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Rio Jones: Poet Laureate of Instagram
Tucked away on the second floor of a North Philadelphia apartment building is Rio Jones, the anonymous bandana-wearing poet currently making a rise on Instagram, the photo and video-sharing platform.
Combining the elements of poetry, visual art and music with the vintage feel of a typewriter font, the Rio Jones account has quickly gathered a loyal following of nearly 4,000 Instagram users in its first two months online.
Jones started his career as a poetry student at a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania where he also studied Latin American and Mexican history, subjects he draws on to create his poetry and persona. More:
The pen name, which Jones settled on as a nod to Jessie Jones from “The Real Texas Rangers,” a favorite children’s book character who crossed the Rio Grande, also has a deeper meaning to this Philadelphia-based poet.
“The earliest writers of the Far East considered it egotistical to put out any types of writing under your own name,” Jones explained. “It would be like thinking you weren’t just the grateful recipient of this muse that travels through you… they made up names so the praise goes to that being, not them.”
Two of the most important elements to Jones’ poetry are his dedication to form and his commitment to pursuing ideas about nature being one with the movements in our own minds. This part of his writing is most directly taken from the Zapotec culture he immersed himself in while living in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Mexico, a place where moon goddesses, night skies and stars were a center of the cultural roots.