Reading Matters

Head to river with Ann and Bland Simpson

Ann and Bland Simpson
Ann and Bland Simpson

To open Bland and Ann Cary Simpson’s gorgeous book, “Little Rivers and Waterway Tales: A Carolinian’s Eastern Streams,” is to long to set your boat upon a river at sunrise and go with the flow.

The couple, who live in Chapel Hill, have spent their lifetimes sharing their love for North Carolina’s coastal waters. Their new book combines Bland’s lyrical and fact-filled narrative with Ann’s stunning photography to show us the underappreciated beauty and rich heritage of our state’s waterways.

Bland Simpson is a professor of writing at UNC-Chapel Hill, a long-time performer and songwriter for the Red Clay Ramblers, and a prolific author of fiction, coastal memoirs, and what he calls “non-fiction novels.”

He writes, “The lifelong object of our affection has been the water of our coast and coastal plain, and the people who love it, love floating it, fishing it, hunting on it, studying its birds and plants, or for any other reason at all simply seeking out this world.”

Bland continues, “We have sought to find many of those rills, prongs, branches, right where they have come to be called rivers, and, in seeking them out, to hear their voices, their tales, whether of glory or woe, of works well wrought or of loss unavoidable.”

Bland and Ann Simpson will talk about “Little Rivers and Waterway Tales: A Carolinian’s Eastern Streams” on D.G. Martin’s North Carolina Bookwatch (UNC-TV) on Sunday at noon and Thursday at 5 p.m.