Talks and Workshops

Discovering Poetry with Kimberly Simms

Kimberly Simms is available to speak at your festival,
community center, school, book club, or library.
 Mrs Simms is a member of the Humanities Council of SC Speaker's Bureau,
so grants are available to cover all or part of her honorariums.

Biography: While dedicating her time between her family and her work as a teaching artist, Kimberly Simms is an award winning, published writer and poet. Recently she was chosen as the 2016 Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Resident. Simms holds a Masters in English from Clemson University with a Creative Writing Thesis on the Textile Mills of South Carolina. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Poem, The South Carolina Review, The Asheville Poetry Review, The Blue Collar Review, and Kakalak. She has been a featured performer and reader internationally at festivals and venues including the Battersea Arts Center London, The Institute of Contemporary Arts London, The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, The Peace Center, the LEAF Festival, and Artisphere, as well as numerous other arts establishments and universities. She is currently finishing her first novel. You can learn more about her at or on twitter @witsendpoetry.

Click here for information on the SC Humanities Council's Grant Form (School's are Eligible!)

Click here for a link to my page on the SC Artist Roster
Click here for detailed information FOR SCHOOLS.

A Poetry Reading: Discovering South Carolina through poetry.
(Grades 4 -12 OR Adults.)
This reading, led by poet Kimberly Simms, connects audiences to the excitement of contemporary poetry. Kimberly Simms will share a variety of original and well known engaging poems that explore the life and history of South Carolina. Kimberly Simms has garnered recognition for her poetry not only from esteemed literary journals, but also from national poetry festivals. Her poems have been featured on both television, radio, and in print. For libraries, this reading can include book talks tailored to that library's collection. The reading will finish with a question and answer session.

A Festival Reading: A Poetic Journey through South Carolina (All Ages)
This poetry reading and performance will present a variety of original poems that will appeal to a broad audience on themes related to South Carolina. These poems are family friendly and entertaining to all ages. Audiences will enjoy crowd favorites such as Simms' Turner Speaks My South poem "My South's Boys" and her inspirational "Small Spaces." This collection of light, lively, and humorous poems are a great way to bring the poetic arts to your community festival.  Simms has been featured at The Red, White, and Blue Festival (Greenville, SC), Artisphere Festival (Greenville, SC), The TRAM Festvial (Travelers Rest, SC), The Art on the Trail Festival (Travelers Rest, SC), The LEAF Festival (Asheville, NC,) and many more. The reading will finish with a question and answer session.

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.

Talking to Disaster: Finding healing through poetry. (Adults)
After a disaster, communities find comfort in poems that speak to their sense of loss. Whether dealing with personal grief or processing a disaster, individuals can be overwhelmed with emotions. Yet a special type of healing comes from reading and hearing words that echo your own complex feelings. In this reading and discussion, poet Kimberly Simms will share poems on disaster and grief to provide a medium for dialogue. Attendees will be encouraged to find a sense of community through discussion of contemporary poetry.  This dialogue can be tailored to help communities deal with specific events.

Poetic Perspectives: Exploring the humanities through poetry. (K-12 OR Adults)
In this workshop, poet and educator Kimberly Simms will lead attendees in writing monologue style poems in the voice of a favorite literary character or historical figure. This workshop works particularly well when exploring a pre-chosen work of fiction or historical figure as part of a larger celebration, conference, or unit. The workshop includes a pre-writing activity, a craft lesson, and examples to scaffold all writing levels. The workshop will finish with sharing and a brief discussion.

Cooking up Poetry: Writing recipe poems. (K-12 OR Adults)
In this delicious workshop, poet and educator Kimberly Simms will lead attendees in writing their own “recipe” style poems. Attendees will also discuss several sample poems to help them explore ideas about food and life. The workshop includes a structured poetic form and a craft lesson so that writers of any level can participate. The workshop will finish with time for sharing and discussion.
Poetry Slam: Putting performance into contemporary poetry.
(Grades 4-12 OR Adults)
In this hands-on workshop, poet and educator Kimberly Simms will lead attendees in performing well-known contemporary poems or pre-written original poems. The workshop will feature a short craft lesson on voice and blocking. The workshop will also include a discussion on the history and current state of poetry slams. The session will end with an informal performance, as well as a question and answer session. Kimberly Simms is a certified slam master with the national organization Poetry Slam Inc. She is a former South East Regional Slam Champion (Greenville Slam Team 1998). She was a regional SC judge for the 2016 Poetry Out Loud Competition.

Community Festival Reading:  $250
        This fee covers up to a 45 minute reading and performance plus a Q&A session.
        Funding is available through the humanities council for SC events. 

Conference Workshop: $250
        This fee covers up to one 60 minute adult workshop including handouts plus Q&A
         and informal receptions or lunches. Funding is available through the humanities council
         for SC events. 

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.

Community or Bookclub talk: $125
       This fee covers up to a 30 minute reading or craft talk plus a Q&A session 
        as well as informal receptions for groups under 30 people.

Personal poetry critiques and workshop: $75
       This fee covers a one hour session. This experience will be tailored 
       to your individual writing needs.

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