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Natrona County High School student to compete in national poetry competition

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 4:37 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Ray Jones, a Natrona County High School Student, will compete virtually with Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry memorizing competition.

Jones will compete against 55 others in region three. Jones got into the competitive side of memorizing poetry from a class. “I was like I’ll do it and I didn’t ever see it going this far,” Jones said.

Jones competed in person at the state level last year. This year everything was pre-recorded. “Going in-person was way more intimidating. Being able to record in front of somebody I knew at NC was a lot better and it went a lot smoother too,” Jones said.

Jones said practicing in the mirror or watching recordings is a fun part of the memorization process. Especially when family members are around. “It’s fun to have them help. One time my dad acted like Simon Cowell it was hilarious,” Jones said.

The National Endowment of the Arts has a lot of genres for competitors to choose from to memorize. Jones competed with poems that reminded them of Wyoming. When they’re not busy memorizing those, they’re studying other genres. “I love realism poetry and stuff about race because I love Langston Hughes. I love his art. Also, Mya Angulo. I also like Edgar Allen Poe’s dark horror too,” Jones said.

Jones’ competition will be live-streamed here at 4 p.m. MST.

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