Rita A. Simmonds was born in Rochester, New York. She received her BA from Hofstra University and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. For several years, she worked for the City University of New York, teaching English as a Second Language. Simmonds is a three-time winner of the Best Original Poetry category at the annual Catholic Press Association Awards (2011, 2010, 2004), as well as a winner of numerous second and third place CPA awards. In 2012, fourteen of her poems were featured in the bestselling MAGNIFICAT Year of Faith Companion, and 49 original poems in MAGNIFICAT Year of Mercy Companion. In 2013, she published her first book of poems, Souls and the City. Simmonds lives in Brooklyn, New York with her two sons.