Glenis Redmond’s love of words has carried her across the country for two decades. She logs over 35,000 miles a year bringing poetry to the masses. This Road Warrior Poet though steeped in Afro-Carolininan roots, speaks a universal tongue of love, loss, celebration, sorrow and hope. Her verse uplifts family, culture and community. Glenis is a gentle pen pusher as she encourages others at diverse venues across the country from prisons, universities, festivals, conferences, camps, keynotes, rallies, to schools.

She is a 2005-2006 NC Literary Award recipient and a Denny C. Plattner Award winner for Outstanding Poetry awarded by the Journal, Appalachian Heritage. She has been inducted in the Mt. Xpress’ Hall of Fame for Best Poet in Western North Carolina after winning for over a decade.

She is a Workshop Leader with the Kennedy Center’s Partnership in Education Program in Washington, D.C. Glenis’ work has aired on National Public Radio. She is a past winner of the Southern Fried Poetry Slam twice and a top ten finalist in the National Poetry Slam.

“Poetry has followed me all the days of my life.” 

Glenis Gale Redmond, a self-proclaimed native of nowhere, was raised in an Air Force family. Through their many relocations, Glenis’ young mind was already creating and collecting the memories and knowledge that laid the framework for her future as a poet. She was a voracious reader, begging to be allowed the library card she received at the age of five. Her favorite characters were likable underdogs like Ramona the Pest and Pippi Longstocking. She found refuge and hope in their stories. Little did she know then, reading was a precursor to her writing, and she was setting her future with every book she read.

When not reading, she could be found dancing to Motown, either in her room or down the Tacoma, Washington sidewalks. Her favorite pastime, however, was catching words in the family home. Whenever there was company, she would settle down in the den and open her ears like a porous, couch-side sponge, soaking in the words. Poetry found Glenis for the first time while the family was stationed in Italy during the early seventies. She was standing in an auditorium during a Black History program where she heard Yolanda Walker, in her opinion, the coolest black girl that ever lived, recite Jacki Earley’s socio-political poem, 1,968 Winters. It was this poem that initiated Glenis into the poetry world. Read more about Glenis’ Initiation Poem.

Years later, poetry found Glenis again, this time driving down a street in Richmond, Virginia. She had been a counselor for seven years after receiving her B.A. in Psychology from Erskine College. She had also worked on her Master’s degree in Child and Family Studies at Texas Tech University. At the time, she was enrolled in the PhD program for Counseling Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth. She was also pregnant with her twin daughters, Amber and Celeste. Driving that day, Glenis had the distinct realization that she was on the wrong path. Poetry was calling her back. Amid the protests of her professors, she left the program, and embarked on the road she travels to this day. Now, twenty years later, she is a full-time poet, traveling, writing, performing and teaching.

Influenced by her background in counseling, she has found one of her chief talents in working with at-risk teens, using poetry to draw them out of the shells they have built around their hearts and helping them to reach out to the world and express themselves. Through their words and the words of others, many begin to find healing. Poem: “Bruised” for At-Risk-Teens

She has also designed workshops for both amateur and professional writers, from ages 9-90. She teaches them how to access their inner voices and creativity, and how to let their light shine out to the world through their words.

She has been published most recently in Meridians, African Voices, EMRYS, Asheville Poetry Review,Kakalak: A Journal of Carolina Poets, Appalachian Heritage and the Appalachian Journal. Her manuscript Under The Sun was short listed by Autumn House Press. Her poems soothe, illicit and inspire others to pick up their pen and travel their own poetic road. When Glenis performs, audiences are brought to their feet by the grace, intensity, and passion with which she gives life to her poetry. She floats, glides, and pounds her way across the stage, her voice rings out, then becomes soft. Within moments, she has even the most stoic of audiences in her palm.

Through her poetry, Glenis has found community and belonging. She has been associated with many organizations such as YWCA, Girl Scouts, Our Voice, Project STEAM, NC Center for Advancement of Teachers and NC Center for Non-Profits, homeless shelters, half-way houses, Blue Cross Blue Shield,and Helpmate.

Once a native of nowhere, Glenis now knows that she belongs everywhere.

Selected Venues

Kennedy Center Partnership in Education Teacher Training Roster
FarragoPoetry Festival , London, England
Nuyorican Poet’s Café, New York, NY
Palmdale Playhouse, Palmdale, CA
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center,Tampa, FL
Peace Center, Greenville, SC
Poetry Circus, Taos, NM
College of Charleston, Charleston,SC
Acadiana Arts Council, Lafayette, LA
Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH
University of Delaware, DE
Artsplosure, Raleigh, NC
Girls on the Move, Central Park, NY
Martin County Library, Stuart, FL

Keynote Speaker
TedX Greenville, 2012

Arts NorthWest 2005, Tacoma, Washington
Association for Experiential Education International Conference, Charleston, WV
Women and Addiction National Conference, Kanuga, Hendersonville, NC
D. Michael Warner Foundation Conference, North Carolina Center for Non-Profits Conference, Charlotte, NC
Women’s Leadership, Furman University, Greenville, SC

Awards

Leo Twiggs Arts Leadership Award, SC Arts Commission, 2013

Women Making History, Cultural Exchange Center, 2013

Denny C. Plattner Award for Outstanding Poetry, 2013

Cave Canem Fellow, 2010 to Present

NC Literary Arts Fellowship, 2005-2006

Asheville Arts Council grant 2001

Atlantic Center for the Arts Fellowship 1995, 2002

Vermont Studio Center Fellowship 1998, 2002

Mountain Xpress, Best Poet of Western North Carolina 1999 to present

Cary McCray Literary Award 1995