Joel McKerrow is an award winning writer, speaker, educator, community arts worker and one of Australia’s most successful internationally touring performance poets having performed for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world since 2010 and being the third ever Australian representative at the Individual World Poetry Slam Championships in the USA (2012).
Based out of Melbourne, Australia he is the Artist Ambassador for the aid and development organisation ‘TEAR Australia’ and was the co-founder of community arts organisation, 'The Centre for Poetics and Justice' (2010-2013). Joel has released three music/spoken word albums and three published books of poetry. Alongside his poetry and writing Joel is a highly-sought after speaker at conferences, churches and gatherings all over the world teaching on the intersection of spiritual formation, social Justice, creativity and identity. This comes after having walked alongside young people for the last seventeen years within schools, churches, youth work organisations and theological institutions through which he has now become known worldwide for being an experienced practitioner and thinker in these areas of personal formation.
Brian McLaren (Author and activist) has said of Joel, ‘In a time when politics, theology, and other important avenues of human intercourse suffer from a flatness of prose and a vacuum of meaning, Joel walks on stage just when we need him, sounding off with all the craft of a first-rate poet and all the verve of a first-rate performer.’
Joel will give a recital of his poetry as one of the electives – The Poetics of the Sacred Imagination. He will also make cameo appearances throughout the conference.
He says about his elective - “Creativity should never be relegated as the ‘pretty-bits-around-the-edges’ in our discourse on the sacred, or our engagement with the world. Rather, it sits at the very core of our explorations into God and the self and the world. The poetic voice therefore is a great revealer of the mysteries as it does not seek to answer the questions of our inner world but rather to explore the way these questions move within us. Joel McKerrow will be reading/performing his dynamic works of poetry seeking to draw us into a different mode of listening by which our inside worlds might be touched with both the aching pain and the delicious hope of our existence upon this sacred earth.”