At the age of 23 Simkin entered the University of Fishing Industry in Kaliningrad. As a seaman, he traveled the oceans. His first book of poetry he published in 1966. In 1988 he received the highest award for Applied Art in the Kaliningrad region.
Beside his own poetry Simkin took the task to translate the lyrics of the poets based in East Prussia into Russian. Although Simkin not even spoke German, he managed to translate poems by E. T. A. Hoffmann, Johann Gottfried Herder, Agnes Miegel, Ernst Wiechert, Johannes Bobrowski and others in surprisingly good quality. Among the most important collections of poems he edited are "You are my only light ..." (Du mein einzig Licht, 1993) and eight volumes of the series "Poetry from East Prussia".
In 2005 Simkin received the „Kulturpreis der Landsmannschaft Ostpreußen“.
Sem Simkin died in 2010 in Kaliningrad.