Kevin Simmonds is a writer and musician originally from New Orleans. His books of poetry include Bend to it
(2014) and Mad for Meat
(2011). His writing appears in the anthologies War Diaries
, To Be Left with the Body
, The Ringing Ear
, and Gathering Ground
. A frequent collaborator with Kwame Dawes
, he has set several of his poems to music, including the children’s book I Saw Your Face
, a meditation on HIV and AIDS in Jamaica (commissioned by the Pulitzer Center). Another, the performance Wisteria: Twilight Songs from the Swamp Country
, chronicles the lives of black women growing up in the Jim Crow South and opened the 2006 Poetry International Festival at Royal Festival Hall.
Simmonds has received fellowships from the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Cave Canem, the Fulbright Foundation, Jack Straw Writers Program and the San Francisco Arts Commission. He edited a posthumous collection of Carrie Allen McCray's poetry entitled Ota Benga Under My Mother's Roof
(2012) and edited the anthology Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality
He studied at Vanderbilt University and earned the PhD in music from the University of South Carolina. He lives in San Francisco and northern Japan.
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