RHONDA WELSH - Rhonda’s soulful delivery and thought-provoking topics always inspire and entertain audiences. A regular on the arts and culture scene, she is equally comfortable in front of small and large audiences.
Deeply influenced by Langston Hughes, Phoe- be Snow, and Gil Scott-Heron, she approaches poetry the way musicians approach music.
“My poetry is meant to be heard. I always think about the rhythm and the flow of the words. That is as important to me as the message,” she says.
The only poet asked to perform at the Detroit Institute of Arts Re-opening ceremonies, her two-week retrospective of African and African- American poetry was a “must-see” during the opening festivities.
She has been featured at numerous other Detroit venues including The Carr Center, the Detroit Opera House, the Scarab Club, The Wright Museum, Campus Martius, Wayne State University, the Ford Performing and Community Arts Center, College for Creative Studies, and Marygrove College. And, like many poets, she has performed in countless libraries, coffee houses and gallery spaces throughout the Detroit area; nationwide in ven- ues from NYC to LA and internationally as an author at the Windsor Book Fair and the Quebec Writ- ers’ Federation Retreat.
A native Detroiter with a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Public Relations and Organizational Communi- cations, she self-produced her debut CD, “I Saw Myself.” During Summer 2010, she released her de- but poetry collection, Red Clay Legacy. This effort was met with glowing reviews including a particu- larly moving one from one of her poetic inspirations, Nikki Giovanni, “Rhonda Welsh offers us a poetic view of the strength and beauty of the people of Red Clay -- true Earth -- the beginning. Whether a love poem or a question of giving, this poet steps up to the plate, hitting a home run! We welcome this voice to the poetic discourse.”
Because of her passion for literacy, she founded the event Free Verse. The first event held to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s Jr.’s life and legacy proved to be an instant community favorite that raised much needed funds, volunteers and book donations to help combat metro Detroit’s low literacy levels. This passion for literacy was a natural progression from her work as an educator. She taught the Creative Writing component of Wayne State University’s award-winning Math Corps program and was a Writ- er-in-Residence’s with the nationally renowned Inside Out Literary Arts Project. Rhonda resides in metro Detroit.
Facebook: Rhonda Murray Welsh