The ‘Caged Bird’ Stole the Show

Brittany Wortham, the 2015 Poetry Out Loud winner.  Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

Brittany Wortham, the 2015 Poetry Out Loud winner. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

Last Thursday, seniors Brittany Wortham and Gayle Yoder battled it out in a Poetry Out Loud competition to see who would be continuing to the county level. Wortham, after performing ‘I Too” by Langston Hughes and “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou, was victorious.  

Gayle Yoder uses her hands to perform her poem. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

Gayle Yoder uses her hands to perform her poem. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

Brittany Wortham performs "Caged Bird" in front of the crowd. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

Brittany Wortham performs “Caged Bird” in front of the crowd. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

“Going against Gayle was hard because she’s one of my friends and we both knew going into it that someone had to win and someone had to lose,” Wortham said.

To beat out her friend, Wortham had to put time and effort into not only learning poems, but choosing the right one.

“The hardest part was trying to find a poem that would require as much as effort as ‘Caged Bird’ because ‘Caged Bird’ is an amazing poem,” said Wortham. “I chose them partly because they are by African American artists and they both hold a lot of meaning.”

After choosing her poems, Wortham had just a few weeks to prepare before the performance date.

“I memorized my poems like a story so that I could relate to [them] more. I also practiced in front of the mirror so that I could figure out my hand motions,” Wortham said.

To Wortham, her performance was strong, but will need improvements before she continues in the competition.

Friends and foes. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

Friends and foes. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

English teacher Emily Scott awarded Wortham for winning the competition. Photo b: Ashlynn Payne

English teacher Emily Scott announced Wortham as the winner of the competition. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I was really nervous because I couldn’t even see anyone in the crowd because of the spotlight, and the audience lights were totally off,” said Wortham. “For the next competition, I have to try to get more into my poems and improve my stage presence.”