Friday, April 21, 2017

Upcoming Shows with Kimberly Simms

April 23, 2017. Coffee Underground. Kimberly Simms hosts Teen Poetry Slam.

May 14th, 2017 Java Monkey Speaks. Feature Poet. Kimberly Simms.

June 7 - 11th. Southern Fried Poetry Slam Festival.

June 15th, Thursday. 5:30 - 8:00 pm. Facilitator. SmartARTS New Artist Information Meeting. The Metropolitan Arts Council.

October 5 2017. Furman University. Kimberly Simms Hosts Slam and Talk with the Greenville Slam Team.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Kimberly Simms Leads a Workshop at the Pat Conroy Literary Center

Talking to Disaster: 

Responding to Hurricane Matthew through Poetry

After a disaster like Hurricane Matthew, communities can find comfort in poetry and conversations that speak to their shared experience and shared loss. Natural disasters can stir-up strong emotions, which are often put on the back burner as communities address the physical setbacks in their communities. This workshop will focus on healing through reading, writing, and dialogue. Poet Kimberly Simms will share poems on disaster and lead a short writing exercise to provide a medium for dialogue in small groups. 


We had a great group of attendees at the Talking to Disaster Workshop: Sponsored by the Pat Conroy Literary Center. We shared poems and discussed how they related to our own feelings and experiences in the Hurricane. We wrote some poetic sketches and discussed poems by other poets on the subject of Hurricane Matthew. It was a deep and meaningful discussion.

Disasters can be so unsettling and disorientating even months later. It was a wonderful opportunity to feel connected to other people and reflect on our emotions.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Kimberly Simms at Peace Voices!

Today April 8, 2017 I will be at the Peace Center as part of their PeaceVoices program. I will be teaching a workshop at 1pm aimed at teens on the topic of writing fairy tale poems. At 4pm, we will have a poetry slam!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Kimberly at Arbor Springs Elementary School: 2nd Grade!

I am thrilled to be visiting Arbor Springs Elementary School in Coweta, GA this week!

We are going to be using creative writing and tableau to learn about emotions and poetry!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lindy Lee: Songs On Mill Hill by Kimberly Simms set to release on September 15, 2017

Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill features over 40 poems based on the history and landscape of Carolina and Georgia textile mill workers from the 1910s to the 1960s. The poems focus on the fictional character of Lindy Lee, her family, and their mill village. Although these poems aspire to portray Southern mill workers as accurately as possible, they constitute a creative work of fiction. Most result from the synthesis of stories gleaned from personal accounts, site visits, newspaper articles, and historical volumes. The poems explore the emotional turmoil, physical hardships, and joys of Southern women and their families in the textile industry.

Pre-sales start May 9th!!

“Kimberly Simms writes with eloquence and empathy about an important part of Southern history too often neglected.”
--Ron Rash
Author of Serena
A New York Times bestseller and PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

“I've been reading the Lindy Lee poems for over a decade now, and I'm delighted to see them collected in a volume that amplifies their individual power. In the tradition of Ron Rash, Cathy Smith Bowers, and Linda Ferguson, Kimberly Simms has chronicled the lives of textile workers in the Carolinas with historical accuracy, imaginative insight, and lyrical grace.”
-- Dr. Gilbert Allen
    Author of Catma
   Robert Penn Warren Prize Winner

“Innovative and entertaining. Often Simms reminds me of Rita Dove's THOMAS AND BEULAH, the ability to capture a whole human life in only a few carefully-crafted lines. Simms blends the folk-road with the erudite, makes the plain-spoken country-speak stand for the deepest spiritual constructs within our souls. I’ve read this collection several times for the delight and the surprise.  I strongly suspect other readers will too. What a new craftsman is here!”
--Paul Allen,

"Focused on a life sewn into mill town culture of the early twentieth century and on through the sixties, Kimberly Simms’ Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill reignite an important (but often forgotten) crux of the South's history. These are not lugubrious, nostalgia-laden poems longing for a South that never was: they are, in sum, a beautiful lens through which to celebrate and record the joys and hardships of a charged, mythic, and sweat-soaked place, its kin and kith, and the microcosmic realities that gather to form a dynamism, a culture still moving, abiding in memory and the heart."
--William Wright
Author of Tree Heresies
Georgia Author of the Year, 2016

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kimberly Simms wins The 2016 SmartARTS Teaching Artist Award


From the early days in 2003, Kimberly Simms Gibbs has been involved in the Metropolitan Arts Council's SmartARTS program that focuses on deep, meaningful learning for Greenville County students through arts integration.  In partnership, with SmartARTS, Kimberly Simms integrates both creative writing and theater into a variety of curriculums including science, socials studies, languageg arts, and visual art.

This year, the Metropolitan Arts Council held their 2016 Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Gunter Theater at the Peace Center before a large crowd. Allan Ethridge, Executive Director, and Gayla Day, Director of Education, presented The 2016 SmartARTS Teaching Artist Award to Kimberly Simms Gibbs.

In 2016, Kimberly Simms Gibbs completed 8 day residencies at League Academy (3) and Sevier Middle School, spending 64 days working in Greenville county Schools.

To learn how you can bring Kimberly to your school, please email

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Emotion Poems at Mountain View and Tigerville Elementary

Visual Art and Creative Writing Residency

I had a wonderful time spending 3 weeks in residencies at two elementary schools this February. It has been a joy to help Kindergarten through Fifth graders write poems! The students are currently working on the art side of their projects, so I look forward to sharing final pictures soon!

Join me on social media!
Instagram: @kimberlysimmspoet
Twitter: @witsendpoetry

From teacher, Sherry Smith: "My name is Sherry Smith and I am the art teacher for Tigerville Elementary and travel art teacher at Mountain View Elementary. We had a wonderful time hosting Mrs. Kimberly Simms Gibbs at our school as our artist in residence. She has a wonderful connection with the children and her talent is an outstanding source of inspiration and education to my students. We worked together to create connections between the art of the written message and the art of the visual message to connect bridges between the classroom contents of study with our art forms! We were delighted to have Mrs. Gibbs be a part of our learning experiences!! Sherry Smith."

Here are a few sample poems from the units:

5th Grade Unit - Harlem Renaissance 

Tribute Poems with Alcohol Ink Tiles

Student Sample Poem:
Langston Hughes - Tribute Poem

It is 1932 in the Harlem Renaissance.
I sit at the front table of a lively jazz club.
I see rhythmic smiling women dancing
to the music. I notice the talented
African-American artists all around.
I feel as happy as Duke Ellington
pounding the piano.  I hear the deep
thud of the upright bass on stage.
My hand grasps my pen to pour
my thoughts upon the page,
"Jazz Band, Jazz Band, play play play."

4th Grade Unit - Landscape Poems 

Creative Writing, Westward Expansion, and Landscape Paintings.

Student Sample Poem:
Landscape Poem

I stand beside my grey mustang. I see a beautiful long waterfall cascading over the mountain.

I hear the sparkling blue water running over the rocks into the river.
I feel inspired like a golden eagle soaring.
I turn my face towards the east;
we traveled so many months to reach
these valleys and tall peaks.
I notice the sun turning the puffy clouds
golden as the evening comes around us.
I feel proud to be among the first
to explore this beautiful western landscape.

K-4, K-5, 1st, and 2nd Grade - Inside Out Emotion Poems

Similes with Straw Blown Watercolor Faces

Student Sample Simile Poem from First Grade
My Emotions

I feel happy like green wiggly jello.
I feel joy like a rainbow-glitter crystal.
I feel sad like a dark muddy wolf.
I feel disgust like a mushy mud pie.
I feel scared like a climbing red spider.
I feel surprised like a fast blue waterfall.

*Please note it is my personal policy not to share photos of children's faces on social media unless I have parent permission.