Kind words from a visitor

Thank you Ms. Carlson. We hope to see you again soon!

I have had the delight and privilege of visiting several of the Land Grant universities and have seen quite a few educational displays attempting to connect today’s suburban residents to their agricultural roots.  The artists and educators connected with the Reece Farm have done an exceptional job in illustrating the life that was common to almost all rural folks in the first half of the last century.  The displays are approachable, understandable and present a fair balance of the challenges of rural life and how those challenges were met day in and day out with hard work.  School and adult groups will benefit for many years to come.  Today, spinning, weaving, crochet and knitting skills are relegated to the “Arts and Crafts” category, but in those days, these winter and lamplight skills were taught early and considered a responsibility as well as artistic expression.  Thank you for recognizing this aspect of that era.  Mr. Reece’s personal items also lend insight to his quiet and too short life.

 How fitting that his words are inscribed in the pillars arranged on the farm’s grounds, within the sound of Wolf Creek and the shadow of Georgia’s beloved mountains. Please give my regards to the planners and architects of such a welcoming and peaceful site.


Becky Carlson

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Saturday evening, September 13th come hear the Appalachian String Quartet, an ensemble from the North Georgia Chamber Symphony, play the classical favorites of mountain poet Byron Herbert Reece as well as other numbers.  Reece was fond of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and other well-known musicians.  The event honors Reece on his 97th birthday.

The concert is free to the public and happens at twilight between 7:00 to 8:00 pm. There is a $3.00 admission fee for those 12 and over who wish to tour the venue’s exhibits.  Come early if you want to tour the exhibits. They close at 6:30 PM.  For more information contact the Reece Center at 706-745-2034.

The Reece Farm & Heritage Center is located on U.S. 129, 9 miles south of Blairsville, GA near Vogel State Park

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Eleventh Annual Meeting a Success

The weather, the annual reports, the camaraderie, the food, the organ music, the keynote speaker – all combined favorably to make the 11th meeting of the Reece Society an occasion for rejoicing and remembering.

Especially was this true of the speaker.  Terry Reece’s presentation informed and entertained in a manner that brought sheer delight to the 100 plus audience.  With stories about his relationship with his uncle and reflections about the times in which Byron Reece lived, along with recitations of Reece poems and musical support, Terry introduced his hearers to dimensions of the writer’s personality and character that only someone who knew Reece could reveal.

Following another delicious luncheon provided by Sodexo of Young Harris College, a number of attendees visited the Welcome Center gift shop and museum and made their way through the exhibits area.  Friendships old and new were kindled through lively conversation and personal sharing.

All in all, it was a grand day of celebration, leading many present to declare this annual meeting to be the best we have had thus far.

Next year’s annual meeting will be held on Saturday, May 30th.  Reserve this date on your calendar and plan to participate.

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Bettie Sellers Poetry Contest Winners Announced

The winners of the Bettie Sellers Poetry Contest were announced at the Annual Meeting of the membership of the Byron Herbert Reece Society on May 31, 2014. They are:

WINNER: “Wheelchair on the Beach” – Eric Nelson, Statesboro, GA

NOTABLES: “A Privy on the Appalachian Trail” – Christopher Martin, Acworth, GA

“Bacopa” – Anna Scotti, Burbank, CA

“The Dance Instructor” – Ronnie Hess, Madison, WI

“After the Last Visitor Leaves” – KB Ballentine, Signal Mountain, TN

The winning poems are posted here.


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Gift ideas

Gift ideas

Gift ideas

Gift ideas

Gift ideas

Gift ideas

Gift ideas

It’s gifting season – birthdays, weddings, a belated Mother’s Day….The Gift Shop at the Reece Farm is full of great ideas. Come visit!

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Spring at the Farm


The Bryon Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center will open for our third season on Thursday, April 3. We have reduced admission fees to $3 for everyone and admission on Thursdays is free. Use this opportunity to tour the exhibits, spend a few minutes by Wolf Creek, and enjoy our Gift Shop.

If you’re thinking of holding an event at the Farm, please inquire right away. The calendar is filling fast with weddings, family reunions and other events. You can email us at or call 706-745-2034 or 706-379-5196.

We look forward to seeing you at the Farm! 


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Bettie Sellers Poetry Contest, 2014


Judging the 2014 Bettie Sellers Poetry contest is Chelsea Rathburn. Rathburn is author of two full-length poetry collections, A Raft of Grief, published by Autumn House Press in 2013, and The Shifting Line, winner of the 2005 Richard Wilbur Award, as well as a poetry chapbook, Unused Lines (Aralia Press, 2004). Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, The New Republic, The Threepenny Review, Ploughshares, and New England Review, and her prose has appeared in Creative Nonfiction. In 2009, she received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A native of Miami, Florida, Chelsea now lives in Young Harris, Georgia, with her husband, the poet James Davis May, and their daughter, Adelyn. She is a professor of creative writing at Young Harris College.

The Byron Herbert Reece Society (BHRS) has established the first-ever Bettie Sellers Poetry Contest to recognize the Georgia Poet Laureate (1997-2000) and longtime faculty member of Young Harris College.  Bettie Sellers, the author of Wild Ginger, Liza’s Monday and Other Poems, Spring Onions and Cornbread, Morning of the Red Tailed Hawk, and The Bitter Berry: The Life of Byron Herbert Reece, taught at YHC for 32 years, was an expert on Byron Herbert Reece, and a charter member of the Byron Herbert Reece Society.

The winner of the contest will receive $300, and the winning poem will be published on the Byron Herbert Reece Society website,

Contest Rules
1) Submitted entries must be unpublished. Simultaneous entries are accepted, but please email us at immediately if your poem is accepted elsewhere. Manuscripts should be typed in a “plain” 12 point font (i.e. Times, Arial).  Photocopies are accepted.  Entries will not be returned, so do not send your only copy.

2) Entry fee is $5 for three poems. No identifying information should be on the poems. Contest entry fees cannot be refunded under any circumstances.

3) Each submission should be accompanied by an entry form. Poems without the entry form or fees will be disqualified.  A PDF file of the form is here. Poetry Contest Form

4) Contest winner will be announced and recognized at the annual meeting of the Byron Herbert Reece Society, May 31, 2014. Cash prize is $300 and the winning poet is invited to read at the meeting.

5) Contest results will be announced on the Society’s website after May 31, 2014.  Email notification will be sent to contest entrants if a working email address is included on the entry form.  Contest results will only be announced online and by email. Please check our website for results:

6) Deadline for postmark is Friday, May 2, 2014. Any entry that is not postmarked on or before that date will not be opened.  Failure to follow any of the above guidelines could result in disqualification.  Do not send the only copy of your work as all entries will be recycled.

7) Board members of the Byron Herbert Reece Society are ineligible to enter, but members of the Society are invited to participate.

Byron Herbert Reece Society
2014 Poetry Contest
Entry Form



City, State, Zip: ___________________________________________


Telephone: _______________________________________

Names of poems submitted (do not place identifying information on actual poems):




Mail this form, a check or money order for $5 (for each set of 3 poems) to the Byron Herbert Reece Society: Byron Herbert Reece Society
P. O. Box 811
Young Harris GA 30582

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