Spoken word poet coming to Salisbury this weekend

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 7, 2013

A hip-hop artist and spoken word poet will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, at the Looking Glass Artist Center black box theater, 405 N. Lee St.
Elijah Furquan, a 20-year-old Milwaukee student, performs under the stage name of Genesis Renji.
His visit is sponsored by St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Last summer, members of the church’s high school youth group joined about 30,000 youth from across the country in New Orleans at the National Lutheran Youth Gathering.
While in New Orleans, the group had chance to meet Furquan, who performed as the event’s featured artist.
“Elijah makes the scripture come alive through the spoken word,” said Danielle Kosanovich, St. John’s diaconal minister for youth and outreach. “I can’t wait for our community to experience his profound creativity and love for God.”
Georgia Kirchin, a St. John’s member who attended the national youth gathering, said the group thought Furquan was the “coolest thing ever.”
“He took worship to another level — spreading the good news in a way that we could relate,” she said. “He was just a joy to me.”
Spoken word poetry, Furquan explains, is an organic, free-verse delivery. He speaks on a wide range of topics.
Although Furquan has written some poems, he prefers to perform based on memorization. It’s meant to be performed aloud, not read, he said.
Furquan learned about spoken word poetry from his eighth-grade English teacher.
“I thought ‘This is amazing, I love this, I want to do this,’” he said.
Furquan developed connections through his teacher, who served as his mentor.
Although he’s studying business, Furquan said performing is the only thing that will make him happy.
Furquan performs for Christian and secular audiences.
“I’m a wild card,” he said.

He’ll debut an original body of work Friday, that was written especially for that performance.
Furquan will be in Salisbury through Sunday. Here is the schedule of events:
g Friday — A Night Of Epiphany geared toward youth. The telling of Jesus’ birth through hip-hop and spoken word poetry, as well as music that expresses discovery and growth in our personal faith.
The event starts at 8 p.m. at the Looking Glass Artist Center black box theater.
gSaturday — Furquan will join forces with the Larry Draughn Trio for Jazz Vespers in the chapel of St. John’s Lutheran Church, 200 W. Innes St.
gSunday — Furquan will be at St. John’s at all three morning services — 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. — to share a spoken word poem inspired by the morning’s text.