School Visits with Kimberly

News Update: Kimberly J. Simms was named the 2016 Teaching Artist of the Year for Greenville County School District's SmartARTS Program (Award Ceremony held in 2017) sponsored by the Metropolitan Arts Council!

Put POETRY BANG in your classroom with a POETRY SLAM, haiku battle, or tableau poem. Be amazed at the rich narratives, strong imagery, and figurative language that your students produce, using Kimberly’s unique Poetic Language Generator! Or stomp, clap, and snap your student’s attention as they have a blast bringing POETRY ALIVE! ASSEMBLIES available too! Help students improve their vocabulary across a variety of core subjects!

Every child can write!

  • Specializing in research-based creative writing
  • Offering vocabulary building activities to create context for Social Studies and Science
  • The Writing Process as explained by a published author
  • Figurative language and imagery scaffolding for every level of writer
  • Gifted and Talented Certified Teacher
  • Experienced with inclusion and special education classes, as well as ESOL students.
  • Brain breaks and tableau theater activities to help students focus, explore their creativity, as well as to access prior knowledge and make inferences.

Kimberly is on the South Carolina Artist Roster from the SC Arts Commission. She is also a member of the Metropolitan Arts Council SMART Arts Program and a speaker for the SC Humanities Council's Speakers Bureau. She will be on the Georgia Teaching Artist Roster starting in the Fall of 2017.


Kimberly J. Simms  an award winning poet, mother, and educator. She is the 2016 Carl Sandburg National Historic Site Writer-in-Residence and a scholar on the SC Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau. A certified South Carolina teacher, she taught in Upstate middle schools for ten years and has worked with MAC’s Smart Arts program for five years. Her teaching is influenced not only by her creative writing credentials, but also by her experience as an award-winning slam poet and trained actress. She is the founder of Greenville non-profit, Wits End Poetry, which is celebrating 15 years of producing high-quality local poetry events and education outreach. Her first full-length poetry collection, Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. A current Pushcart Prize nominee, Kimberly’s poetry has been featured in over thirty literary journals and magazines.  Her first chapbook of poems was published by Furman’s University’s Ninety-Six Press as part of the book Quintet. Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University. She is a first-generation American who graduated from Christ Church Episcopal School and attended the Fine Art Center. She is a graduate of Furman University and received her Master’s degree from Clemson University. You can learn more about her at

Arts Integration
Arts integration takes acting, poetry, and creative writing directly into core academic and related arts classes where they are infused into the curriculum to give students a deeper understanding of the standards. 
Kimberly Simms can help students explore history and literature to deepen their content understanding as they create monologue-style poems. Her past units have included writing poems about characters in novels, exploring historical heroes, creating tableaus, biography, family history, in addition to found poetry, visual poetry, poetry slam, and haiku battles.

Arts Integration Units are traditionally between 5 to 8 days.

Arts Residencies
Kimberly J. Simms is also experienced with traditional one day and week-long artist residencies. Mrs. Simms will lead your students in writing their own poems then having a POETRY SLAM! She is a happy to work with all ages but she is particularly experienced with middle schoolers.  Poetry Out Loud coaching is also available.

Believe in Yourself through the Power of Poetry! 
Celebrate local history! or  Poetry Slam Demo!

In an assembly setting Kimberly Simms brings a combination of inspirational speech with performance poems based on history and to inspire literacy. She also has a variety of poems on historical figures for black history month or southern history.

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 certified Poetry Slam Slammaster, a SC Humanities Council’s Speaker and a South Carolina Arts Commission Approved Artist, plus a SMART Arts teaching artist. In 2016, she was inducted as a LEGEND OF THE SOUTH by the National Poetry Slam.

Mrs. Simms has a proven track record for using inquiry based learning to team teach with public school teachers as she infuses collaborative learning, creative writing, and theater into a variety of content areas. Also a certified teacher, Mrs. Simms speaks the language of the standards and understands the needs of educators. You can learn more about her at

Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including Growing Up Girl and The Asheville Poetry Review.  Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University. She was a member of the Greenville Slam Team with Glenis Redmond that won the South East Regional Poetry Slam in 1998. She has appeared on NPR, Turner South, and TEDX.

Booking:       864.436.0045

  • Poetry Slam Residency featuring writing prompts to get kids writing, acting warm-ups, performance techniques, theater games, brain breaks, and revision techniques. Unit finishes with a Poetry Slam.  This unit can be tailored to younger students where students are provided with fill in the blank style poems or perform beloved poems by well known authors.
  • Celebrating Carl Sandburg: Hands on Poetry Experience (K-8) This workshop weaves together history and poetry to explore Southern themes through the poetry of Carl Sandburg. After introducing Carl Sandburg, Kimberly Simms will lead the group in a poetry writing AND/OR theater activity inspired by Carl Sandburg's poetry. This experience can be tailored for different age groups and experience levels.  Kimberly Simms is the 2016 Carl Sandburg Writer-In-Residence. The reading will finish with a question and answer session.
  • Integrating poetry in music class using the Harlem Renaissance
  • Integrating poetry into art class using persona poems
  • Integrating poetry into art class using visual poetry
  • Integrating poetry/theater into social studies using landscape or biography poems.
  • Integrating poetry/theater into science using landscape, persona, or multi-voiced poems.
  • Integrating poetry/theater into language arts classes using monologue poems, multi-voiced poems, and other scaffolded writing techniques. 
  • Vocabulary strategies to take understanding of rigorous content vocabulary deeper through creative writing and graphic organizers.
  • Improvement of voice in essay writing through creative writing and vocabulary building activities that utilize graphic organizers and structured writing process.

School Assembly Reading up to 2 assemblies: $250
        This fee covers up to two 30 minute readings plus 15 minute Q&A sessions.          Funding is available through the humanities council for SC events. 

Classroom visits: $150 to $250
         Classroom visits are billed at $50 per classroom hour or $75 per block class. 
Discounts are given for multiple day residencies. Funding is available through the SC Arts Commission's Teaching Artist Residency program. Each class should be no more than 30 students.

Additional fees or housing may be required. No travel fees are charged for the Upstate of SC or the Atlanta Metro area.

  •            The Peace Center’s Peace Voices Workshop Facilitator. Poetry Slam Performance.
  •            Carl Sandburg National Historic Site. Writer-in-Residence with school visits.
  •            TEDX Greenville Salon speaker & performer.
  •            SMART Arts Institute. GCSD. Facilitator.
  •            League Academy. Staff In-service “Creative Writing Across the Curriculum.”
  •       Middle School Residencies (multiple units at each school each year) and      Programs: League Academy, Tanglewood, Northwest, & Sevier Middle Schools.
  •       Elementary School Residencies: Grove Elementary, Tigerville Elementary,            Pelham Road Elementary
  •           The National Poetry Slam. Workshop leader.Featured performer. Master of     Ceremonies.
  •          The Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam. Workshop Leader.
     Featured performer.
  •       Writing in Place Conference. Hub City Press. Workshop leader.
  •       Libraries across South Carolina
  • Sumter Opera House. Performer & facilitator.
  • Writing in Place Conference. Facilitator.
  • South Carolina Writer’s Association Conference. Workshop Facilitator.
  • Furman University
  • Spartanburg Methodist College
  • Anderson University
  • Clemson University
  • Converse University
  • Sherman College