“Sisterhood is a verb.” For Tayllor Johnson ’15, poetry provides power, inspiration… and a career path.

April 14, 2015 at 11:53 AM

Until she was 15, Tayllor Johnson didn’t have a good word to say about poetry. Now, the senior psychology major and English minor says, "Poetry is the essence of my being."

Johnson's passion for poetry has led to remarkable opportunities. As a high school senior, she was invited to take part in a poetry workshop at the White House. And this past fall, author and activist Kevin Powell, who was giving a talk at Mount Holyoke, unexpectedly asked Johnson to perform a poem before he spoke. She had only three minutes to prepare, but brought down the house with a spirited performance of "Verification."

"The support I've gotten from Mount Holyoke is the only reason that opportunity came about," said Johnson.

After her May graduation, Johnson will get to serve larger groups of people as the newly hired creative and administrative assistant of Kevin Powell and his BK Nation. Clearly impressed by Johnson's performance before his talk at Mount Holyoke, Powell reached out to Johnson and ultimately offered her a job. That's the kind of opportunity that, Johnson said, only poetry could bring her.

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