What My Hand Say by Glenis Redmond
What My Hand Say by Glenis Redmond
9 x 6 paperback, 102 pages
Praise for What My Hand Say
In What My Hand Say, Glenis Redmond digs deep, risking peace of mind, the comfort of ignorance and the assurance of being numb to history and memory, to make poems that are urgent, full of alarm, and marked by the realization that the best art is one that dares to look boldly at hard experience and still find a music in it. This a welcome collection by a poet engaged in the necessary work of writing with a full sense of place and history. South Carolina is fecund with stories and musics, and Redmond manages to tap into this complex resource with skill and heart.
—Kwame Dawes, author of City of Bones: A Testament
If poets make words bloom, Glenis Redmond is a master gardener bringing untended history back to life in verse. Rooted in the South Carolina soil where so many stolen Africans were first transplanted, Redmond shares the stories of the state’s sons and daughters: her mama’s cotton, Dave the Potter’s clay vessels, 14-year-old George Stinney’s electric chair, Dizzy’s notes, her father’s fights and fists. Renown as a stage performer, her poems likewise blossom on the page, growing in stanzas that show off Redmond’s mastery of voice and form. Listen to what her hand say, as she pulls stories up by the roots and replants them in this unforgettable volume of verse.
—P. Gabrielle Foreman, Ned B. Allen Professor of English, Black Studies and History, University of Delaware
Some books of poetry resonate so profoundly with us that they sing to the surface our own stories, helping us understand them within the historical and personal context of another poet's experience. In these too-often divisive times, I am grateful to have Glenis Redmond's new collection, What My Hand Say, in my hands. In its lines I hear a voice that harks back to the praise-singers of West Africa, as well as to the porches and back yards of the deep South, voices that sing beyond their ancestral birthplaces into that larger culture in which we live. What My Hand Say lifts up the lifelines and the song lines of Redmond's people, and in doing so, they encompass all our voices. Her stories become our stories. "My head bowed / eyes intent on the stitch, not busy with blame— / I work the pieces," she tells us. "These stories are useful things, / stitches I follow. / They guide me clear, / and help me stand." They can, if we let them, help us stand, too. This is the joy and power of poetry.
—Kathryn Stripling Byer, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina and author of Descent
About the Author
Glenis Redmond travels nationally and internationally reading and teaching poetryso much that she has earned the title, Road Warrior Poet. She has posts as the Poet-in-Residence at The Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, South Carolina, and also at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. During February 2016, at the request of U.S. State Department for their Speaker's Bureau, Glenis traveled to Muscat, Oman, to teach a series of poetry workshops and perform poetry for Black History Month.
In 2014-16, Glenis served as the Mentor Poet for the National Student Poet's Program to prepare students to read at the Library of Congress, the Department of Education, and for First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House. Glenis is a Cave Canem Fellow, a North Carolina Literary Fellowship Recipient, and a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist. She also helped create the first Writer-in-Residence at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina.
Glenis believes that poetry is a healer, and she can be found in the trenches across the world applying pressure to those in need, one poem at a time.
Visit Glenis at www.glenisredmond.com