Poetry Performed by a Theatrical Voice, Vincent Moniz Jr.

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Moniz shares stories about life as an “Urban Indian” Photo credit: Mary Schmitt

Poetry Performed by a Theatrical Voice, Vincent Moniz Jr.
Native American poet shares stories, experiences

By Mary Schmitt
Staff Writer

A full auditorium welcomed Minnesota Writer Series guest Vincent Moniz Jr. to Anoka-Ramsey Community College on Feb. 18.

Moniz performing at Anoka Ramsey Community College on Feb. 18 Photo credit: Mary Schmitt
Moniz performing at Anoka Ramsey Community College on Feb. 18
Photo credit: Mary Schmitt

Moniz is a Native American actor, artist and writer with a list of accomplishments in tow. His work has been published and performed in various settings, mostly revolving around Native American and local literary settings.

He has performed at Revolver Magazine’s Revolver at the Ritz and his artwork hangs on the walls at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in their new exhibit, “Arriving at Fresh Water: Contemporary Native Artists from Our Great Lakes.” Most recently he achieved the status of Individual Word Poetry Slam, Indigenous Poetry Slam Champion.

The local artist has stood out in the community in recent years as he’s begun sharing his free verse poetry. Moniz says that many people consider him to be a “spoken word poet” or a “slam poet,” but he begs to differ.

During a Q&A session after his performance, he explained that the difference between himself and other poets is simply that he “emotes;” he chooses to actually perform his poetry, rather than just speak it. Commenting further on it, he said it is, “quite possibly because I have a background in theater.”

Moniz shares stories about life as an “Urban Indian” Photo credit: Mary Schmitt
Moniz shares stories about life as an “Urban Indian”
Photo credit: Mary Schmitt

Having grown up in the Phillips, Minneapolis neighborhood, many of his poems revolve around his experiences living as an “Urban Indian.”

In an interview with Moniz, he says what he hopes students will take away from his performance is the stories. “I like the story,” Moniz says. “I like to be able to get up and share something.”

To learn more about Moniz and hear past performances, visit his website here.