Simmons, Peb

Simmons, Peb

In Brief

Peb Simmons is a biographer, poet, and essayist. She has published numerous books, and has been widely published in journals and magazines. She is active in, and has contributed extensively to the Catholic community. Her first book, No Ordinary Woman (1997) is the biography of sculptor Ria Bancroft, who is Simmons’ mother. She has written on family life and relationship skills for both publication and broadcast. She has also written and illustrated books for children.


Simmons, Peb (1935 - ) is a biographer, essayist and poet whose work has been widely published in magazines and journals, including those in the Catholic community. She is also a broadcaster for community and Christian radio and a speaker on family life and relationship skills.

Her first book, No Ordinary Woman (1997) is the biography of sculptor - and Simmons' mother - Ria Bancroft. 'Simmons account,' writes Cassandra Fusco in the Christchurch Press, 'never saccharine but overtly devoted to its subject, is scholarly'. This biography, now out of print, is borrowed consistently from NZ Public Libraries.

Marriage: Gift to the World (1999) is 'a handbook of hope for married couples'. Marriage is widely incorporated into Family Guidance and Renewal seminars.
PEACE be with You (2000) is a year book of readings compiled from Simmons' weekly radio talks.

'Peb Simmons makes spiritual truths understandable,' writes Rosaleen Conway in NZ Catholic. 'Homilists whose imagination needs a kick-start will find the anecdotes useful.'

With Our Eyes Open is a poetry anthology that Peb Simmons co-edited with Kathleen Gallagher, along with contributing to it (2002). It features eleven well-established and emerging Canterbury poets. Reviewer Mike Crowl describes the writing as having 'assurance and strength'.

The Adventures of One-Eared Blue Bear (2002) is a children's book written by Peb Simmons and illustrated by Jo O'Hara. The story of a discarded bear who finds someone to love him, just as he is.

Freddie and Flukes Save the Dragon (BQS Publishing, 2003) is written and illustrated by Peb Simmons and features delightful characters who find peaceful solutions to imagined problems.

Does the Kiwi See Me? & Poems (BQS Publishing, 2004) is also written and illustrated by Peb Simmons. It is a collection of unique poems and line drawings inspired by observing many creatures found in the countryside and on the seashore of New Zealand. In late 2004, the poetry and line drawings were chosen for translation into Braille, for the enjoyment of sight-impaired children.

Mr Twho Among the Flowers (BQS, 2003) is written by Kathleen Gallagher and illustrated by Peb Simmons. It is an unusual and delightful story of a hippopotamus who lives in an inner city garden. Kathleen sees the extraordinary in the most ordinary of places. She found Mr Twho one day, sitting outside under a tree in Peb's garden.

The Gift of You (The Marist Messenger, 2007) grew out of personal grief in losing a loved child, and was published in the hope that some world or phrase might bring comfort and peace to an aching heart. Joy Cowley writes that: 'it brings us to the promise that those who mourn will be comforted.'

The Garment of Love (2008). This memoir commences with UK theatre, WW2, and Canada, revealing a fulfilled writer and poet, who settled in New Zealand. 'The Garment of Love is a spiritual gift to all who read it.' (Pauline O'Regan, Reviewer)


Updated January 2017.