Lacey Roop
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Lacey Roop

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Lacey Roop will be at the second annual Literary Arts Festival of St. Edward’s University. Join her for a poetry slam on Friday, March 30th at 6:30 p.m. in the Maloney Room on the third floor of the Main Building. First, let’s get to know her a bit better.

- First of all, who are you? What’s your story?

Well, my name is Lacey Roop and my story is a good one.


- Where can I find your work?

You can find it both online at www.laceyroop.com and in print. I have a couple of self-published chapbooks, but my new book, And Then Came the Flood, will be published by Timbermouse in April.

- When did you begin writing?

I began writing when I was about 21 years old which was just 4 years ago. I had recently moved to Austin and was begrudgingly studying for a macroeconomics exam (I was a business major for awhile believe it or not…) at The Hideout coffee-shop. The next thing I knew, people were moving tables around getting ready for this open mic. Coming from Mississipp,i I had never heard of, let alone seen, people sharing things they had written out loud to strangers. It intrigued me, so I kept coming back each week to listen to people read. After a couple of months of coming and listening, I decided I would try writing a poem and reading it out loud. One day I sat down and wrote a poem and eventually mustered up the courage to read it. I guess you could say I’ve been writing and performing ever since.

- What influences or inspires you? What books or poems have inspired you?

I believe that what makes us into the people we are are the moments and memories we’ve experienced. This belief has greatly influenced my work. As far as books and poems that have inspired me I’d say The Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Mrs. Dalloway, Peter Pan, East of Eden, The Bluest Eye, Moon Tide, and pretty much anything by Federico Garcia Lorca.

- What is your favorite word?

Gosh, there are so many! I really like the word Duende. It is a Spanish word that doesn’t really translate well to English though. What the word essentially attempts to capture is that mysterious, overwhelming feeling when a person is deeply moved by a work of art. I find the word and concept of it deeply moving and beautiful.

- What is your least favorite word?

Anything that is derogatory. I don’t like words that are used to make people feel bad.

- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I wouldn’t mind being a high school teacher, a bike builder, a beer brewer, a bookstore owner, a ninja, a star grower, or a professional hang-glider.

- What super hero power would you most like to have?

Shapeshifter. I love the idea of morphing into anything you want to be.

- In what circumstances do you write?

My room is my sacred writing space. I write on my computer and usually in the morning. After 5pm, my brain doesn’t seem to work as efficiently unfortunately.

- What can we expect to hear from you at the 2nd Annual St. Edward’s University Literary Arts Festival?

Hopefully a lot of poems and stories that will keep people intrigued and entertained. I like to create a certain tone or ambiance when I do a reading. I want people to feel like they are part of an experience instead of just spectators. I like it to be interactive, engaging, and fun! - St. Edwards University


LACEY ROOP - Performance Resume
662.871.6917 www.laceyroop.com laceyroop@hotmail.com
_______________________________________
PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE
Educational institutions
• Grand Valley State University
• University of Texas- Austin
• Texas State University
• Southwestern University
• St. Edwards University
• Texas A&M in College Station
• University of California- Santa Cruz
• Berklee College of Music
• Phillips Academy
• Various high schools and workshops around the country

Awards & Recognition
• Featured on NPR with award winning Choral Ensemble "Conspirare",
2013
• "And Then Came The Flood" book released under Timber Mouse
Publishing, 2012
• Keynote speaker at the National Forensics Tournament, 2012
• Opened for the Grammy Award winning band "The Wailers", 2012
• Ranked 6th in the Women of the World Poetry Slam, 2011
• Ranked as one of the top 20 poets in the world at the Individual World
Poetry Slam, 2011
• Two-time member of the renowned Austin Poetry Slam, 2010-2011

Education
Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, Bachelor of Arts, May 2011; English and International Relations - Lacey Roop


Among the many poetry highlights of the evening was Lacey Roop’s “Shark Boy,” a poem lamenting the almost certain change a young boy will make on his way to manhood, after which we were all a bit of a mess. The poets also played backup at times, quietly vamping on the lyrics from a wide range of tunes, from the aforementioned concert classics to reworked pop tunes. The physical space was used to great effect, with some music played from the stage and some from other points around and behind the audience, including the balcony. This constant change of perspective and content was refreshing and served to refocus each piece into its own vignette. - New Music Box


Thursday night, The Belmont will be transformed into a showcase for living, breathing art.

RAW:natural born artists, an independent arts organization whose sole mission is to pack as much excitement into one unique evening of creativity, invades the cool downtown space for a multi-genre art show that features fashion, music, photography, hair and makeup, painting and live performance. The goal is to encourage emerging artists to cross-pollinate their creativity and to raise awareness, dialogue and exposure.

A highlight of Thursday night's JUNCTION event lineup is a set by local slam poet Lacey Roop, a rising superstar in the national slam poetry scene. As a two-time member of the renowned Austin Poetry Slam (APS) team and Austin's representative to the Individual World Poetry Slam, the 24 year-old Roop has already appeared on some prolific stages across the country in her three short years of performing.

The dynamic, dreadlocked Roop is performing a longer, more intimate set at the Belmont, free from the time limits and judging criteria of the slam world. Free from those constraints, her gravel-and-honey voice transforms her written words into kinetically charged shrapnel that will get lodged in your brain. It sounds extreme, but you honestly can't help but react viscerally to the combined effect of her words and their controlled performance.

Roop was willing to share some of her story with us to provide some background to her writing, her influences and her relationship wtih poetry itself.

When did you fall in love with poetry?

I was blindsided by poetry. I didn't really know this thing called poetry existed until I was damn near 21 years old. I was a stereotypical jock through high school. I ate steak and protein shakes, spent weekdays at practices, and weekends were game days. Books were things other people read, and the idea of me ever reading poetry—much less writing it—seemed about as probable as me learning Yiddish. It wasn't until I found myself hunched over in a corner at The Hideout here in Austin that I recall hearing my first poem. It was a standard open mic where a random mix of folks get up and share whatever it is that they've written in their journals. I thought, "Hmm, maybe I'll do this one day. Maybe I'll write a poem." Since then, I've written a few...

You grew up in small-town Mississippi. What made Austin your destination city?

Austin wasn't even a city on my radar before I got here. All I knew was that I had to get out of Mississippi, it was an issue of survival. I know that sounds dramatic, but imagine a life where everyday you are reminded of just how peculiar you are, where being unique is a bad thing. I decided that Seattle was where I wanted to go because it was the farthest place from Mississippi by car. I loaded up my massive SUV (that was my car at the time!) and I began driving. I stopped for gas, a pee break and a little nap in Austin 'effin Texas. And what do you know? It's been one helluva of pit-stop!

Explain what it was like performing your poetry for the first time.

The first official time I read was at the open mic at the Hideout. I brought my little poem and read it with shaking, sweaty palms to about 10 people. Afterwards, someone came up to me and asked me if I slammed. I had no idea what that meant—I thought they were offering me hallucinogenics! The first time I read at a poetry slam, it was at The Scoot Inn, and I brought the only three poems I had. My first reading at the slam, I won, and I thought 'What the fuck just happened?!' Tony Jackson (a former member of the APS Nationals team) asked me what teams I'd been on and where I was from. So I said, "I'm from Mississippi and these are the only poems I have." He bought me a Crown and Coke and we became friends after that.

What has been your favorite performance experience so far?

Making it to finals stage at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2011 and placing sixth did make me feel like I was doing something right. It was the most incredible, rewarding, horrendously nerve-wrecking moment in my poetry career. I was determined to make it to finals stage, though. Absolutely determined. And it was because of this poem I wrote called "American Doll" about Marilyn Monroe. I had this genuine sensation that this poem has to be heard, and it has to heard in front of an enormous crowd. My desire to be on the finals stage had nothing to do with me wanting to be seen as much as it was about this poem being heard. I have never felt so certain about a poem before in my life.

Who are some of your major writing influences and poetry idols?

I always say that Toni Morrison is my favorite poet, though she has never written a book of poetry. Her novels are epic poems to me because every single word counts, all - Culture Map


Discography

"And Then Came The Flood" (published by Timber Mouse Press, 2012).

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Bio

Lacey Roop is a nationally acclaimed spoken word artist. In 2011, she placed 6th at the Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS), has been the Austin, TX Individual World Poetry Slam (IWPS) representative as well as a two-time member of the renowned Austin Poetry Slam. Roop has toured all across the US and beyond. She has shared stages with numerous artists such as: Anis Mojgani, Derrick Brown, Lauren Zuniga, Andrea Gibson, and The Wailers. She is the author of three self-published chapbooks and one full length collection, "And Then Came the Flood", published by Timber Mouse.

What is far more interesting about Lacey, however, is that she and her dog wear the same size pants. She also wears a key around her neck that unlocks the bottom of the ocean. Really, it does. She'll tell you what lives underneath, just ask.