Green Windows brings together Peggy's passions: creative writing and fostering communities in which the traditionally unheard play a vital role and where each person's potential is fulfilled.
Peggy was born in Oakland, California and came back to Oakland in 2002 after living in four other states and in four other countries on three continents.
Summary of Peggy's experience:
- Since 1992, has designed and facilitated creative and communications workshops for children and adults of different backgrounds, including working in some of the most "disadvantaged" neighborhoods of New York, Paris, London and Oakland and in Alameda County's juvenile hall.
- Twelve years working alongside and training low-literacy youth and adults in retail establishments and in human rights anti-poverty projects.
- Amherst Writers and Artists Writing Group Leader Certified, facilitating diverse community and youth workshops since 2008.
- Published creative writer
- Poetry and flash fiction in several journals including SLAB, flashquake (where nominated for a Pushcart Prize), and Word Riot, under the pen name Meg Claudel.
- Poem “Free Sunset” chosen as part of the Temescal Insitu public art project, currently part of an urban mural.
- Self-published and edited or co-edited collections from writing workshops: five books (four of them here) and four chapbooks.
- Two manuscripts, one novel and one nonfiction about workshops in juvenile hall, are looking for the right home.
- Peggy Simmons' LinkedIn
Peggy's current commitments:
- Directs Green Windows, facilitates Green Windows' AWA creative writing workshops, and runs Green Windows' trainings and workshops in partnership with social justice and youth organizations.
- Works part-time for Oakland Public Library's Teen Services as a Library Assistant, co-coordinating the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program and developing outreach and programs for youth in the criminal justice system.
- Volunteers with The Beat Within since 2008 facilitating writing workshops weekly in the local juvenile hall and bimonthly in San Quentin state prison and offering mentorship and training to other facilitators.
- Serves as the President of the national Board of Directors of the ATD Fourth World Movement.
- Writes: daily practice, mostly poems. Currently sending out two manuscripts. One is an autobiographical novel. The other is a collection of her own poems, journal entries and creative nonfiction written in response to working with incarcerated youth over seven years. This collection is an emotional chronicle of her own transformation and also a collection of the youths' writing.
Examples of Peggy's facilitation experience:
- AWA Facilitation of Creative Writing Workshops since 2008. See list here.
- ATD Fourth World Movement USA
- Creative writing workshops with groups of people with very different literacy levels.
- Professional development writing workshops with social justice activists and adult education teachers.
- Theatre of the Oppressed workshops about criminal justice with activists of different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- International ATD Fourth World Movement
- Creative and Information Technology projects with children and teens in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the USA and Europe.
- Facilitation of anti-poverty groups made up of youth activists from very different cultural, socio-economic and lingual backgrounds.
- Theatre of the Oppressed facilitator and trainer