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Friday Feature: Glenis Redmond


Glenis Redmond is a performance poet, a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, a Cave Canem alumni, and the poet laureate of Greenville, South Carolina. Her volumes of poetry include: Backbone (Underground Epics, 2000), Under the Sun (Main Street Rag, 2002), and What My Hand Say (Press 53, 2016). Listening Skin (Four Way Books, 2022), Three Harriets & Others (Finishing Line Press, 2022), and Praise Songs for Dave the Potter, Art by Jonathan Green, and Poetry by Glenis Redmond (University of Georgia Press, 2022). She is presently working on a seventh collection, Port Cities: Portals of the Second (Domestic) Middle Passage. In 2020 Glenis received the highest arts award in South Carolina, the Governor’s Award. She was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors in April. Since 2014, Glenis has served as the mentor poet for the National Student Poets Program through Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. In the past she has prepared these exceptional youth poets to read at the Library of Congress, the Department of Education, and for First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House. Glenis has spent almost three decades touring the country as a poet and teaching artist. She served as the Poet-in-Resident for the Peace Center in Greenville and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ. As a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, for seventeen years, Glenis has created and facilitated poetry workshops for school districts across the country. Her poetry has been showcased on NPR and PBS and has been most recently published in The North Carolina Literary Review, Orion Magazine, storySouth, and The New York Times, as well as numerous literary journals nationally and internationally. Glenis believes poetry is the mouth that speaks when all other mouths are silent. Visit her website and follow her on Instagram.



Ghosts


To say he ghosted me insults ghosts,

my haints linger in healing clusters.

When I need them most,

they drop coin heads up,

leave a feather on my path,

flicker the streetlights

in a show of solidarity.

So, no he did not ghost me.

He did the most human thing—

left without explanation,

an intentional taking of my heart.

His silence, a violence,

a quiet war I battle

with someone I was coming to love.

His leaving suggests another side of him

I did not see. My eyeglasses tinted rose.

I don’t always see red flags clearly.

Sometimes I think them decorations

for a parade.

With him, I’m left with an unknown,

but he did not ghost me.

My ghosts comfort,

they don’t leave,

they cleave.



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