Poetry contest

Colorado Springs teen ranks high in national poetry contest | Culture & Leisure

Aidyn Lorin Jai Reid is not a poet. Or so she thought.

She never considered poetry her thing. While attending Fountain Valley High School in Colorado Springs, her pursuits included football, photography, public speaking, and performance.

As a junior in high school, she decided to add to the list of things. Reid joined Poetry Out Loud, a national arts education program that “encourages the study of great poetry,” according to its website.

“I had never had a particular interest in poetry as a medium,” she said. “I found the intersection of public speaking and the expressive style of prose to be truly magical.”

She ended up being pretty good at reading poetry, as Reid proved by winning Colorado’s 2021 and 2022 Poetry Out Loud Champion. program. It’s quite an honor to be recognized by the governor.

“Colorado’s talented young artists are the bright future of our vibrant and thriving arts and culture scene,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement. “I am thrilled to congratulate Aidyn Lorin Jai Reid as she represents Colorado on the national stage.”

She also received praise from Michael Henry, Executive Director of Lighthouse Writers Workshop, who said: “As a poet myself, I am inspired and encouraged by the incredibly talented, intelligent and thoughtful high school students who participate in Poetry Out Loud. ”

Reid also eventually found a love for poetry.

During the competition, she recited poems such as “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman and “This Is Not a Small Voice” by Sonia Sanchez.

“I choose poems according to two criteria,” she said. “Is the word choice and imagery consistently strong throughout the poem? Does it make me feel and think? If a poem excels at both, then I would rather do nothing more than bring it to life through performance.

Reid plans to attend Columbia University in New York and will focus on fashion, media and business.

She says she will carry with her the love of poetry. She says it in her own words, which sound like poetry.

“I say it often, maybe redundantly and infuriatingly, but poetry is everyday,” she said. “There’s something poetic about the tired, holey eyes of people on the subway at 6 a.m., there’s something poetic about the pile of discarded cigarettes that litter an unsuspecting sidewalk, there really is something poetry in everything we do.”