimes used an outhouse at his grandma’s house in Nash County before Hurricane Hazel blew it over. Ed is current president of the Poetry Council of North Carolina, but elections are due in 2010.

Michael Colonnese directs the Creative Writing Program at Methodist University where he serves as managing editor of Longleaf Press.

Sonja Contois is an award-winning author with short stories included in two anthologies: Christmas Presence and Mountain High. A former factotum, Sonja is now a full-time writer living in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.

Dawn Culverwell lives in Hendersonville, NC. Her joy is to write poetry and fiction stories and to read poetry. Living in the mountains and meeting other writers has given her continued inspiration to write and to share her passion. 

Tom Davis’s publishing credits include Poets Forum, The Caroli­na Runner, Triathlon Today, Georgia Athlete, The Fayetteville Observers Saturday Extra, A Loving Voice Vol. I and II, and Special Warfare. He’s authored a collection of short stories, The Life and Times of Rip Jackson; a children’s coloring book, Pickaberry Pig; a how to book on writing a ranger patrol order, The Patrol Order; and an action adventure novel, The R-complex. Tom lives in Fayetteville, NC.

Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of collection of poetry entitled, Thread Count, which is available at Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Old Mountain Press, Pisgah Review, Blue Fifth Review, Dead Mule, Broad River Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Bay Leaves, Paris Voice, Thieves Jargon, Forsyth Woman, WomenBloom, Parent: Wise Austin, Silver Boomer Books., the Hickory Women’s Resource Center anthology entitled,Voices & Vision, and others. She lives in Lewisville, NC.

Sue Farlow is the president of the North Carolina Poetry Society. She teaches Honors English, Yearbook and Journalism at Asheboro High School. She has two grown sons and lives on a 55 acre farm with her husband.

G. Cortez Flagg is a resident of Pinehurst, NC. Garrettteaches Public Speaking at Fayetteville Technical Community College. He graduated from De la Salle College, Manila and earned master’s degrees in oral interpretation and creative writing at the Universities of Arizona and Florida. He has published widely in journals such as McGuffin, Cream City Review, Don Quijote Quarterly, The Greensboro Review, Third Wind, etc. He paints water colors, sculpts, and takes photographs.

Ann Fogelman, a writer of memories in prose and poetry, lives in Friendswood, Tx. She is a member of Bay Area Writers League, Gulf Coast Poets, Poetry Society of Texas and the Arts Alliance Center in Clear Lake. Ann has been published in anthologies, The Noble Generation Volume II, That Thing You Do, Mountain High, other anthologies and various school publications.

Dare Freeman Ford, of Hendersonville, NC, has a background in education. Ford published Don’t Make me Turn this Bus Around, a chronicle of her adventures as a teenage bus driver in her native Anson County, NC. Her work has appeared in several regional publications, and OMP’s Looking Back, Night Whispers, Southern Mist and Mountain High. Most recently, she contributed to Christmas Presence, edited by Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham. 

James Gibson combined his love of the American West and his fascination with Native American shamanism to write the fivenovels of the Anasazi Princess series. He also wrote The Last Ride, a traditional Western set outside Tucson, Arizona. All six novels are available at The Anasazi Princess novels are also available at and through Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Marian Gowan, a graduate of Tufts University, retired to Hendersonville, NC from western NY. She contributed to American Patchwork, St. Martins Press. Her work has appeared in regional publications, including WNC-Woman, and in several Old Mountain Press anthologies. Most recently, she contributed to Christmas Presence, edited by Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham.

Phyllis Jean Green lives in the southern part of heaven, Chapel Hill, NC. Among her projects is Tell me I am Crazy, Entries by a Mad Woman {sic}. 

Bill Griffin is a family doc and poet from rural NC who has published lots of poems and has a new chapbook coming soon from March Street Press ([Snake Den Ridge –A Bestiary]). He’s glad the elections are over and we can move beyond Dr. Seuss (“Red state, blue state / Real state, true state.”) to a country where we’re all willing to pull together for something good.

Kerri Mai Habben lives in Raleigh, NC, where she works as a writer and photographer. Her articles, essays, and poetry have appeared in literary journals and other publications. She recently completed an assignment preparing columns for the News & Observer. Currently she is working on a novel, set in 1929 at a tuberculosis sanitarium.

MaXine Carey Harker, a lover of haiku for many years, butwho finds life more amusing than sublime lending itselfmore to senryu than haiku. MaXine has lived in Grifton for nearly 60 years with husband Berkley, raised 5 kids and a multitude of cats. Teaches Writing for Publication at the Recreation Center in New Bern NC. 

Joseph Haymore, a native of North Carolina, was raised in Harnett Co. where he graduated from Benhaven High School. He attended Texas Western College, the University of Maryland, Central Carolina Technical Institute, Fayetteville State University and Guilford University. He began writing poetry at the encouragement of his wife and mentor, Catherine Murphy. He has published three chapbooks and can currently be read in the Old Mountain Press anthology, Mountain High.

Elizabeth MacKenzie Hebron: After serving as Managing Editor of The MacGuffin for nearly ten years, Elizabeth left to publish her own literary magazine, Eratica - half a bubble off plumb, with three like-minded friends. The Eratica dream died after four years due to lack of funding. Her work has been published in Bellowing Ark, Maxis Review, Water Flying Annual, and an anthology, Love, Grandma: Grandmothers Against the War. She lives in Westland, MI, with her husband and two dogs.

Daryl Holmes, a native of Westerly, RI, and resident of Thibodaux, LA, teaches English at Nicholls State University. Her work has been published in the High Plains Register, The Louisiana English Journal, and the Nicholls Jubilee Anthology.

Jackie W. Jackson is an Assistant Professor at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA. Her poetry has been printed in The Louisiana English Journal, The Jubilee Anthology, and previous OMP publications. She has a short story in the latest Louisiana Literature.She is chair of the annual Jubilee Jambalaya Writers’ Conference in Houma, LA, and resides in Raceland, LA. 

Dawn T. Jones, J.D., glamorous beyond reckoning, lives and writes above the frost line in Canton, NC, far from the stench of the paper mill fumes.

Jerry Judge lives in Cincinnati and is the author of five poetry chapbooks with the latest being Luna Moth (Finishing Line Press, 2008). He is a former President of the Greater Cincinnati Writers League and works with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He’s the proud father of two grown sons – a firefighter and a college student. He shares a home with his wife, three cats, and a dog who walks him daily.

Debra Kaufman is a poet and playwright who has worked as a detasseler, waitress, newspaper correspondent, copyeditor, editorial manager, and mother. She is author of three poetry books: Family of Strangers, Still Life Burning, and A Certain Light. She lives in Mebane, North Carolina.

K. D. Kennedy, Jr. has published two books of poetry, Our Place In Time (2002) and Waiting Out In The Yard (2006). He has been published in the Barton College Crucible, In the Yard, a poetry anthology, and several other anthologies. He is presently writing short stories along with poetry, and is researching a novel when not gainfully employed or producing theater (Hot Summer Nights At The Kennedy).

Jo Koster teaches medieval literature and writing at Winthrop University and says that most of her creative writing takes place in her checkbook. Recent work has appeared in the collections Mountain Time (Old Mountain Press) and A Cadence of Hooves (Yarroway Mountain Press). Her most recent chapbook, No Going Home, was published by Devil’s Millhopper Press. She and her cat Mishka make trouble in Rock Hill, SC.

Patsy Kennedy Lain lives in Hubert, NC. She has had several short stories in The Daily News of Jacksonville, NC. Several of her short stories appeared in the Art Council’s 2008 New River High Tide. She placed 2nd in short story and 3rd in poetry at the 2008 Senior Games. She has also published several poems and a few short stories in a senior group’s annual publication, Ol’ Timers’ Tales

Blanche L. Ledford’s work has appeared in Mountain High, Southern Mist, Freckles to Wrinkes, Lights in the Mountains, and other publications. Her essay, “Planting by the Signs,” received first place in the Cherokee Senior Games. Blanche lives in Hayesville, NC, and enjoys culinary arts, crafting stories and gardening.

Brenda Kay Ledford is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network and North Carolina Poetry Society. Her work has appeared in Mountain High, Southern Mist, Our State, Pembroke Magazine, Appalachian Heritage, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and other journals. She received the Paul Green Award for her poetry chapbook, Shew Bird Mountain. Her third poetry chapbook, Sacred Fire, was released by Finishing Line Press this fall. Brenda lives in Hayesville, NC.

Al Manning is a retired Naval Officer, and a retired Instructor in Microcomputer systems. He lives in Waynesville, NC, in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains. Al is a newspaper columnist and author of the Curmudgeon’s Book of Nursery Rhymes.

David Treadway Manning is a California native living in Cary, NC. A Pushcart nominee, his poems have appeared in various journals, five chapbooks and the full-length collection, The Flower Sermon, published by Main Street Rag in 2007.

Susan McKendree is a poet, writer, and collage artist who calls herself the Poet Midwife, offering classes and workshops combining words and images for personal growth and self-expression. Her work has appeared in Western North Carolina Woman magazine and she has published a chapbook entitled The Age of Miracles. Susan lives with three rare diminutive tigers who graciously share their home with her in Weaverville, NC.

Janice Townley Moore is a member of the English Department at Young Harris College. Her poems have appeared in The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, and other journals. Her chapbook, Teaching the Robins, was published by Finishing Line Press.

Jerome Norris lives with his beautiful wife by a pond near New Bern, NC. He’s a retired lawyer who now devotes full time to writing stories, poems and song lyrics. He’s quit his day job, but not because there’s any money in this writing racket.

Martha O’Quinn is a native of NC, now living in Hendersonville, NC. She has lived in five different southern states and her family stories and poetry reflect a true southern heritage. Her work has appeared in WNC-Woman, Christmas Presence, an anthology edited by Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham, The Independent Weekly and in four previous Old Mountain Press anthologies.

Felix Perry is the author of three published books which are: Red Soil, In Deep Water and The Canadian Loyalists. Felix is also a contributor of short stories and poetry to magazines, ezines and newspapers and resides in Nova Scotia, on Canada’s rugged East Coast. 

MichaelPotts was born and reared near Smyrna, TN and is currently Professor of Philosophy at Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC. His poems have been published in several literary journals, and his poetry chapbook, From Field to Thicket, won the 2006 Mary Belle Campbell Poetry Book Award of the North Carolina Writers Network. He lives in Linden, NC.

Joyce Richardson lives in the hills and forests of rural Athens, Ohio. She most recently appeared in the anthology, Love After Seventy along with her husband, Phil. Her new poetry chapbook, Sailing Without A Sail will be published by Pudding House in 2009. She is the author of an Appalachian teaching novel, On Sunday Creek and a mystery novel, Nude Descending A Staircase

Phil Richardson is retired from Ohio University and lives in Athens, Ohio. His work has appeared in Elf: Eclectic Literary Forum, Fantasy, Folklore and Fairytales, Northwoods Review, The Storyteller, Cafe Irreal, Digitalis Obscura, Big Pulp, Muzzle Flash, Word Catayst, Short Story Library, Love After 70 Anthology, and Writing On Walls Anthology. In addition, his story “The Joker is Wild,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2005.

Dr. Lynn Veach Sadler, a former college president, has published widely in academics and creative writing. Editor, poet, fiction/creative nonfiction writer, and playwright, she has a poetry collection and novel forthcoming; a novella and short-story collection were recently published. She was named 2007 Writer of the Year by California’s elizaPress and won Wayne State’s 2008 Pearson Award for a play on Iraq. She lives in Sanford, NC.

Joanna Catherine Scott is the author of the novels The Road from Chapel Hill (a sequel Child of the South is due out in April 2009); Cassandra, Lost; The Lucky Gourd Shop; and Charlie, and the prizewinning poetry collections Breakfast at the Shangri-la, Fainting at the Uffizi, and Night Huntress. She is the winner of the 2008 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition of the North Carolina Writers Network. A graduate of the University of Adelaide and Duke University, she was born in England, raised in Australia, and now lives in Chapel Hill. 

Rishan Singh wasborn in Durban and educated at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His poems have been commercial and international successes, one of the very few young poets to have achieved this. He has published in Departing Dawn, Venturing Vistas and several others. He continues to live in Durban, penning his thoughts and culminating ideas for all audiences, and he is currently a Distinguished Member of the World Poets Society in Larissa, Greece.

Martha Sisk was born in Concord, NC. She is a life-long learner, and is involved with the arts community in Fayetteville. Martha teaches writing at Fayetteville Technical Community College.

Sybil Austin Skakle is author of a book of poetry, Searchings, and a memoir, Confessions of an Outer Banks Filly. Her poems and articles have appeared in periodicals, and numerous anthologies. She is a member of Friday Noon Poets; is a retired pharmacist, who lives in Chapel Hill, NC. 

Dorothy Anne Spruzen earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and she teaches creative and business writing in Northern Virginia. In another life she was Manager of Publications for a defense contractor. Her work has appeared in several publications. Dorthy lives in McLean, VA.

Tonya Staufer found her way back to writing after a long hiatus. Her work has been published in Moonshine Review, Spirit of the Smokies, Long Story Short, Western North Carolina Woman, Christmas Presence, Looking Back, Southern Mist, Night Whispers, Sand, Sea, and Sail, Mountain High, and an anthology due out this fall. Tonya and her husband call Saluda, North Carolina home.

Dennis Ward Stiles grew up on a farm in Illinois. He graduated from the USAF Academy in 1964, and spent 30 years in the Air Force as a pilot and military diplomat. He has published widely in journals. His most recent chapbook is Humdinger, from Pudding House in 2007. Main Street Rag will publish his full-length book, The Fire in Which We Burn, in 2009. He and his wife Mary Jane live in Charleston, SC. 

BettyWatson writes both poetry and short stories. She won second prize for a short story published in WNC Woman in March. A creative non-fiction piece appears in moonShine review. She has won awards given by Asheville Writers Worshop. And her work has appeared in the anthologies Night Whispers, Sand, Sea and Sail, Southern Mist, and Mountain High. Betty and her husband, Doug, moved from MA to Flat Rock, NC in 1995

Charles “Hawk” Weyantlives in Fayetteville, NC, where he has been a member of Writers’ Ink Guild for over twenty years. A true imagist poet, he read on Public Radio for ten years. He has been published in a dozen anthologies and his first book An Odyssey In Broken Rhythms And Ragged Lines was published in 2006.

Glenda Sumner Wilkins grew up on a North Carolina tobacco farm, and daydreamed of faraway places. Decades later, she and her husband lived in both Luxembourg, and Geneva, Switzerland. Countries where published: USA; Canada; Spain: Luxembourg; Switzerland; Great Britain. She is a member of the NCPS and NCWN, and has won several poetry awards. Today, she resides in Winterville, NC, with her husband, and Bustopher, the cat about town

Barbara Ledford Wright has been published in several previous Old Mountain Press anthologies including Mountain High. She’s been published in Readers are Leaders (Express Yourself 101 Vol. 2), Muscadine: A Southern Journal, Conceit Magazine, The Oxford So & So, Fireflies and June Bugs, Christmas Presence: a 2008 Christmas Anthology from 45 western NC women writers, and other publications. She lives and teaches in Shelby, NC. 

C. Pleasants York of Sanford, NC, spent many happy childhood days hiking through campgrounds, fishing for rainbow trout, and eating s’mores. She spent many happy childhood nights questing after lightning bugs, singing unrepeatably bad songs around campfires, and sleeping on an air mattress and a cot. Inevitably, she also spent much time heading down the trail in the middle of the night to the comfort station - her version of “The Outer Side of Life.”

Joseph Youngblood is a retired Navy Deep Sea Diver, Merchant Mariner, and Civil Service Mental Health Counselor, serving for forty years. Joseph has traveled the world and lived for extended periods in five countries other than the United States, as well as in many of the States. He is currently in private practice as a psychotherapist in Fayetteville, NC, which he calls home - and where he lives with his family. Joseph writes for pleasure but this is his first serious attempt at publishing his work.


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