James Simmons was born in Londonderry in 1933. He published volumes of poems regularly since his first book came out from The Bodley Head in 1967 with a welcome from Graham Greene on the cover. He won the Gregory and Cholmondeley Awards for poetry. He was founder editor of The Honest Ulsterman. Four collections of his songs have been issued, much praised by Paul Durcan. His critical biography of Sean O'Casey (Macmillan) is a standard text. He read and sang all over the world from Tokyo to Los Angeles to Belfast. He was co-director of The Poets' House, which was situated in its formative years in County Antrim and is now in Donegal. He was a member of Aosdana. He was writer in residence at Queens University Belfast. He lectured from 1968 to 1984 at The University of Ulster. James Simmons passed away on June 20th, 2001.