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Glenis Redmond is the First Poet Laureate of Greenville, South Carolina. She is a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, and a Cave Canem alumni. The Listening Skin (Four Way Books) is her sixth poetry book. She is presently working on a seventh collection, Port Cities: Portals of the Second (Domestic) Middle Passage. She received the highest arts award in South Carolina—the Governor’s Award—and was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Redmond received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. For more, visit http://www.glenisredmond.com
In The Listening Skin, Glenis Redmond returns to the ancestors and the deep knowing that comes from being ever ready to receive the wisdom they give us. She plants us again in the South Carolinian soil and reaches across decades and continents back to the motherland for historical context, for truth, and for healing. She does not flinch from racism nor the complexities of what it means to carry trauma inside the Black body. These poems are beautifully rendered but don’t shrink. I am grateful for the depth and breadth of the music and the keen use of the line in this collection, but mostly I’m taken by the way Glenis holds us up to the light. In her sure hands we shine!
Molly Rice has held several residencies teaching poetry, storytelling, theatre, film, and English as a Second Language in hundreds of schools, colleges, and organizations in North Carolina, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Russia, and Hungary. She has taught for seventeen years at St. Stephens High School where she is director of the Tractor Shed Theatre. She’s published in magazines including Fortnight Magazine, The Stinging Fly, and Iodine Poetry Journal. She resides with her husband and son in Hickory, North Carolina. For more, visit https://www.mollyrice.com
In Molly Rice’s Forever Eighty-Eights, there are “no crystal stairs” in her southern mill hill childhood. Yet, the poet pushes onward following an urgent pulse, while unflinchingly calling forth ghosts, wounds, and secrets of the past. She bids them to come out of their hiding places, while she battles both hardships and heartbreaks. In this work, Molly reckons, but she also fathoms beauty and pays homage by uplifting people, places, and moments deeply rooted in North Carolina. With her forging she creates a throughway—each poem a stair to “reach landings and turn corners.”
Niina Pollari is the author of Dead Horse and the poetry collection Path of Totality (Soft Skull, 2022), which was just listed by the New York Times as one of their favorite poetry books of the year. She translates Finnish poetry from time to time. Her work has appeared in Granta, Poetry Magazine, Sporklet, Catapult, and elsewhere. She lives in Marshall, NC with her family. For more, visit https://www.niinapollari.com/about
The exquisitely lyric Path of Totality is as gentle and tender as it is fierce and potent . . . Genre feels less important than the shape and shaping of language itself, and Path of Totality is a container woven to fit the content perfectly. Grief is messy, and the work does not deny that. But there is nothing chaotic about these poems. They grasp the raw and honorable honesty that deep sorrow demands, and deliver with startling clarity and attention the impossible, unending experience of loss, yes—but also, the vast emotional landscape of human experience