Messages from the Poets in Autumn Tour [Exclusive Interview]


Rejuvenating, encouraging, thought-provoking—all words that describe the many powerful messages shared during the DC leg of the Poets in Autumn tour featuring Ezekiel, Janette…Ikz, Jackie Hill-Perry, Preston Perry and special musical guest, Jonathan McReynolds.

Using spoken word to share their testimonies of trial and victory through Christ in a creative outlet, all artists’ (including the True Voices DC hosts) personal stories ranged from trust, love and relationships to sex, molestation, homosexuality and more.

In between the poetry, Jonathan McReynolds relayed some of the same messages through song with his performance of “Limp,” “Pressure” and “Christ Representers” off his upcoming album Life Music: Stage Two.

Each performer’s transparent delivery, which reaffirmed God’s power and sacrificial love, garnered lots of snap-plauses and agreeing whispers that were followed by personal reevaluations in the main lobby.

“It got my wheels turning and not just about my faith, but about the way I treat people or deal with others,” Chantel Bomar of Baltimore said about the experience. “It had me thinking so much about my life, decisions I’ve made and my path. It’s still a little scary, but I’m still developing my faith.”

We caught up with the bunch before they hit the stage to get their thoughts on the effectiveness of their ministry and what they’re learning on the Poets in Autumn Tour. Read on below…

Preston Perry on what he looks forward to going into each show…
“People understanding the gospel more, people getting set free from sin, and just delivering good art. Giving people a good experience. Showing people in the christian community that there are venues where you can come and see really good art and also be ministered to.”

Jackie-Hill Perry on pursing Christian spoken word… 
“I guess I knew that poetry was something I should do when I came out with my first Christian poem, “My Life as a Stud.” When it came out, women and people just started writing me explaining how they were giving their life to the Lord. For me, it was confirmation that God had gifted me for a reason and that it was fruitful. I saw it as a disservice to not continue to use it and walk in it. And not necessarily for money or fame, but really just to be used.”

Ezekiel on balancing ministry, work and home…
“The way we balance our careers and ministry, I think it really comes down to the word of being intentional. I look at people like Jeanette…Iks who really takes serious time [to always pray with her husband before every flight and update her family]. Just staying in touch. And I think communication is really, really important. People from the outside looking in look at us like, ‘Oh, they’re having a good time, they’re touring, they’re doing their thing.’ But if you look deeper, if you looked inside the window, you would see that we’re being intentional about making sure that we’re being present, even though we’re not present in our homes and I think that’s important. And also making sure we stay grounded with our faith and local churches.”

Jonathan McReynolds on touring with the poets…
“There’s a lot that I appreciate being on this tour and hanging out with these guys that I don’t necessarily get to see often in the gospel community and the Christian community, period. First of all, they are extremely transparent and extremely honest. That is their strongest asset. Yeah, they’re amazing metaphor creators, they are great poets, they are extremely good at their craft, but most importantly, they are transparent. They are humble. They are honest about the feelings and the way that they have met God and experienced God. And that is what transcends culture, transcends age and it’s causing them to be very effective. So I look up to them so much.”


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