What Bugs Me!: A Poetry and Prose Anthology's theme is things that bug you (NO politics or religion) written in a humorous vain. Fifty-three contributions from writers across the country and England have works in this anthology.

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    Old Mountain Press
    85 John Allman Ln.
    Sylva, NC 28779


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 Publication is dependent on receiving sufficient quality poems for inclusion in the anthology.

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About the book

This collection of poetry has been gathered from poets across the country, with a theme of what bugs them.

Samples of included works:


Marian Kaplun Shapiro


My husband has had it with the house fly.

He presents his case: After three days

its persistent whine has ruined enough dinners.

It ignores our invitation to the opened door.

It disdains our best wishes for its future.

Half-heartedly, we offer the only possible defense:

It’s just a fly! A living creature! It wouldn’t hurt a soul!

Judge, jury, and executioner, my husband isn’t having any.



geysers from the dead bug body

on the table top. Blood.

Not fruit. Not apple pie.

Our blood. Certain and smug,

          we’d blamed the usual suspects.

Mosquitoes. Gnats. Smug,

and certain, we were sucked,

consumed in secret banquets

by a cunning traitor.


Blood brother, blood sister

when did you turn?

When did you cross the line?

MARIAN KAPLUN SHAPIRO is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988), a poetry book, Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View Press, 2007) and two chapbooks: Your Third Wish, (Finishing Line, 2007); and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007). A resident of Lexington, she was  five times named Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts, and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012.

I Get No Respect
Tom Davis


RECENTLY MY DAUGHTER, Dixie the vegetarian, introduced me to the garbanzo bean. I wasn’t impressed.
     My wife Molly declares Dixie takes after me. If something’s good for her, it’s gotta be good for everybody else. Soon after her transformation, she started bugging me. “Dad,” she would say, “I can’t believe you put that stuff in your stomach. Do you know how long it just sits there fermenting?” Or, “Dad I can hear your arteries slamming shut as you shovel that junk in.”
     To shut her up I tried eating better. With the exception of an occasional Mac Attack and a periodic close encounter with The Barbecue Hut, my behavior has been impressive.
     At least, I did pretty well until Dixie stumbled upon a recipe for garbanzo bean soup. I’ve got several problems with the garbanzo bean.
     No matter how long you boil a garbanzo bean, it’s still crunchy. This may not seem like much, but I like crunchy cereal, not crunchy soup!
     A Garbanzo bean doesn’t even look like a regular bean. Take your basic lima or kidney. Now there’s a bean-looking bean—kinda fat oval-shaped. It lies there, one begging to be eaten with corn bread, the other crying to swim in a bowl of chili. The garbanzo is round like a marble (which might be why it’s crunchy even when boiled for four of five hours). When you drop a spoon full of these babies on your plate, they roll in all directions like a good break of a rack of pool balls.
     Finally, and most important, there’s the garbanzo’s taste. There isn’t any—at least not to me.
     I’ve stated my position and have suffered rebuke and humiliation. Any opinion contrary to Dixie’s invariably draws inquires about the questioner’s mental status. Did I mention Molly says Dixie takes after me?
     Oh, well, what the heck? I’m used to getting no respect around here. After all, what should a man expect who stares down into his soup bowl and gets mooned by a bean.


Above selected as a winner in NCWN-West 2016 Flash Fiction contest.

TOM DAVIS’ 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 a professional journal published by the US Army Special Forces School. 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; an action adventure novel, The R-complex, and his memoir The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On: A March from Private to Colonel. See eBooks by Tom at the OMP eBook Site. Tom lives in Webster, NC.


About the Authors



Frederick W. Bassett is a retired academic who lives with his wife Peg in Greenwood, South Carolina. He enjoys writing poetry and fiction, reading widely, and watching his grandchildren grow up. Fred is the author of four books of poetry and two novels. His poems have been published widely in journals and anthologies such as Illuminations, Kakalak, Mudfish, Negative Capability, Poem, Slant, The Southern Poetry Anthology (Volumes I and V), Yemassee, and Zone 3.

Elaine Bauman, from Durham, NC, has published and read in American Open Mike, The New American Voice in Chicago and won acclaim from her children’s friends with her Seussy-type book-length poem. Mostly she writes to experience poetry and share with her FunShop fellow poets. Elaine planned to be a great writer and majored in English Literature, and in those ancient days, when poets were old, male, and white, she gave up. She is reading and writing to recover!

Glenda Beall’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Main Street Rag, Appalachian Heritage, Wild Goose Poetry Review and in anthologies like Kakalak 2009: Anthology of Carolina Poets and Southern Poetry Anthology, VII: North Carolina. She teaches writing and is owner of Writers Circle around the Table, a studio in Hayesville, NC. She blogs at www.glendacouncilbeall.com

Marcie Behm-Bultz is a population scientist and world traveler who often bases her poetry around human geography and exotic destinations. Her written work has appeared in scientific journals along with the anthologies of Old Mountain Press. She lives near the bomb plant in Aiken, SC.

Staci Lynn Bell, a Chicago native, relocated to South Florida, gaining popularity as a 25 year radio and television personality. She is passionate about animals and the environment. Her poetry and prose have been published in Old Mountain Press, fall edition of Kakalak 2016, Wild Goose Poetry, Wolf Warriors Anthology, 234 Journal and medaled twice in Cherokee County, NC, Silver Arts 2016. Staci shares her life with her two dogs, in Hayesville, NC.

Joann Bishop continues to enjoy her retirement and has work in progress of her poems she hopes to have a finished in time for Christmas for her friends. The poems she is working on are first-hand experience visiting battlefields and other historic places throughout her lifetime. She lives in Jacksonville, NC.

Jerry Bradley retired from the military after thirty years of service in August, 2008. He now has the opportunity to concentrate on his writing, most of which are related to his faith, his family, or the military. He and his wife, Laura, raised three children, a daughter in the Army, a daughter married to Army, and a son in the Air Force. He and his wife Laura are currently living in Raeford, NC.


Nancy Cody enjoys writing poetry as an amateur and has contributed to several previous OMP anthologies. She enjoys keeping her grandchildren while their parents work. She lives with her husband in Hayesville, NC.


Phebe Davidson, self-described as a recovering academic, is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of the University of South Carolina Aiken. She is a contributing editor at Tar River Poetry and a staff writer for the Asheville Poetry Review. Her book reviews, poems, and essays appear regularly in print and online. Her most recent book (What Holds Him to this World, 96 Press, 2014) won the 2013 South Carolina Poetry Archives Book Award. She lives in Greenville, SC, still up to her neck in poems.

Tom Davis’s 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 May 2013 (poetry month). He’s authored the following books: The Life and Times of Rip Jackson; A children’s coloring book, Pickaberry Pig’s First Day of School, The Patrol Order; and an action adventure novel, The R-complex. Tom has recently completed his memoir. He lives in Webster, NC.

Rachel Doggett was born on August 26th 1995 in the small town of Americus, Georgia. She is currently pursuing a B.A. in English Literature and Writing at Georgia Southern University. Although she has always dreamed of one day becoming a novelist, Rachel is seriously considering writing poetry as an alternative dream career. At this time, Rachel is working on composing her first poetry chapbook for her final project in Advanced Poetry Writing.

Peter Dome lives in Sheffield Nottingham England. He love writing and is also a musician. He hopes you enjoy his poem. Writing it made him realize how grumpy he is as he gets longer in the tooth, a sign he’s getting old. He wishes all the best to his fellow contributors.

Nancy Dillingham, a sixth-generation Dillingham from Big Ivy in the western North Carolina, is author of 11 books of poetry and short fiction and the co-editor, along with Celia Miles, of 4 anthologies of WNC women writers. Her newest chapbook is entitled Tender Curiosities. She has work coming out in the latest edition of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel. Her collection of poetry HOME was nominated for a SIBA. She lives in Asheville, NC.


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

Joanne Kennedy Frazer, a retired peace and justice director and educator for faith-based organizations, delights in exploring the kinship among all creation through her poetry. Three of her poems have been turned into a song cycle by composer C.M. Fuentes. Her poetry appears in two Old Mountain Press’ anthologies, in Poetic Portions 2015 anthology, and online at Soul-lit Journal of Spiritual Poetry, Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine, Panoply.zine and Snapdragon. She resides in Durham, NC.

Ann Fogelman has a graduate degree in Public Health Nutrition. During WWII she served in the WAVES. Her work has appeared in The Noble Generation, That Thing You Do, Pets Across America, Texas Poetry Calendar, Boundless, OMP Anthologies and school publications. Ann is a member of the Bay Area Writers League, Gulf Coast Poets. Poetry Society of Texas and Osher Lifetime Learning Institute at UTMB, Galveston, TX. Ann lives in Friendswood, TX.

Lynda Fredsell is a newcomer to the writing world. She has recently found her voice in writing personal essays, thanks to a learning-in-retirement class at OLLI/Furman. When not writing essays, she enjoys hiking, bird watching, playing Chess, teaching, and spending quality time with family and friends. Lynda lives in Greenville, SC, with her cat Sage and a yard full of birds.


CHRISTIAN GEORGE is currently a Sophomore at Appalachian State University, and is attaining a degree in Secondary English Education with a minor in Sociology. His hometown is in Indian Trail, NC. He has been published in previous Old Mountain Press Anthologies and has won several poetry competitions. He hopes to publish a book of poems one day and to always write.

James Gibson, Northville, Michigan, featured Native American culture in the five novels in his "Anasazi Quest" series. His new novel, Searching with Pei for the Meaning of Life was published in August, 2016. Review all his books at www.PentacleSPresS.com . Two of his "Anasazi Quest" novels, Anasazi Princess and Anasazi Journey are now available as E-Books on Amazon.com.

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 regional publications. Most recently, she contributed to It’s All Relative: Tales from the Tree, edited by Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham. She retired to the NC mountains from western NY in 2001. (mariangowan1@bellsouth.net)


Kerri Mai Habben lives in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of Peace College and North Carolina State University, her work has appeared in literary journals, The News and Observer, and is regularly included in publications throughout the United States and Canada. Kerri has a manuscript of essays she is working to publish.

Karen Hammond has been writing for her kids and grandkids since they showed up on the scene. This short flash fiction is from her as yet to be published book, Birdie Told Me. Karen lives in Falls Church, Virginia with her husband David.

MaXine Carey Harker and husband Berkley, have lived 60+ years in the little one-stop-light town of Grifton, NC, reared 5 children who have produced grandchildren and great grandchildren in far-flung places. Published in national, state, and local publications, she prefers non-fiction, sonnets, and haiku. She’s taught Writing for Publication for 35+ years at 2 Community Colleges, now Rec Center in New Bern. MaXine is 87.

Bob Hewett is 83 years of age and writes poems, short stories, humor and satire along with accounts of his father’s story telling skill. Hewett has been named poet of the month on three online writing groups and poet of the year on another. He has published 3 children books. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies. You can read some of Hewett’s writings on his hubpage:

roberthewettsr.hubpages.com. (No www or http)

Jeanne Hillson is a "prodigal poet," finally resuming a passion she’s neglected while engaged in technical writing/editing, social work, corporate training, improv theater, and acting as Principal Muse of Apply Imagination!, a creativity coaching and training practice. A Boston native, she now lives in Pittsboro, NC.


David (Buzz) Jones, Dd, Lld, is from Hartsville, SC: presently living in Ellenboro, NC. David is a freelance writer who loves to try a little poetry. David has self-published five books, which can be read for free at www.buzzwrites.com . Email: cdavidjones316@gmail.com


K. D. Kennedy Jr. has published four (4) books of poetry, short stories, and essays: Our Place In Time, Waiting Out In The Yard, For Rhyme Of Reason, and Progenitors: A Kennedy Genealogy. He has also published works in over twenty anthologies and periodicals. He has served as Chairman of the following: The Board of Trustees of Barton College, the North Carolina Board of Ethics, the North Carolina Theater, and the Building Committee of the Duke Power Performing Arts Center.


Blanche L. Ledford resides in Hayesville, NC. Her work has appeared in many Old Mountain Press anthologies and journals. She won first place in the Cherokee County Silver Arts contest. Her book, Planting by the Signs, received the Paul Green Multimedia Award from NC Society of Historians.

Brenda Kay Ledford is a seventh-generational native of Clay County, NC. Her work has appeared in 30 Old Mountain Press anthologies and many journals. Aldrich Press published her latest poetry book, Crepe Roses, that won the 2015 Paul Green Award. She’s enjoying her great-niece and writing children’s picture book stories.

K. A. Lewis graduated from the Corcoran School of Art with little idea of how to make a living. Her work experience includes cake decoration, jewelry sales, hypnosis certification, being robbed at gunpoint, and 28 years as a custom framer. Since 2010, she’s written genre fiction and poetry, and her work has been published in seven anthologies. Katy and her husband live with four demanding cats in a small book-stuffed house in Falls Church, VA.


Valerie Macon’s poetry appears in a wide diversity of venues. Most recently her poetry was selected for inclusion in The Well-Versed Reader, and her poetry won a place in Winston Salem’s POETRY IN PLAIN SIGHT summer 2016. She also recently wrote a menu for a restaurant in poetry. She has written Shelf Life, Sleeping Rough (poetry from both nominated for the Pushcart Prize), and A String of Black Pearl. She lives in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Al Manning is a retired Naval Officer, and a retired college instructor. He is on the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Writers’ Network and is the network representative for Chatham & Lee Counties. Al lives in Pittsboro,NC.

Celia Miles, a native of Jackson County, is a retired community college instructor who lives and writes in Asheville. The author of several novel and the co-editor of four anthologies of women writers of WNC, she has a new grist mill mystery out this fall: The Body at StarShine Mill. All her books are in paperback and Kindle. www.celiamiles.com


Beverly Ohler has worked in the Warren Wilson College Theater a long time. Her latest book is about its history. She has written four other books and her stories and poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including eleven issues of this one. She grew up in the Northeast. but Western NC has long been her home. Bev lives in Black Mountain.

Martha O’Quinn, a native of North Carolina, now lives in Hendersonville, NC. Having lived in five southern states her non-fiction prose and poetry reflect a true southern heritage. Her work has appeared in numerous OMP, local and national anthologies and publications, both in print and online. Subjects, more often than not, are family members: husband, two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, plus family now deceased.


Margaret L. Parrish’s poems have appeared in Mountain High, Poets for Peace, Poem, Bay Leaves and other publications. She lives in Raleigh, NC.

Nancy Posey lives in Brentwood, TN, after more than twenty years in North Carolina, the "Writingest State." Upon arrival in 2016, she immediately set about to get a library card, find a book club, and join a writing group. She’s a happy poet.

Michael Potts is Professor of Philosophy at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His latest book is a horror novel, Obedience, published in 2016 by WordCrafts Press. Michael, his wife, Karen, and four cats, Frodo, Pippin, Rosie, and Bilbo, live in Coats, North Carolina.


Jordan Rhodes is a professional actor/writer/director that has over 200 credits to his name. His poems have been published in OMP Anthologies, and he is an award winning playwright and actor for the Hemingway play, PAPA "the man, the myth, the legend", which was also filmed and premiered at Theatre 80 – St. Marks Place in NYC. He has written a number of screenplays and resides in New York City.

Mary Ricketson, inspired by nature, is published in Wild Goose Poetry, Future Cycle Press, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Lights in the Mountains, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, her books, I Hear the River Call My Name, and Hanging Dog Creek, and a monthly column in The Cherokee Scout. She won first place in 2011 Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 75th anniversary national poetry contest. She is a mental health Counselor and blueberry farmer.

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. He has had work in several OMP anthologies. He has self-published four memoirs and two books of poetry and three children’s books. He has nine books or booklets on Amazon Kindle. He and his wife Ruth live near Monroe, NC. He writes rothpoetry@wordpress.com .


Dr. Lynn Veach Sadler lives in Burlington, NC. A former college president, she has published 5+ books and 72 articles, edited 22 books/proceedings and 3 national journals, and writes 2 newspaper

columns. Her creative writing publications are 10 poetry chapbooks (another forthcoming) and 4 full-length collections, 125+ short stories, 4 novels, a novella, 2 fiction collections (1 forthcoming), and a nonfiction collection (forthcoming); she has written 41 plays. She was a Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet 2013-2015.

Marian Kaplun Shapiro is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988), a poetry book, Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View Press, 2007) and two chapbooks: Your Third Wish, (Finishing Line, 2007); and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007). A resident of Lexington, she was she was five times named Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts, and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012.

Jane Shlensky, a veteran teacher and musician, holds an MFA from UNC-Greensboro. Her recent poetry has appeared in Writer’s Digest, Kakalak, Southern Poetry Anthology: NC, and Poetry Market 2015. She is co-editing a forthcoming book of narrative poetry for book clubs, The Well-Versed Reader, and is a Poet Laureate for Writer’s Digest’s 2016 April Poetry Challenge. Her chapbook Barefoot on Gravel (2016) is now available from Finishing Line Press and Amazon.

Shelby Stephenson’s recent book: Elegies for Small Game. He is the current Poet Laureate of North Carolina. He lives near Benson, NC.


Barbara Tate is an award winning artist and writer. A member of the Haiku Society of America, Gulf Coast Writers and United Haiku and Tanka Society, her work has been published in Storyteller Magazine, Santa Fe Literary Review, Modern Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online and Whispers, among others. She currently resides in Winchester, TN.

Rebekah Timms resides in Greenwood, SC about fifteen miles from the place where she was born. She has recently self-published a memoir, Effie, Her Life, Her Love, Her Legacy. She writes poetry for her own enjoyment and to share with family and friends.


Elizabeth B. Watson thanks Tom Davis for putting HUMOR in upper case. Many editors want only edgy, no happy endings, leave everything dangling. But a daily dose of humor is good – and music! The Watsons, transplants from New England, now live in a retirement community in the backyard of Furman University in Greenville, SC. They thrive on all the advantages Furman offers = youth, continuing education, sports, theater and wonderful music. She majors in creative non-fiction and simple poetry, some of it edgy.

Stella Ward Whitlock enjoys her family (4 children, 7 grandchildren), reading, writing, and traveling. She’s camped in all 48 contiguous states plus visited Alaska and Hawaii several times, and has traveled in over 40 countries, including in 2016 a 2 1/2 week South Pacific cruise and a week in Cuba. Stella’s poems, stories, and articles have appeared in various publications. She’s had one play professionally produced and is working on her second chapbook. Stella lives in Cary, NC.

Glenda S. Wilkins grew up on a North Carolina tobacco farm, and believed she’d never live beyond the county line. Decades later, she moved with her husband to Europe for a dozen years. Her poems have been published in Europe, Great Britain, & North America. Thus far, she appreciates several poetry awards. She lives on an air strip, Winterville, NC.

Barbara Ledford Wright, is a frequent contributor to OMP anthology series including Yin Yang. Others published: Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, Express Yourself 101 Vol 2 For Your Eyes Only, Kaleidoscope, Fireflies and June Bugs, Yesterdays Magazette, Carolina Country, Field Mules and Buttermilk Cornbread. Co-authored, Five Brothers in the Civil War, with Brenda Kay Ledford., NC Civil War Museum, Pub., Fayetteville, NC. Barbara lives in Shelby, NC.


C. Pleasants York of Sanford, NC, is an advocate of the power of the word. As a teacher for 42 years, one of the major frustrations she saw between people was lack of communication. As a writer, she uses poetry and pose as ways to explore and illuminate her own thoughts and ideas. As a collage and multimedia artist, she produces works for the family craft business, Little White Rabbit Pleasantries, to explore her creativity.

Joseph Youngblood is a retired Navy Deep Sea Diver who lives with his family in Fayetteville, NC. Joe writes for fun and has contributed to several previous OMP anthologies.

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