Glenis Redmond believes that a Teaching Artist is a person that has the ability to translate their art form educationally, while simultaneously inspiring and empowering both teachers and students to experience and practice their art form.

The Wharton Center in East Lansing is one of the many places Glenis serves as an Artist-in-Residence. They describe the Teaching Artist’s role:

An artist-in-residence is a professional performer with a dual role as a “teaching artist.” During a multi-day stay on campus and in the community, an artist-in-residence shares his or her expertise and insights on creativity during close interaction with youth and adult learners.

Artist-in-residence programs often include lecture demonstrations, master classes, career development discussions, and opportunities for one-on-one and group mentoring. Not two programs are the same. Some focus on only one discipline such as performing, while most strive to integrate the creative process into all areas of study and interest, not just the arts.

Glenis Redmond is an award winning poet, author of Backbone and Under The Sun and a Kennedy Center teaching artist. Ms. Redmond is also a dynamic performer of her work and has presented all around the country for both student and adult audiences. This will be Ms. Redmond’s second year in residence and she will conduct a workshop for teachers on teaching poetry through our Kennedy Center Partners in Education program. She will also spend her time here working with elementary, middle and high school students on creating and reading their own poetry. In her work with students Ms. Redmond uses writing techniques that help students create textured and layered poems with easy to follow poetry activities using common everyday imagery to create emotional resonance.

As an teaching artist, Glenis demonstrates the art of poetry through lectures, exercises and hands-on experiences. She has been an artist committed to teaching poetry through Arts Integration for the last two decades.

Glenis began her tenure as a teaching artist in Greenville, South Carolina as an artist-on-roster for the South Carolina Arts Commission in 1994. Then, branched out to teaching in both of the Carolinas in classrooms as a Teaching Artist. In 2000 she signed with The Loyd Artists Agency and began working nationally; performing and teaching not only in K-12 schools, but also on the collegiate level and in various arts communities.

Her work is classroom tested and teacher approved. When Glenis walks into a classroom, she changes it into a safe space of creativity, where students are encouraged to explore their poetic depths. When students grasp the tools that Glenis teaches, the poet in them awakens. Glenis says her goal is not to make everyone a poet like herself, but for them to realize the poetry that they carry in their hearts. Many teachers remark after a residency with Glenis, ” I learned things about my students that I never knew.” Glenis believes poetry is not only a way to get at the Common Core, but a way for teachers to know their students on a deeper level, so that they may teach them more effectively. Glenis says, “Poetry creates community and a tighter knit classroom.”

Glenis Redmond is a poet, educator, performer and counselor all rolled in one soulful bunch. Her work draws inspiration from her life, her family, and her African-American heritage. Through her transformative workshops and performances, she encourages participants to draw upon their own lives and experiences to tell their stories.

As an acclaimed poet and Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, Glenis Redmond conducts a workshop titled, Poetry off the Page and presents it to their partnerships across the country from Hawaii to Florida.

Glenis also presents keynotes, performances and workshops that are organically grown from her own artistic process that touch on various themes such as her African-American experience, South Carolina History, Women’s Issues, Spirituality and Chronic Illness.

Glenis also feels strongly about being an ambassador for the arts by helping emerging artist get their start in the Teaching Artist field. She is available for group and individual consultations.

Glenis’s gaze begins with self and her roots, but she touches upon the core of humanity with her powerful outreach. Her poems and her pedagogy speaks to all.  

Glenis greatest mentor is a poet and Teaching Artist that she never met, Barbara Esbensen except through her book Celebration of Bees, which shaped how Glenis taught poetry in the classroom. Here is a poem by Barbara Esbensen:


The rooms in a pencil
are narrow
but elephants castles and watermelons
fit in
In a pencil
noisy words yell for attention
quiet words wait their turn
How did they slip
into such a tight place?
gives them their
From a broken pencil
an unbroken poem will come.
There is a long story living
in the shortest pencil.
Every word in your
is fearless ready to walk
the blue tightrope lines
to teeter and smile
down Ready to come right out
and show you