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Diversity at Southwestern

Never A Journey Alone

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    Terri Johnson, assistant dean for student multicultural affairs, displays a copy of the poetry book she recently published.

Assistant dean Terri Johnson shares her life story through poetry

The poems in Terri Johnson’s new book are not necessarily ones that talk about happy times. But she hopes they will help others get through whatever they are facing.

Never A Journey Alone: Even a Strong Woman Cries, was released this past May. The 50 poems in the book focus on overcoming difficulty and rising above challenges.

“It is a sort of prose through poetry,” says Johnson, who serves as assistant dean for student multicultural affairs at Southwestern. Johnson wrote the poems featured in the book over the past 10 years.

Johnson says she began writing poetry when she was a little girl. “I used [poetry] to express myself,” she says. “I found that it was a natural release for me.”

With encouragement from her family and friends, Johnson continued to write poetry through the years. She used poetry as a form of self-healing to help get past tough times in her own personal and professional life.   

Drawing upon her own experiences, her poetry tells about how everyone is human and that no one stays the same. Johnson advises other aspiring poets to “never give up; keep writing and to share your poetry with others.”

The cover of the book shows several butterflies flying across the sky. Johnson explains that “hope” was a gift given to her by her parents and that the butterflies symbolize that hope. “[The butterflies] represent change and evolution − that we grow,” she says.

Never A Journey Alone: Even a Strong Woman Cries is available at Amazon.com or at Barnesandnoble.com. Johnson says she plans to eventually release a second book of her poetry that will concentrate on happy moments that have occurred in her life. Some of the poems are already written and she plans to write more over the next year. 

Isaac Bernal

 

Bravery

Brave statements of triumph
keeping safe
with boundaries
and nervous energy
tirelessly
trudging forward
with ample spirit
and powerful movement

                   − Terri Johnson