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.
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 was the third ever Australian representative at the Individual World Poetry Slam Championships in the USA (2012) and has performed in venues like the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Bowery Poetry Club (NYC), Sydney Opera House, Busboys and Poets (Washington DC), The Forum and Atheneum Theatres (Melbourne), the Metropolis (Montreal), Victoria Parliament House and many more. During this time he has performed alongside such poetry greats as Anis Mojgani, Shane Koyczan, Sarah Kay, Phil Kaye, Ken Arkind, Buddy Wakefield, Mahogany Brown, Jive Poetic, Carrie Rudzinski and Luka Lesson.
He is a TEDx speaker and performer, was a host on the renowned Indie-Feed Performance Poetry Podcast and is also the frontman poet of the band Joel McKerrow & the Mysterious Few.
Joel has released three music/spoken word albums, two published books of poetry and has had writing featured in such publications as: Australian Stories for the Soul (Strand Publishing), Spirituality for Youth Work (Cambridge Scholars Press), Mindfood Magazine, Going Down Swinging Literary Journal, Gestalt Arts and Culture Journal, Red Letter Christians, New Urban World Journal, Relevant Magazine and many more. Recently Joel’s theatre show The People of the Sun, co-written with Anna McGahan, debuted to sold out and raving audiences throughout Australia.
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 17 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. He currently is on faculty at Whitley Theological College in Melbourne, Australia where he coordinates a programme of spiritual formation for 17–30 year olds.
Photo Credit: Amy Reichenbach