23 Glenis Redmond: Context and Conversation – Workshop Lesson Plan

Authors: Shameka Cunningham, McKinley E. Melton, Adrienne Danyelle Oliver, Carmin Wong

Target Group: Adult Learners

For a more generalized version, see “Single Poet Workshop: Context and Conversation – Workshop Lesson Plan”

Workshop Objectives

  • Gain/strengthen language for talking about poetry.
  • Introduce a particular poet (with an emphasis on context and community).
  • Empower students to envision themselves as part of the creative community.

Community Workshop – Structure

Part I: Engaging with the poet’s life through the poet’s work


Glenis Redmond is the First Poet Laureate of Greenville, South Carolina. She is a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, and a Cave Canem alumni. She has authored six books of poetry: Backbone (Underground Epics, 2000), Under the Sun (Main Street Rag, 2002), and What My Hand Say (Press 53, 2016), Listening Skin (Four Way Books), Three Harriets & Others (Finishing Line Press), and Praise Songs for Dave the Potter, Art by Jonathan Green, and Poetry by Glenis Redmond (University of Georgia Press). Glenis received the highest arts award in South Carolina, the Governor’s Award and inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors. She is a “Charlie Award” recipient awarded by the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival and was recently a recipient of the Peacemaker Award by the Upstate Mediation Center in 2022. Glenis was born on Shaw AFB in Sumter, South Carolina. She presently resides in Greenville. She was the founder of the Greenville Poetry Slam in the early 90’s.

from Glenis Redmond’s website

Discussion Questions:

  • What do we know about the poet’s life & experience?
  • How does it impact their work?
  • What is their work (including and beyond poetry)?

Provide participants with video of the poet delivering a reading, giving a lecture, or engaging in an interview

Part II: Engaging with a specific poem, with an emphasis on form and craft

  • Lead workshop participants through a “deep dive” into a single poem.
  • Highlight technical elements of the poem.
  • Review language for literary devices and strategic craft decisions, with a consideration of impact and how particular craft choices shape the experience of the poem.
  • Creative exercise: invite students to model particular techniques and replicate in their own work

Part III: Engaging with a specific poem, with an emphasis on theme and content

“I Wish You Black Sons” by Glenis Redmond (also in Furious Flower, 2019)

  • Meditate and reflect upon the resonant themes that shape the experience of this poem
  • Creative exercise: What’s going on in your life that would show up on the page?

Part IV: How do we think about this poem/poet in conversation with other poems/poets?

  • Lead participants through a discussion of how this poem works alongside others (with respect to form and content).
  • Other poems to consider:
    • Reginald Dwayne Betts – “When I Think of Tamir Rice While Driving” (Furious Flower 2019, pp. 157-159)
  • Provide Students with a “Further Reading List” that they can take with them, following the workshop.
  • Creative exercise: remind/reinforce their understanding of how they are in conversation with this poem, based on the work that they have produced or might/will produce

Further Reading:

  • Glenis Redmond’s Website
  • Glenis Redmond Poetry Collections:
    • Backbone (Underground Epics Publishing, 2000)
    • What My Hand Say (Press 53, 2016)
    • Under the Sun (Main Street Rag, 2008)
    • The Three Harriets and Others (Finishing Line Press, 2022)
    • The Listening Skin (Four Way Books, 2022)
  • Sarasohn, Lisa. “Glenis Redmond: Poet, Teaching Artist, Griot.” North Carolina Literary Review (2019), pp. 44-57.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

The Furious Flower Syllabus Project: Opening the World of Black Poetry Copyright © 2024 by Anastacia-Reneé; allia abdullah-matta; Ariana Benson; Mary Beth Cancienne; Teri Ellen Cross Davis; Shameka Cunningham; Hayes Davis; Tyree Daye; Angel C. Dye; Brian Hannon; T.J. Hendrix; DaMaris B. Hill; Meta DuEwa Jones; Shauna M. Morgan; Adrienne Danyelle Oliver; Leona Sevick; James Smethurst; Dana A. Williams; L. Lamar Wilson; Carmin Wong; Dave Wooley; and Joanne V. Gabbin (preface) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book