Book of Light – Lucille Clifton

Her iconic poem, “Won’t You Celebrate.” The last line: “Come celebrate that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.” Living with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma this line really speaks to me now.

The Artist Way – Julia Cameron

This book liberated me. I read the book. Took the course. Left the counseling field and pursued poetry. This is my 27th year as a poet and teaching artist, working full-time traveling the country and the world.

Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston

This coming of age story about Janie is prose, but reads like poetry. Hurston’s work spoke to me as a black woman: “Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.” She wrote this work in 8 weeks in Haiti. Masterful.

Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale – Valerie Boyd

This biography allowed me to go down the rabbit hole of Zora Neale Hurston. Illuminates Zora’s genius.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

This book freed me as a teenager. I knew if Angelou could survive and thrive, so could I. It is a powerful memoir. Map for anyone especially the black girls of the south needing to flee the many cages set for us.

Glenis Redmond is a nationally known touring teaching artist and a poet. She resides in South Carolina and is a Cave Canem Fellow and the National Student Poets Program Mentor for the last five years. Her latest book is What My Hand Say published by Press 53. She believes poetry is a healer. She can be found across America, apply pressure to those in need––one poem at a time.

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