Glenis Redmond

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Poet Laureate of Greenville, South Carolina

Glenis Redmond was born on August 27, 1963, on Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. She received her BA from Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina, and an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College.

She is the author of six books of poetry: Praise Songs for Dave the Potter, which features artwork by Jonathan Green (University of Georgia Press, 2023); Listening Skin (Four Way Books, 2022), which was long-listed for the Julie Suk Award and the PEN America Open Book Award; The Three Harriets and Others (Finishing Line Press, 2022); What My Hand Say (Press 53, 2016); Under the Sun (Main Street Rag, 2002); and Backbone (Underground Epics, 2000).

Redmond is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and fellowships, including the South Carolina Governor’s Award, the Charlie Award from the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival, a North Carolina Literary Fellowship, and the Peacemaker Award by the Upstate Mediation Center. Redmond was also inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors.

She helped create the literary program, Peace Voices at the Peace Center, where she mentored youth poets and curated a program titled, Poetic Conversations, where she hosted award winning poets such as Joshua Bennett, Elizabeth Acevedo, Jaqueline Woodson, Xavier Zamora, Danez Smith, Paige Hernandez, and Alicia Jo Rabins, and others. 

She has spent almost three decades touring the country performing and facilitating poetry workshops for churches, school districts, and teacher and student workshops, juvenile detentions centers, conferences, prisons, pre-schools, school districts, festivals, teacher institutes, performing art centers, colleges and universities across the country and worldwide. She has performed in England, Australia and Haiti. Redmond is on the Speaker’s Bureau for the United States Department presenting programs in Muscat, Oman and for the U.S. Embassy of Guatemala.

In the 90’s, Redmond founded the first Greenville, South Carolina, Poetry Slam. She was the first to take an all-women team to Nationals and was the Southern Fried Slam Champion twice as ab individuals and ranked twice in the top ten at the National Poetry Slam. She helped found Word Slam, a poetry slam for teens in Asheville, North Carolina, and helped to create the first writer in residence program at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina. She served as the poet in residence for the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina, and for the State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick. For seventeen years, Redmond served as a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist. In that role, she created and facilitated poetry workshops for school districts across the country. Since 2014, Redmond has served as the mentor poet for the National Student Poets Program through Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Redmond is the first poet laureate of Greenville, South Carolina.