Kensington Healing Verse

in our story of us
there is always light here
we are shining, dazzling
we are beautiful, healed

Throughout 2021 Philadelphia Poet Laureate Trapeta B. Mayson and curator Ryan Strand Greenberg held monthly poetry workshops with East and West Kensington residents, elementary school students, and individuals impacted by substance use and housing insecurity. These workshops used poetry as a tool for sharing, listening, and reflecting about community, daily life, and imagining new pathways to healing for the Kensington Community. Curated by Ryan Strand Greenberg, Kensington Healing Verse is an evolution of Mayson’s 2020-2021 Philadelphia Poet Laureate project, Healing Verse Philly Poetry Line.

The poems shared in these workshops were combined into a singular group poem reflecting a shared vision for community and healing. This poem, entitled “Our Story of Us”, was transformed into a neon sign and lifted to the rooftop of 2400 Kensington Avenue to serve as a beacon of strength, hope, and healing for the residents of Kensington.

The project features a Kensington poetry submission box, a limited edition series of poetry posters from our workshops, and an online journal for individuals to write and read new poems online. For more information about the project or to learn how to participate in the program, please go to:

Trapeta B. Mayson
Ryan Strand Greenberg
Natalie Harris
Production Manager
Maggie Casey
Neon Sign Fabrication
Sky Neon
Mylestone Electric
Steve Weinik, Akeil Robertson, WeFilmPhilly, Ryan Strand Greenberg
Additional Support
Magda Martinez, Tony Gardner, Paige Phillips, Nadia Malik, J.C Zerbe, Jane Golden, Jennifer Feden, Sandie McRae-Wright, Ballard Spahr, Akeil Robertson, Chad Eric Smith, Nyla Daniels, Frank Aikens, Pamela Draper,Mom, Smurf, Kfish Comestible, Donovan Andrews, Lili Razi, Brenda Mosley, Esterlina, Britney Ruud
Community Partners
Mural Arts, First Stop Recovery, Community Center at Visitation, Hunter Elementary School, Kensington Corridor Trust, Head and Hand Bookstore, Fireball Printing, Impact Services, NKCDC, WeCan,Comhar!
department of behavioral health and intellectual disability services, the hummingbird foundation, stavros naircos foundation