Poetry Out Loud with Mayan Caplan

Editor's Note: Mayan Caplan is a 2021 Poetry Out Loud contestant. We asked Mayan about being involved with POL this season and asked her to create a poetry catalogue of some poems that have inspired her lately. Each poem picked was inspired by William Shakespeare.

Tune into PBS12, tonight at 7PM MT, for a one-hour special of Words By Heart: A Showcase of the 2021 Colorado Poetry Out Loud Virtual State Finals.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hiya, I’m Mayan! I’m a senior at GW, and I love stories of all forms—reading, performing, and writing them. I’m a little bit obsessed with Shakespeare—have been ever since my mom read me the comedies as bedtime stories when I was little. 

How did you get involved with Poetry Out Loud?

I’ve been connected with Lighthouse for some time, and when I received an email from them about POL, I knew I had to enter! I’m really passionate about poetry and performance, so getting the opportunity to combine them in this way was really special. 

What's a silly thing that happened this year while you were preparing for POL?

I was busy with a lot of other things while doing POL, so I ended up having to choose my poems one day, memorize them the next, and film them on the day after that.

Do you have any book recommendations?

Anything by Terry Pratchett. His books make me laugh out loud. Think about it. Laugh out loud. At a book. That’s really rare for me, so it’s pretty impressive that Pterry (as fans affectionately call him) is consistently able to do that.

Here's a list of poems selected by Mayan and inspired by William Shakespeare—his character and his plays:

  1. "Shakespeare" by Marin Sorescu

  2. "The Coming Storm" by Herman Melville 

  3. "They All Want to Play Hamlet" by Carl Sandburg

  4. "Fuck/Shakespeare" by Inua Ellams

  5. "Prospero’s Soliloquy" by Marya Zaturneska 

  6. "Pericles" by Donald Revell 

  7. "Romeo’s Ruse" by Rich Murphy

  8. "Second Avenue Shylock" by David O’Neil

  9. "Troilus and Cressida" by Arthur Freeman

  10. "After Shakespeare" by Ralph Salisbury