Little Rivers and Waterway Tales

A Carolinian's Eastern Streams

By Bland Simpson, Ann Cary Simpson

Photography by Ann Cary Simpson

240 pp., 7 x 10, 71 halftones, 2 maps

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2493-8
    Published: September 2015
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-2494-5
    Published: July 2015
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4278-7
    Published: July 2015

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Bland Simpson regales us with new tales of coastal North Carolina's "water-loving land," revealing how its creeks, streams, and rivers shape the region’s geography as well as its culture. Drawing on deep family ties and coastal travels, Simpson and wife and collaborator Ann Cary Simpson tell the stories of those who have lived and worked in this country, chronicling both a distinct environment and a way of life. Whether rhapsodizing about learning to sail on the Pasquotank River or eating oysters on Ocracoke, he introduces readers to the people and communities along the watery web of myriad “little rivers” that define North Carolina’s sound country as it meets the Atlantic.

With nearly sixty of Ann Simpson’s photographs, Little Rivers joins the Simpsons’ two previous works, Into the Sound Country and The Inner Islands, in offering a rich narrative and visual document of eastern North Carolina’s particular beauty. Urging readers to take note of the poetry in "every rivulet and rill, every creek, crick, branch, run, stream, prong, fork, river, pocosin, swamp, basin, estuary, cove, bay, and sound," the Simpsons show how the coastal plain’s river systems are in many ways the region’s heart and soul.

About the Authors

Bland Simpson is Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and pianist for the Red Clay Ramblers.
For more information about Bland Simpson, visit the Author Page.

Photographer Ann Cary Simpson is a consultant with Moss + Ross of Durham and interim director of NC Catch, a nonprofit supporting fishermen and local seafood.
For more information about Ann Cary Simpson, visit the Author Page.


"Little Rivers and Waterway Tales will find a place on a lot of Tar Heel coffee tables this Christmas. It's a lovely volume, not to be missed."--Wilmington Star-News

“Simpson has given us a travelogue, a memoir, a history lesson and a call to conservation that will leave you wanting to see what he has seen, taste the same fresh catch, meet the people and live a life that lets you idle your days away on water”--News and Observer

“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.”--The Charlotte Observer

"This book is a love letter to North Carolina, a treasure of gorgeous prose and vivid descriptions that celebrate a glorious and essential waterscape. It made me want to launch my kayak on the north branch of Whiskey Creek and begin my own adventure."--Philip Gerard, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

"The authors are kin to the salt air and the rising tides. They chronicle passions for other places, other times, and other people, for history, and for natural history. Little Rivers and Waterway Tales presents a striking vision of North Carolina written by the folks who know it best."--John Lane, Wofford College