It was Gwendolyn Brooks who said, "Poetry is life distilled." And Walt Whitman who said, "To have great poets there must be great audiences, too." It seems that local performance poet and author Glenis Redmond gets both. Her inspiration is drawn from family, especially the strong women in her life, and though she's been writing poetry since age 12, Redmond really amped up her following as a competitor in regional and national poetry slams during the late 1990s (she first took home the WNC Best Poet title in 1999).
"Presently, I am finishing my MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College," Redmond tells Xpress. “I am working on my third book, which is a deeper poetic examination of my family's South Carolina roots. The working title thus far is, What My Hand Say. It is taken from a persona poem written in my great-grandfather's voice, Will Rogers. Though he was an extremely bright man, he never had the opportunity to learn how to read."
When asked what up-and-coming local poets she's got her eye on, Redmond was hard-pressed to pick just one. "I appreciate all the energy and passion that Graham Hackett has brought to the poetry community," she says. Other "awesome Asheville voices" on her list include Rose McLarney, Lucy Tobin, Roberto Hess, Brook van der Linde "and of course, my daughter Maya 'Amber' Sherer," as well as former locals Arhm Choi and Jillian Quinn Buckley.
— Alli Marshall