The 2012 Spring Literary Festival started off on a high note with spoken word poet Glenis Redmond as the first guest speaker.
Redmond had a private Q&A session with students, as well as giving an entertaining presentation in the University Center Theater. She read a number of quality poems, had the audience bursting out in laughter and sang a folk song that her grandmother used to sing around her house growing up.
Redmond, who has been traveling the country doing spoken word poetry for almost 20 years, has spoken at Western Carolina University a number of times. At this year’s Literary Festival, she read some persona poems, where she takes the character of someone else entirely during the poem, and also some tribute poems, where she gives a eulogistic tribute to someone in the past.
Redmond has a naturally humorous personality; she had audiences for both the private talk and the large lecture roaring with laughter at times. Her poems also cover a broad scope of topics, ranging from her grandmother to the woman who owned the plantation where her ancestors were enslaved.
Redmond is a critically acclaimed and award-winning spoken word poet, having won awards at numerous competitions across the country. She got her start with spoken word poetry doing a tour with “Poetry Alive,” a group that brought poetry into schools to get young students interested in it. At first, Redmond had 150 poems to memorize and perform, and as time went by, she started sprinkling her own work into her library of poetry. When her work got positive reactions from her audiences, she decided to go on tour doing her own work and has been on the road ever since.
Redmond has performed at WCU’s Spring Literary Festival on several occasions, all to great receptions, and this lecture was no exception. Hopefully, this will not be the last Festival she attends.