Finding My Voice Through Poetry

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Editor’s Note: We are excited to have Brittany Wilson and our Board Member Antoinette Kerr coordinating this upcoming event on November 3rd in Greensboro at Little Brother Brewing. We encourage you to consider attending. Space is limited.

By Brittany Wilson

First off, let me say, that I in no way fancy myself a poet. I am merely a lover of this form of literature. The affair goes as far back as sitting on the laps of adults, enjoying the soothing cadence of Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss.

Fast forward to my teenage years, angst-y as we all are at that age, introduced to Shakespeare, a true romantic, I fell in love with his use of words. Words that to this day ring in my ears as I enjoy romantic moments between myself and my partner. I have since been a tremendous fan of written literature in all forms, finding myself lost in stories for hours on end. A range of emotions from joy, intrigue, confusion, anger and sometimes sadness, at the closing words. It was not until college, watching slam poets in the University Center, that I made that full connection that all written, spoken and performed word was in fact the same. All grouped together in a universal category “the art of storytelling.” Truth can sometimes be more captivating than fiction.

I had already begun to dabble in the art by college, writing poems, short stories, songs and sometimes just rambles and rants to ease my mind. I would write when things were great, when they were horrible, (those teenage years), when I felt sassy or glossed over, but mostly I would write when I felt inspired to have an opinion, an opinion I wasn’t ready to share yet.

As I approached adulthood I still had years of words burning behind my lips, and becoming antsy at the fact that I had never even shared the ones still trapped in notebooks in my nightstand. The day came, a year after the birth of my daughter, that I decided it was time to face the fact that I had some things I needed to get off my chest. I had a friend, she felt the same, and so Speak Up was born and we built our own little stage.

We brought in poets we had both admired for years, we sold out shows to hungry audiences, captivated by the human experience. Then, it was our turn, there was no other way but to be bold. We held back at first, starting slowly with some neutral tones, but the fire burned and by the end of the night our gold plated colors were shining, for the entire room to take home. Over the years I have continued to speak up and have chosen to help other people share too. Through Speak Up! I’ve watched sisters and brotherhood of poets, writers, slam artists and “average joes” come together and make big changes in their community, just by telling their stories. I will never lose my desire to get lost in a story and I am humbled by the amount of people who have been able to reach me through poetry, books and songs over the years. Poetry has been my tenacious affair and I am ever in its delight!


Brittany Wilson is a yoga instructor, a cast member of The Vagina Monologues and the new General Manager of Little Brother Brewing, a proud sponsor and site for the Speak Up! Poetry event benefiting Women AdvaNCe.

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