An anthology of poetry from Selis Manor’s Senior Center.

Teachers & Writers Collaborative was pleased to partner with VISIONS at Selis Manor to present VISIONS: poets, a workshop series in which adults explored classic and contemporary poems and wrote their own poems in response. The workshop was led by teaching artists Dave Johnson and Virginia Valenzuela.

VISIONS: poets is an anthology of original poems from workshops held in the fall of 2017 by VISIONS at Selis Manor’s Senior Center. VISIONS: Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a nonprofit rehabilitation and social service organization in New York. Workshop participants listened to and read classic and contemporary poems from a variety of poetic forms. We wrote original poems inspired by the selections.

The poets would like to thank the entire staff at VISIONS, especially Liz Lee, Carrie Lewy, Ann DeShazo, and Chris Thompson (for printing all our poems every week in Braille).

We enjoyed every minute! We hope you will enjoy our poems. Read on!

—Dave Johnson & Virginia Valenzuela

Featured Poem

I’m Moving On
by Meghan Rafferty

I’m moving on
The wind blew, the snow flew
When you came that day
What was in the air? I say
You blew in like a whirlwind
And drew me in.
Your philosophy, I believed, I thought I was freed
Move on, baby, move on.

You caught me on the rebound
Your words were so profound
Little did I know, I became
Your newfound playground
Like a Stradivarius, you played me
But it no longer phases me
I am moving on

You’ve led me to believe
I done you wrong, when it was you
All along
Like a shadow on a dime
Your memory will fade in time
You played your game
Your ticket to fame
I’ll get over my shame
You played your game
I’m not to blame
I’m not the same
I’m moving on

You played your game
I’m moving on
Clickety clack
I won’t look back
The joke’s on you
You didn’t bring me down

Here, here’s my train
Coming ‘round
I’m hopping on
bye, bye baby
I’ve moved on.

This residency was made possible by generous support from Aroha Philanthropies.

Read the full anthology here!

Poet, playwright, art historian, and social innovator, Dave Johnson is the author of two books of poetry, Dead Heat and Marble Shoot; and two plays, Baptized to the Bone and Sister, Cousin, Aunt. He is the co-translator and dramaturg of two Italian stageplays, the international bestsellers Gomorrah and Super Santos. His visual art curatorial work includes exhibitions at the Queens Museum of Art and at the Milan World Expo. Dave founded and directs Free Verse, a publishing house and working artists’ program born in the New York City Department of Probation waiting room. His awards include fellowships from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation. Dave teaches at The New School and Montclair State University. His present work centers on women artists of the Italian Renaissance.