The Listening Skin

The Listening Skin

Glenis Redmond


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Hewing close to the bone, the incendiary poems in The Listening Skin explore how an artist dares to dance and create through a pain-riddled body. Corporeal and spiritual, immediately personal and deeply historical, Redmond's latest collection details how generational cycles of poverty, mental and physical illness, and systemic racism impact the self, the family, and the greater African-American collective. Examining the connection between adverse childhood experiences and adult chronic conditions, Redmond's poems arise from her deepest listening, beyond the skin, rooted in the marrow. They speak to the hardship of enduring fibromyalgia and the ongoing challenges of multiple myeloma while rejoicing in survival and the grace of existence itself. Yes, The Listening Skin affirms life and demands the dignity its speaker deserves: "I am full of this past present heat / I carry. / I come to the shore, / but I vacate nothing." This consummate work honors embodied knowledge, all that's heard at the boundary between flesh and air, vacating nothing, determinedly and brilliantly whole.


Glenis Redmond:
Glenis Redmond is an award-winning poet. She has been a literary community leader for almost thirty years. She is a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist and a Cave Canem alum. Glenis has been the mentor poet for the National Student Poets Program since 2014. In the past she 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. She is a North Carolina Literary Fellowship recipient and helped to create the first Writer-in-Residence position at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Her work has been showcased on NPR and PBS and has been most recently published in Orion Magazine and the New York Times. In 2020, Glenis received the highest art award in the state of South Carolina: the Governor's Award. She will be inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors this spring. She believes poetry is the mouth that speaks when all other mouths are silent.