Sunday, November 6, 2016

Upcoming Shows with Kimberly

Check out these upcoming Poetry Events!

November 6. Sunday 7:30 Java Monkey Speaks Feature Poet: Kimberly Simms
425 Church St, Decatur, GA 30030
Kimberly Simms is an award winning poet, performer, and writer as well as an arts integration expert.  She is the 2016 Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence, a National Poetry Slam Legend of the South, a TedX Speaker, and a Southern Fried Champion.

November 20, 2016. Sunday. 7:30. Featured host and emcee of Say What Open Mic sponsored by Wits End Poetry.

November 27, 2016. Sunday Toys for Tots Fundraiser at Seven Stages in Atlanta, GA. 

December 2-13. Poetry Slam Residency at League Academy. Greenville, SC.

January 4th. Assembly at NEXT High School in Greenville, SC.

January 17, 2017. Poetry Pendleton features poet Kimberly Simms. This event is sponsored by Wits End Poetry and the Humanities Council of SC. Join Kimberly and host/organizer Robert Lee Kendrick at Viva! Il Vino Winebar at 168 Exchange Streeet Pedleton SC.

January 21 2017. Poetry Out Loud Judge and Performer. Regional Competition. Hub City Press. Spartanburg, SC.



January 22 2017. Feature at Say What Open Mic. Coffee Underground.7:30. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC.


January 2017. Arts Integration Unit with Poetry and Communications. League Academy. Greenville, SC. Smart Arts Sponsored by Metropolitan Arts Council.


January 2017. Arts Integration Unit with Music and Poetry. Tigerville Elementary. Greenville, SC.

April 8th, 2017. Poetry Workshop and Poetry Slam Performance with Peace Voices at Ramsaur Studio sponsored by the Peace Center. 1:00 pm Workshop 4:00 pm Performance.

April 20th, 2017. Poetry Workshop and Poetry Slam at High School. Final details to be announced soon.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Kimberly wins Poetry Prize

Local poet Kimberly Simms has won first place in a poetry contest sponsored by the Arts Council of York County. Kimberly, a former English teacher and is also the 2016 Carl Sandburg Writer-in-resident.  She recently organized and emceed the Poetic Journeys poetry contest at the Art on the Trail Festival on October 22. You can read her poetry and learn more about her at www.kimberlysimms.com.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
13th Annual Literary Competition - Short Fiction and Poetry

ROCK HILL, SC – The Arts Council of York County presented the awards for the 13th Annual Literary Competition and the 5th Annual Youth Literary Competition at a free, public reception and open mic at the Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., Rock Hill, SC on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 6 PM.

The Annual Literary Competitions include two categories - short story and poetry. Authors were eligible to enter both the short story and the poetry competitions, and entries were eligible to win an award in each category. Independent jurors were: Totty Wilkerson, Beth Pierce, and Michelle Ramsey - members of the Perihelion Book Club, Earl Wilcox - retired, Winthrop University faculty - Assistant Professor Dustin M. Hoffman and Instructor of English Mary Martin, and Susan Ludvigson – retired Winthrop University faculty and published poet.

Winners of the 13th Annual Literary Competition – Poetry 
1st Place – “Blue Panes” by Kimberly Simms, Marietta, SC
2nd Place – “Dream Sequence” by Joy Colter, Rock Hill, SC
3rd Place – “Chartreuse and Plum” by Bailey V. Oedewaldt, Rock Hill, SC
Honorable Mention – “Awash” by Joy Colter, Rock Hill, SC
Honorable Mention – “Changing of the Guard at Greenbriar” by Barbara Guidry, Rock Hill, SC

Sunday, October 23, 2016

#TWD Elegy for Abraham Ford

Heartbroken after the first episode of Season 7 #TWD premiere #Tonight!

Elegy for Abraham Ford

(hoped it would be an ode #TWDSeason7)
by Kimberly Simms


Abraham Ford: fiery, ferocious, unflinching
bristling boar warrior unleashed, virile, thundering
out of charred Houston, birthed from chaos, life shattered.
His mouth poetic decimation, his heart cracked.

He raged down overgrown highways of death. Boldly
pummeling his battle clad vehicle faster.
Taking no heed of vultures swinging through the heat
his has always been to fight, do, die, rinse, repeat.

Stormed by sweeping zombie hordes. Dicked by destiny.
Blustering an ocean of shit, kicking it right
back up its own ass. Daily, he thundered assault.
Rallied. Scratched out new plans. Soldered old wounds with salt.



Riding clear across the jaws of hell. Charging foes.
Plunging knives deep in skulls. Hungry for violence.
Loose ends chapping taut ass. Lust edging red mustache.
Loyal to his ragtag crew. Perpetual bad-ass.

Hauling his gashes, damage, loss like a desert.
Desperate for a wholly mother-dick reset.
His guilt a guillotine driving for redemption.
Soldier. Lover. Friend. Will this hero find peace in the end?



Disclaimer: I have been meaning to write poems for the characters on the Walking Dead for a some time. I love the show and I am fan! I can't wait to find out what happens this Sunday! This page is not endorsed by AMC or its employees. I decided to start with the character of Abraham Ford since I happened to meet the actor Michael Cudlitz last week.
Copyright 2016 Kimberly Simms




No part of this poem may be reproduced or transmitted (other than sharing this direct post) in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, screen shotting, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

Friday, October 21, 2016

TR Art on the Trail Poetic Journeys Event 11am with Host Kimberly Simms

Poetic Journeys Prize! Theme: Mountains on my Mind. 

Poetry Contest Winners



Order of Ceremony for October 22, 2016 11am.

Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest. Beside the Travelers Rest Fire Station. 

      Introduction: Kimberly Simms.


      Kimberly Simms is an award winning poet, performer, and writer as well as an arts integration expert.  She is the 2016 Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence, a member of the SC Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau, a South Carolina Arts Commission Approved Artist, and a SMART Arts teaching artist. Her poetry has appeared in Poem, The South Carolina Review, The Asheville Poetry Review, The John Edward Johnson Prize from The Poetry Society of SC, and many more. Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University. 


      Welcome.


We had close to 30 entries in our first year in the contest. It was such an honor to read all the talented work from our local Upstate Poets. Thank you to the SC Humanities Council for supporting this Poetic Journeys event.  Thank you to The Hub City Press, The Emrys Foundation, Wits End Poetry, and Becky Stone Thirty-One Consultant for providing our prizes today! And of course thank you to the Travelers Rest Arts Alliance and especially to Susan Savage!
 
       Kimberly Simms also shard the following poem at the ceremony in TR.

The Forgotten Fence
But nothing is solid and permanent.
Our lives are raised on the shakiest foundations.” – Ron Rash, One Foot in Eden


A bolt of barbed wire, black with age,
hints the way, jutting from the undergrowth
like a wizened digit— the post long since decayed
and lost to the crumbling host of forest litter.
                                                       
This sunken corner is a garbled message
till we catch a tree pierced with another barb.
A stone pile murmurs, entangled with the metal.

This forest is expansive in every direction.
Our eyes can see no horizon beyond it.
Mountains expand around us as we weave
up and down valleys, creeks, and ravines.

Eighty years: a forest has fallen and regrown.
Homestead cleared, tilled, planted, harvested
then reclaimed by this hummocked beast.

We follow the ancient line back to a single
hearthstone and the outline of a foundation.
Here an old stone wall. There a glass bottle.
All around us: a forgotten fence—an outpost of the past.



       Our Judge: Dr. Jill Coyle.

Jill Coyle is an award winning poet and essayist. Coyle earned her PhD in Classical Studies from Duke University and her MA in English from N.C. State University. She teaches English at Spartanburg Methodist College. Her poems have appeared in Blueline, Avocet, Main Street Rag, and Pinesong.

      Read the winning poems on the Wits End Poetry blog.

 Student Poetic Journeys Prize Winners

5. HM: Loren Bell. League Academy. 8th Grade. “Mountains on my Mind” Teacher: Frank Powell
4. HM: Jasmine McCarroll 12th Grade. Berea High School. “Mountains” Teacher Mrs. Tisdale
3. Third: Grace Brockman. 7th Grade. League Academy. ”Mountains” Teacher Mrs. Ritter. Parent: Timothy Brockman
2. Second: Miriam Muriithi. League Academy. 8th Grade. “Mountains on my Mind” Teacher Allison Franke
1. First: Sophie Young. Green Charter School. 8th grade. “Untitled” Teacher: Lauren Lehman

Adult Poetic Journey Prize Winners


4. HM: Elaine C. Hill – “Jump Off Rock”
Currently living as close to the country around Charlotte, NC, as possible, Elaine Hill writes during naptimes for her two girls, ages 4 and 2. Raised in Hendersonville, NC, with her mountain-grown husband, Elaine’s idea of perfection is a perch on the side of Little Pisgah Mountain, a perfect view of Chimney Rock, with a mountain bike, a journal, and a pen.
3. Third Place - Tricia Kyzer - "Landslide"
Tricia Kyzer is an environmental educator and a naturalist and a mountain wanderer. She is deeply involved in what she like to call a geological love affair with these South Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.
2. Second Place -Bobbie Jean Shepard -"Fruits"
Bobbie Jean Shepard grew up in the foothills of South Carolina. She currently teaches High School English in Spartanburg.
1. First Place - Joel McCollough - "Binding"
Joel is a graduate of Furman University where he received two consecutive creative writing scholarships. His poetry and fiction have appeared in national literary periodicals and in two locally published poetry South Carolina poetry anthologies. He is an avid outdoorsman and cyclist, who frequents the Swamp Rabbit Trail and the trails of the Upstate. 

If time allows, Kimberly Simms will also read her new poem "The Vulture Whisperer"

Thank you again to everyone who submitted. If you would like to take pictures or chat with our winners, we will be having a reception in the Poetry Tent (Spot 3) with the help of the neighboring Tea Tent. 

Please follow us on Facebook at @witsendpoetry The winning poems are available online. Also please visit www.kimberlysimms.com for more information about the contest, the winners, and myself.
 Thank you!

Kimberly Featured at TR Art on the Trail at 11 am on the main stage and 1 pm in the Pavilion.

On Saturday October 22nd, I will be reading at the Travelers Rest Art on the Trail Festival at 11am on the main stage, plus in the Pavilion at 1 pm. The Festival is at Trailblazer park just off the swamp rabbit trail by the TR Fire Station. These are the poems I will be sharing.

Also, I will be at the festival all day in Booth 3! I will be selling books and magnetic poetry, but will be available to chat with folks about poetry or just to chat!

Ode (Or Elegy?) to Abraham Ford of The Walking Dead (G Version)

Abraham Ford: fiery, ferocious, unflinching
bristling boar warrior unleashed, virile, thundering
out of charred Houston, birthed from chaos, life shattered.
His mouth poetic decimation, his heart cracked.


He raged down overgrown highways of death. Boldly
pummeling his battle clad vehicle faster.
Taking no heed of vultures swinging through the heat
his has always been to fight, do, die, rinse, repeat.


Stormed by sweeping zombie hordes. Dicked by destiny.
Blustering an ocean of crap, kicking it right
back up its own butt. Daily, he thundered assault.
Rallied. Scratched out new plans. Soldered old wounds with salt.


Riding clear across the jaws of heck. Charging foes.
Plunging knives deep in skulls. Hungry for violence.
Loose ends chapping his ass Lust edging red mustache.   
Loyal to his ragtag crew. Perpetual bad-ass.


Hauling his gashes, damage, loss like a desert.
Desperate for a wholly mother-D reset.
His guilt a guillotine driving for redemption.
Soldier. Lover. Friend. Will this hero find peace in the end?





The Vulture Whisperer


Before eyes see the hulking spades — the tin clatter
the scraping of nails across the rusty metal
call attention to the thirteen sunning queens, black
weighted wings lifted like carved totems, spread eagle.
As if Poe himself had made this house his abode
finding a glut of milky vulture eyes, death’s bridge.
In this smudge of worn Appalachian hills, she’s known
a shadow across smoking green turns of ridges.

Here ­—the home of the vulture whisperer, remote
faded farm house with pooled glass windows, worn pine slats.
Her mute charges filling nearby oaks, oily wings
shimmering like forgotten Halloween trinkets.
Apron strings rankling, braids under red scarf, ambling
a shrill whistle, arms flung out, face uplifted, “Fly!”
Black sky queens ascend over the roof line, circle
her in smooth majestic swoops as more and more soar.
Their feathered fingers fan wide, air born oracles
their long gnarled faces are indistinguishable
only their churning gyre rising, winged spectacle.  
With dozens gathered, the vulture whisperer boils
the pot with a wave of her frail arms, spectral kites
seize a warm updraft. Her kettle of beauties roils
rides thermals, dances altitude. Thirty in flight,
wings wider than a grave is tall, climbing more height.

Strange how like is drawn to like, outcast to outcast
her leather-bound charms banished, her herbs, her livers,
her pocked marked face, her black skin, her too-true forecasts
driven out of town like a witch through the river.
She beckons her purifying breeze to scavenge.
They wheel to devour kill from southern highways,
offal from the slaughter, dead lost in swampy dredge.
Passersby scorn their hooked beaks, leathery faces
deep in decay. But born for azure atmosphere,
their silver lined wings lift them heavenward, angels
heralding what end? They circle to their clapboard
home where the vulture whisperer swishes her rod
like a black cat’s tail to summon her obedient hoard.
One by one, they stop like a clock upon her roof.
Dusk descends. Vultures settle like evil omens.



Fortune Tellers


Fortune Tellers never look like you expect
them to. This one has hair sprayed blonde bangs,
purple eye shadow, and boulder-like amethyst
rings. The room smells of country rose.

Last time it was a middle-aged black woman,
natural with short hair and beige fingernails.
She wore feather earrings and whispered,
“Stop punishing yourself.”  This is common.

Fortune tellers often urgently grab your wrist
as you descend steps to impart an ambiguous
shred of direction. Dad likes to have his cards
read, while I prefer palm readings. Life lines

and crease counting reminds me of cartography.
We avoid the ones with crystal balls and hoop
earrings. Wearing a purple turban is suspect
in our books. Fortunes change constantly.

Fortune Tellers are like weathermen.
It doesn’t always rain, but carrying
an umbrella never hurt anyone.


Ugly Jug


Daddy’s been in the ugly jug.
Them took it out in the woods.
Now Daddy thinks he is in love
with a squinty face toothy tight.

Them took it out in the woods.
They got a fire and all night
with a squinty face toothy tight.
The moon, tonight, shines so bright,

hell, they got a fire and all night.
Them hammering on banjos
under a moon is shining bright.
Later the boys will come to blows.

Them hammering on banjos
falling over, laughing stitches.
Later the boys will come to blows.
Mama’s bout to pitch a fit.

Falling over, laughing stitches,
now Daddy thinks he is in love.
Mama’s bout to pitch a fit.
Daddy’s been in the ugly jug.



My South’s Boys


In my South - men grew up in the creek,
skinning snakes, sunning leather in trees.
My southern man could fire a twenty-two
or tear a truck through red logging roads
even before he was two.

My southern man was raised on Brave’s baseball,
Church diners, and Saturday night, dirt races.
My southern man loves the outdoor salt life:
hunting, camping, climbing, or – even - whittling with a knife.

My southern man can rock a pair of waders.
He casts magic to zip in fresh fish
then fries them up in a cast iron skillet.
My southern man is never scared
of wolf spiders, bats, or even a bear.
Like a boy scout my southern man
is always prepared.

My southern man can name all the stars,
then stay up late telling wild yarns.
My southern man know how to make a little go a long way,
he doesn’t throw away money on fads of the day.

My southern man loves to eat country cooking, he doesn’t
want nothing to do with trendy tapas or anything vegan.
My southern man is friends with his neighbors,
whether puzzling things out beneath the hood of a dodge,
or early morning hunting up at the lodge.

My southern man is the light of my life, so
Thank you Southern Mama’s for raising ‘em right
with chests brimming with Blue Ridge mountain might

and hearts generous as a sweet summer night.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Walking Dead - Ode for Abraham Ford


Ode for Abraham Ford
(or will this be an Elegy: Find out Sunday on #TWDSeason7)
by Kimberly Simms


Abraham Ford: fiery, ferocious, unflinching
bristling boar warrior unleashed, virile, thundering
out of charred Houston, birthed from chaos, life shattered.
His mouth poetic decimation, his heart cracked.


He raged down overgrown highways of death. Boldly
pummeling his battle clad vehicle faster.
Taking no heed of vultures swinging through the heat
his has always been to fight, do, die, rinse, repeat.


Stormed by sweeping zombie hordes. Dicked by destiny.
Blustering an ocean of shit, kicking it right
back up its own ass. Daily, he thundered assault.
Rallied. Scratched out new plans. Soldered old wounds with salt.


Riding clear across the jaws of hell. Charging foes.
Plunging knives deep in skulls. Hungry for violence.
Loose ends chapping taut ass. Lust edging red mustache.   
Loyal to his ragtag crew. Perpetual bad-ass.


Hauling his gashes, damage, loss like a desert.
Desperate for a wholly mother-dick reset.
His guilt a guillotine driving for redemption.
Soldier. Lover. Friend. Will this hero find peace in the end?



Alt Ending : Soldier. Lover. Friend. Hero to the bitter end.

Disclaimer: I have been meaning to write poems for the characters on the Walking Dead for a some time. I love the show and I am fan! I can't wait to find out what happens this Sunday! This page is not endorsed by AMC or its employees. I decided to start with the character of Abraham Ford since I happened to meet the actor Michael Cudlitz last week.
Copyright 2016 Kimberly Simms

No part of this poem may be reproduced or transmitted (other than sharing this direct post) in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, screen shotting, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.



Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Kimberly Simms' recent TEDX Talk Transcript



Like Ted Talks, Poetry Slam has a strong connection to creating an open forum for ideas worth spreading. Poetry Slam today provides a safe space where people - not only of diverse racial backgrounds - but people from different age groups, varying socioeconomic backgrounds, poets with only a high school diploma - all the way on up to a doctorate can come together on an even playing field!

Anyone can sign up on a given night to participate in a poetry slam for the low cost of only $5! There is no audition. It doesn’t matter who you know. It doesn’t matter if it is your first slam or your tenth slam. All are welcome.




Poetry Slam is a platform for both emerging poets as well as veteran performers. Where else can a newbie share the stage with their poetic heroes?


Often the perception of a poetry slam is that it caters only to marginalized voices, but in fact, Poetry Slam continues to be one of the most diverse art forms in america today with voices from both the mainstream and the marginalized - together on one stage - and in one audience.


This democratic model creates an open discursive space where anyone can feel heard.
The poetry slam is a sounding board. It is a soap box. It is free therapy.




Over the years, we’ve had poets from all walks of life:
Employees of Walmart, Michilin, and BMW. Students of Greenville Tech, Clemson, and Furman
Teenagers, Retired engineers, WYFF News reporters, trained actors, professional wrestlers, and US veterans. Our slammers have gone on to Def Poetry Jam, Verses & Flow, The Kennedy Center, MFA’s, National Tours, and Doctorates.


But Poetry Slam is not just about the poets on stage, when construction worker Marc Smith - created this social and literary arts movement, he not only rescued poetry from obscurity -
But he gave it back to the people
Back to the audience!


Poetry Slam is by design a crowd inclusive event that encourages active listeners. It comes from the folk tradition. Audience members will hear both new ideas from marginalized perspectives taking them outside their own experiences but also will find their own heartaches, their own trials, their deepest feelings expressed articulately and figuratively on stage.



Too often in today’s world we are plagued by feelings of isolation and loneliness but poetry slam connects people to our shared humanity:
Our shared values
Our shared stories.




The poetry slam can be a cathartic experience for both performers and listeners.


As is so often articulated-
Poetry Slam is community
Poetry Slam saves lives.


This year in Greenville we sent our 15th Slam team out into the world to compete against teams of poets from across the country. These poets - so much like the heroes journey of Joseph Campbell
went out into an unknown world where they met a new community, learned from them, shared ideas
and brought their experiences back home to Greenville. #nps2016 #poetryslaminc




Just as our poets benefit from the experiences of visiting big city slams
And meeting poets from across the country
The National Poetry Slam scene has benefited from meeting us.



Our Sunday night is a tourist destination for poetry slam fans across the country.