Poet, playwright, and publisher, J. R. Simons, earned his BFA and MA in Theatre from Kent State University and his MFA in Creative Writing at Ashland University. He has worked as a photo retailer and one-hour lab manager, a substitute teacher, a stagehand, an Inside Sales Representative and Department Manager for Vincent Lighting Systems and the Technical Director for Ashland University. He has taught English Composition, Theatre, and Dramatic Literature at Lorain County Community College, Terra State Community College, and Lakeland Community College in Ohio.
He has directed high school and community theatre productions for Avon High School, Lorain County Community College, Elyria High School, Amherst Steele High School, Elyria Summer Theatre, Lorain County Children’s Pioneer Theatre, Aurora Community Theatre, Huntington Playhouse, Strongsville Community Theatre, Kent Stage Players, and Sandstone Summer Theatre. J. R. is a former State Board member for the Ohio Educational Theatre Association.
J. R. has been married to his wonderful wife, Kim, since 1990. They are the proud parents of three children: Kelsey, Will, and Hayley, and the proud fur baby parents of two dogs, Watson and Millie and a cat, Beatrice.
J. R. established Simple Simons Press in the fall of 2020 and published its first offerings in the fall of 2021. Simple Simons Press exists to publish poetry and publish and license plays as an independent publisher.
His poems have been published in Graffiti, the monthly newsletter of Cleveland Area Mensa, of which he is a member, Apotheosis, the electronic journal of The Poetic Genius Society, and Common Threads, the semi-annual journal of the Ohio Poetry Association, three separate anthologies (Voices of Real 5, A Poemdemic, and Dear Bully) published by Poetry is Life Publishing, and in the collection BuzzKill from Night Ballet Press.