Milwaukee Christian Poet Monica Matthews

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The INDIEgator: Were there any Poets or other special people that inspired you by their works or inspired you to turn your hobby into a career?

Monica: Definitely. Of course Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes, Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison (just to name a few) who are pioneers in publishing literature as minority writers. Every great Poet that I have heard at every open mic venue, workshop, etc has also had a part in jump starting my creativity & inspiration. I am also inspired by random people, places, and things that I encounter on a daily basis. Anything from a conversation that I overhead between strangers at a grocery store, my jazz player neighbor practicing on his balcony, something I saw on TV, to a pack of Oreo cookies that I am indulging in (and the poem turns out to be nothing about cookies). I can literally be inspired by anything. My family has been a huge support, encouraging me to pursue my writing. God has just been opening so many doors of opportunities to share my work, that I truly feel this is my calling. I absolutely love writing and being able to express my creativity through it, so I am going all in.

Monica MatthewsINDIEgator: How did you feel the first time you decided to perform a piece in front of a crowd and did you receive the feedback you had hoped for?

Monica: I was scared out of my mind! I remember walking up to the stage in 4 inch stilettos, praying I did not fall. My legs where shaking so badly. The crowd was cool though. It was during a Poetry Unplugged (PU) set in Milwaukee, and there is always so much love given to “Virgins” (first time Poet readers) that come to the mic. Once I started I kind of got into this zone, and just let it flow. The lights were so bright that I couldn’t see faces anyway, which helped. When I was done, the crowd showed much love. I have been hooked ever since.

The INDIEgator: What type of subjects did you usually talk about in your work?

Monica: Everything. From love, to politics, to race issues, to having writer’s block, you name it.

The INDIEgator: You founded Christian Poetics in 2006. What happened in 2006 that made you want to focus more on Spirituality in your Spoken Word?

“The day that my voice becomes ineffective in helping someone else in a positive way,
I might as well put down the mic. ”

Monica: It was as simple as this. I was at a church one evening waiting to perform a piece at a youth service, and the name Christian Poetics just came to me. I then realized that I had not heard of many Christian Spoken Word artists, and being very active in my faith, it was kind of an epiphany moment. This is what I wanted to do.

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