The Northerner

More than a mic: Slam poetry at NKU

Lacey+Roop+performs+slam+poetry+in+the+Student+Union+multi-purpose+room.+The+event+took+place+on+Feb.+11.+
Lacey Roop performs slam poetry in the Student Union multi-purpose room. The event took place on Feb. 11.

Lacey Roop performs slam poetry in the Student Union multi-purpose room. The event took place on Feb. 11.

Kelsey Bungentsock

Kelsey Bungentsock

Lacey Roop performs slam poetry in the Student Union multi-purpose room. The event took place on Feb. 11.

Kelsey Bungenstock, Engagement Editor

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Lacey Roop carried a messenger bag full of pages of her poems to the Student Union multipurpose room, ready to share her story on Feb. 11.

Roop, known for her slam poetry performances,  has been presenting at various locations around the country as part of her Do Good, Be Better tour.

Mackenzie Gregory, a sophomore creative writing major and the director of entertainment for the Activities Programming Board, discovered Lacey Roop through a committee meeting planning upcoming APB events.

Roop was brought to her attention by Christy Rowland, one of the committee members, and after being moved by several YouTube clips of her performances, there was a unanimous agreement that Roop would be the perfect act for NKU’s campus.

“We’ve had a number of slam poets on campus throughout the years, and they have the potential to be a big hit,” Gregory said. “I feel like the presence of writers and other artistic types is really growing on our campus as of late.”

Roop performed a variety of poems, such as “Visit a Library”, “Dear Rick Perry” and “A Lesson Learned From Third Graders”, many of which cannot be properly quoted due to the explicit language.

Cassandra Turner, a senior english major, was introduced to Roop’s work through a friend.

“I really enjoy the messages her poems have,” Turner said. “The more that issues like sexism and gender identity can be spread, the more people will talk about it, which I think any campus needs.”

Roop said that touring has a deeper meaning than just being in front of a mic.

“The best part of touring, to me, has to be getting to share my stories,” Roop said. “That, and getting to hear other people’s stories. Sometimes, I just can’t believe this is my job.”

Writing wasn’t always in her blood. When Roop was 21 years old, she was a business major at Mississippi State. Poetry was the farthest thing from her mind- until she encountered her first open mic night. Such events weren’t commonplace in her home state of Mississippi.

“I had never seen anything like it, in my small town,” Roop said. “It left such a positive impression on me. That was when I really started writing for the first time.”

From then on, Roop continued to write. She even took the step to switch from a business major to an English major. She dedicated her life to inspiring and educating the masses on social issues relevant to the world today.

Roop’s pieces focus on topics such women empowerment, sexuality, social injustice and gender.

“I think our campus currently has an excellent dialogue regarding gender and sexuality,” Gregory said. “We collaborated with Common Ground and LGBTQ+ for this event. They both have a large presence on campus already.”

Gregory and the APB staff agreed that the messages within Roop’s work would start a conversation that NKU needs to maintain.

“The thing about dialogue is that it has to continue,” Gregory said. “You can have a good conversation starting about anything, such as gender, sexuality, race, culture and socioeconomic standing, but the key is to always keep the conversation rolling. Progress is about movement.”

To learn more about Lacey Roop, buy her collection of poetry or follow her on social media, visit her website at laceyroop.com

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More than a mic: Slam poetry at NKU