Brenda Kay Ledford is a native of Clay County, NC. Brenda earned her Master of Arts in Education from Western Carolina University and went on to study Journalism at the University of Tennessee and TriCounty Community College. She’s former Creative Writing Editor of Tri-County Communicator.
Brenda Kay Ledford writes of her rich Smoky Mountain heritage. She most recently has published “Shew Bird Mountain,” a poetry collection depicting portraits of a vanishing mountain world.
Her first poetry chapbook, Patchwork Memories, received the 2005 Paul Green Multimedia Award from North Carolina Society of Historians. Previously, Ledford’s writings have appeared in Pembroke Magazine, Asheville Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Appalachian Heritage, Cappers, Our State Magazine and other journals.
Ledford’s primary themes are nature, a sense of place and family – themes that writers have often explored. But consider one of Ledford’s favorite quotes: “Nature is universal, i.e., a waterfall in Africa is in content the same as a waterfall in North Carolina.” In other words, one can always relate to universal themes – mainly when they are crafted into such lean yet redolent lines of verse as in Ledford’s poems.
Her poems offer readers a motif of hues and textures of Ledford’s hallowed Clay County home ground: Matheson Cove, Shew Bird Mountain, Trout Cove, plowed mule fields, simple joys and robust virtues, Hyatt’s Mill Creek, Cut Worm Phillips Store in Hayesville and more. As author Charles Price said of Shew Bird Mountain, “Anyone who loves this place will see it here.” I spoke with Brenda Kay Ledford shortly after the publication of Shew Bird Mountain.