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Christian spoken word poet David Bowden uses his talents to focus attention on God during Winterfest 2014 in Arlington

Voices-only Wednesday: Poetry slam edition

Welcome to Voices-only Wednesday. We scour the Internet to find interesting, unique and just plain great a cappella videos to share with you.
Usually, that means awesome singing — but must it always be singing?
Submitted for your approval, here is our first ever VOW (yes, we’re abbreviating it now) spoken word — or poetry slam, if you’re edgier — edition. It seems that more and more Christ followers are producing performance versions of original poetry, so we present a few examples.
First up is Israel Afangideh, a student at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala. Students at the university, associated with Churches of Christ, recently participated in a friendly battle of rhymes with poets from Alabama State University, also in Montgomery. Here’s Afangideh’s faith-based poem:

Afangideh’s mother, Uduak, and his aunt, Idongesit Mkpong-Ruffin, are professors at Faulkner. (See Lynn McMillon’s Dialogue with them from 2014.) Natives of Nigeria, both woman spoke out about the plight of Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram last year. 

Israel Afangideh’s sister, Salem, a law student at Faulkner, has become an advocate for women’s rights worldwide. Last year she spoke to The Christian Chronicle about the global epidemic of human trafficking.

Next up is someone a lot of us in Churches of Christ (or our kids, anyway) will recognize. David Bowden, a graduate of Oklahoma Christian University, is a spoken-word poet who has become a fixture at Winterfest — the annual youth rallies that draw tens of thousands of teens to Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Arlington, Texas.

Here are a couple of clips of Bowden’s poetry from the 2014 convention of the Christian Leadership Alliance. This one is called “I Believe in the Scriptures.”

And here’s one called “All.” (No, that’s not him at the very beginning of the video. It’s one of the event’s speakers — some guy named Francis Chan.)
Finally, here’s an interview with Bowden where he explains what inspired him to become a full-time poet.


Got a song to sing, a poem to read? Post it to YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook and send us the links. (Or message our Facebook page.) Post links to your favorite voices-only videos in the comments below.

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