Performance Bio

Monica Lee Copeland

A Voice In The Slam Poetry Movement
A strong, charismatic voice in the recent slam poetry movement and 6th ranking individual in the 1997 National Poetry Slam, Copeland is a veteran performer and writer. Most recently, she appeared at the Boston Poetry Awards held in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Reggie Gibson, Joel Dias Porter (DJ Renegade) and Anthony Rucker (Boogie). The four completed a sold out show at Harvard University, standing-room only gig at Regina Salve and intimate lectures at Mount Ida College.

The International Tours
During the Spring of 1997, Copeland honored the United Kingdom's Black History Month celebration with a series of solo performances at theatres and concert spaces. Copeland received the Best Foreign Performance award for this work sponsored by John O'Neil's Farrago Poetry Company. She returned to London for command engagements in 1998. Copeland has also graced several stages in Paris, France.

Taking Center Stage
With over 15 years of experience under her belt, Copeland has shared her word with hundreds of audiences. Known for her interactive style and theater-house vocal range, she is a maverick at outdoor venues – including the Opening of Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art where thousands of art enthusiasts enjoyed her muse. She and three other members of Team Berwyn took 2nd place in the 1996 Nationals after a two-week tour in the Southwest. Troy Patterson, reporter for the Intelligent Alternative, described Monica during her Santa Cruz performance as "the literary analog of Dennis Rodman, an event unto herself who sings, shouts, squawks, struts and stomps her way through [her] opening piece".

Writing of A Lyrical Nature
Copeland, a Northwestern University graduate, exercises bright, direct language with poise, soulfullness and subtlety. Author of ‘Back to Concrete', a chap book based on a one-woman performance of the same name, Monica writes sobering short stories about family life, low-toned romantic verse, and monologues about our community and its streets. The author focuses on how individuals manage the difficulty in their lives, and how these prosaic experiences result in self-discovery. Copeland has spoken word with music, including Liquid Soul and the Vibe Tribe. She was also a member of the poetry group Torch.

  • Boston Poetry Awards, Cambridge MA, Mar 2000
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Mar 2000
  • Mt. Id College, Boston, MA, Mar 2000
  • Regina-Salve University, MA, Mar 2000
  • Soundings Program at Castleton State College, Rutland, VT, Nov 1999
  • Los Angeles Poetry Festival, LA, CA Sep 1999
  • Washrock and Dragon's Breath, Santa Cruz, CA, Mar 1999
  • Seattle Poetry Festival, Seattle, WA, Apr 1999
  • Classic Cleveland Poetry Slam at Mardi Gras Jazz Club, Cleveland, OH, Apr 1999
  • Inside Out Workshops, Detroit Public Schools, Detroit, MI Jun 1999
  • Michigan Public Schools Workshops, AA & Detroit., MI, Mar 1999
  • Seattle Slam Poetry Tour, Seattle, WA, Jan 1999
  • Farrago Poetry Tour, London, UK, Dec 1998
  • Fallen Angels Opening w/ Arthur Beatty, Paris, France, Dec 1998
  • No Ordinary Flowers at Fountain Theatre, LA, CA, Nov 1997
  • United Kingdom Black History Celebration sponsored by Farrago Poetry: Old Post Office Theatre, Kensington; Harpus Wine Bar, Hastings; The Forum, Tumbridge Wells; Hokney's, Croyden; Old Fire Station Art Center, Oxford; Harrow Civic Center, Harrow; Luton Library, Luton, Oct 1997
  • Nuyorican Poets Café w/ LA Slam Team, NY, NY, Aug 1997
  • Can Tab Café w/ LA Slam Team, Boston, MA, Aug 1997
  • 8th Annual Big Goddess Pow Wow at Cabaret Metro, Chicago, IL, Jan 1997
  • Museum of Contemporary Art: Opening Ceremonies, Chicago, IL, Aug 1996
  • Private Concert for Johnny Walker, Inc. w/ Liquid Soul at the Elbow Room, Chicago, IL, Jul 1996
  • Ann Arbor Art Festival at Not Another Café, AA, MI, Jul 1996
  • Front Street Pub w/ Team Berwyn, Santa Cruz, CA, 1996
  • 'Artistic License' Interview by Victoria Lautman, WBEZ FM 91.5, Chicago, IL, June 1996
  • Back to Concrete - A One-Woman Show sponsored by Hyphen Magazine at Café Voltaire, Chicago, IL Jun 1996
  • Green Mill 10th Anniversary Show, Chicago, IL, Jun 1996
  • Printers Row Book Festival, Chicago, IL, Jul 1995
  • Around the Coyote Festival, Chicago, IL Aug 1995
  • 3rd World Funky Diva Girls Interview by Kyra Grant, WCBN FM 88.3, Ann Arbo r, MI, Aug 1995
  • Lollapalooza Concert at the World Theater, Olympia Fields, IL, Jul 1993

Workshops and Words on Service
Monica has helped hundreds of writers develop their voice through lectures, workshops and independent tutorials. She is particularly proud of her work with high school and college students. Contact the poet directly for references.

Copeland was an early supporter and organizer of the Uptown Poetry Slam that gave birth to the National Poetry Slam. She regularly serves as mee-cee, event hostess, or bout manager at national events. Copeland is a past contributor to NEXT Magazine's LA Scene Report.

More Words on Monica
Copeland appeared in the Sundance Film Festival's award-winning documentary Slam Nation. A resident of Southern, California, she also earns her living as professional marketer and copywriter.

For additional information send your requests to 1139 So. Hill, #189, LA, CA 90015.