I love words. I love when they are used to reach across the limitations of experience, distance, time and geography to offer insight, encouragement, and counsel. Attending the New York City installment of the Poets in Autumn tour, the largest spoken word production in the country, I was reminded of the power of words to pique interest, offer hope, build community and ignite passion. Preston, Ezekiel, Chris Webb, Jackie Hill Perry and Janette…IKZ (pronounced genetics) are the poets who comprise the tour.
Themes of the sanctity and necessity of marriage, Christ’s sacrificial love, the relentless love of our God and subtle ways we accept traces of carnality peppered their poetic speech. The poets are counter-cultural to the mainstream portrayal of progressive as irreverent, flippant, and sex-/lust-/pride-driven. The expressions of womanhood embodied in Jackie Hill Perry and Janette…IKZ is strong yet submissive, creative yet content, and altogether lovely. While the men are loving yet powerful, persistent yet yielding and sensitive and not an ounce emasculated. All challenging our theological underpinnings of what is true, good, progressive and pleasing.
Their writing and its performance were soaked in a commitment to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, all their souls, with all their minds and with all their words. As ministers of spoken word, as one friend called them, they inspire their audience to do likewise. These poets are in full bloom:
Chris Webb reminds us that like the prostitute in Hosea we are all adulterers and have run from an ever-pursuing God.
Ezekiel’s masterful portrayal of Satan will provoke you to question your favorite playlist.
Janette…IKZ spoke honestly and humorously about her God-fearing and patient husband and her history of sexual abuse.
Jackie Hill Perry challenged our own sense of (mis)identity and shared her testimony of deliverance from homosexuality.
Preston spoke of the day he would be no more and his love for his bride, Jackie Hill Perry.
The audience left desiring more of God and His best. More of God and His word. More of God and His grace. I pray you would too – check them out on YouTube and drop into Poets in Autumn when they’re in a city near you.
Find our more: http://www.kingdompromo.net/poetsinautumn.
Amelia E. Thompson loves to see God create possibility out of what appears to be impossible. She became a Christian during her sophomore year in college. She and friends developed We Write Life into a platform for building community around issues of justice, reconciliation and forgiveness. Thanks to God’s guidance and kindness, she completed studies at Vassar College and St. John’s University and is completing a certificate in Youth and Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.