Circa 1997 when “Love Jones” debuted, I became obsessed with spoken word and poetry for a while, traveling to all of the hidden spoken word and poetry joints in the A, dating a man who knew how to spit fire and even crafting a poem or two myself…(I even gave one of my poems to the poetry goddess Nikki Giovanni, and she wrote me back…Read about in “He Just Was Not That Into Me…aka Nikki Giovanni likes me…so there…”) This was all in my early ’20s…While I don’t fancy myself a poet anymore, I still love the art form, and I love to discover new poets whose words and delivery can take you there…
I first discovered Janette McGhee, who is better known as “MissTerious Janette…ikz” (pronounced mysterious genetics), a dynamic Christian spoken word artist and poet who wrote and performed “I Will Wait For You” in 2011. In this poem, she beautifully captured the absolute angst a Christian woman feels as she attempts to wait for the man God will send her rather than just trying to make any ole man the one…She performed this poem in the P4CM (Passion for Christ Movement) Lyricist Lounge…Read about in “Living Single – The Panel Discussion, The Poem & The Show.”
And below is an awesome poem entitled “Ready or Not” by Janette…ikz and Ezekiel performed at a PC4M event. This is the official description of the poem – “Christ is coming back for a bride without spot wrinkle or blemish. This poem by Ezekiel and Janette…ikz asks you if you’ll be Ready or Not. All to often though, we try to do the cleaning and the planning when we Christ should take the lead. We say let him lead and the wedding day will be just as it should be… all for His glory.”
Well, PC4M is preparing for RHETORIC 2013, the ministry’s latest spoken word and poetry event, and are looking for submissions…Below are the details for submitting an audition video if you are interested…
RHETORIC Objective and Guidelines
The objective of P4CM’s RHETORIC (formerly Lyricist Lounge) is to glorify God in and with our craft of spoken word; edify and challenge believers to grow in bearing the image of Jesus in our thinking, our attitudes, our emotions, our speech, and our action; and minister to the lost the hopelessness and consequences of sin and their utter need for Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. It is these objectives–the supremacy of God’s glory, bearing Christ’s image, the Gospel, and the excellence in our craft–that have made our event the largest Christian spoken word event in the world.
- All poems are to be in agreement with P4CM’s Faith Statement and not emphasizing controversial doctrines (e.g. predestination) or non-essentials (e.g. spiritual gifts).
- All poems are to be free of offensive and obscene language. If approved, you can use normally offensive language that may be purposed in the context of the poem (e.g. Jackie Hill’s poem on being a stud; the use of “nigga” in debunking it’s cultural coolness and showing it’s racially degrading nature; “rape” and its affects; etc). The use of this approved language is never to be promoted, but understood in light of the poem’s context. If an approved offensive term can be changed without affecting the purpose of the poem, then changing it to something non-offensive will be encouraged.
- Every poet (open mic and featured) will take a year off in-between RHETORIC performances (e.g. on 2011, off 2012, on 2013, off 2014, etc). If we ever have RHETORIC more than once a year, it would be at least one RHETORIC off (unless otherwise noted).
- Poem lengths are as follows: Open mic artists must have poems lasting 5 minutes or less. Featured poets poems are to be between 5 and 10 minutes.
- Every poet who performs will need a pastoral reference. This only applies to those poets selected to perform. A pastoral reference is not needed for an audition submission, but be prepared to provide one in case you are selected. This way we have a referral from your pastor (or two or more of their local church leaders instead) saying that your life matches what you are ministering, that you’re active and involved in the life of your church, and under someone’s leadership/authority and accountable.
As long as each poet agrees to and are within these guidelines, you have the artistic freedom for selecting and writing a poem to be performed.
Enter Your Audition Video
If you’d like to audition to be an open mic poet or you have a suggestion for a featured poet, email a link to a YouTube or Vimeo video to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not open attachments or links to video only on Facebook. Please send us the poem you’d like to perform. We prefer video not audio because it helps us see your potential stage presence so send us your best performance with the best recording with good audio. Do not send an edited video. Please just send a live performance. We plan to finalize our poets by early April and we’re constantly ranking and evaluating them so please submit your poems as soon as you can for consideration. We’ll get back with you after we’ve looked at all of the submissions and go from there.