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“Warm generosity, 

    deft poetry, 

    powerful charisma

    and no ego.” 

~ Krista Monson- Creative Director- Cirque Du Soleil ~

"Joel McKerrow reminds us

why unplugged MC bards

are as rock-n-rollin their art

as any guitar band."

~ Andrew William Smith ~

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is obsessed with STORY, CREATIVITY and IMAGINATION and the way they might just change EVERYTHING.

Joel McKerrow


Full-time in his creative career for the past fifteen years Joel McKerrow is an award winning writer, keynote speaker, creativity specialist, children's author, educator and, having performed for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world, is one of Australia’s most successful performance poets. In this time Joel has released seven spoken word/music albums, six published books of poetry and has just released his first Junior Fic/Graphic novel, URBAN LEGEND HUNTERS with publisher Larrikin House.


Joel is the artist Ambassador for the aid and development organisation TEARFUND Australia, is on teaching staff at the Melbourne Young Writers Studio and is the co-founder/host of the The Deep Place: On Creativity and SpiritualityPodcast. He was the third ever Australian representative at the Individual World Poetry Slam Championships in the USA, the co-founder of community arts organisation, 'The Centre for Poetics and Justice’ and the host of the Australian National Poetry Slam for the State of Victoria (2017-2019). 


Joel is currently the Director of The School for Creative Development and works extensively with students, writers and creatives of all types to help them develop their creative practice. Through his SCHOOLS WORK he visits about 50 schools each year (teaching well over 100,000 students in the last decade), where he performs and teaches the creative process of both poetry and story-writing.


Joel is a highly sought after keynote speaker and performer at festivals, retreats and conferences throughout the world. Over the last few years this has included… Story Gathering Conference (Nashville), The International Transforming Education Conference, Melbourne Writers Festival, Greenbelt festival (UK), Graceland Festival (Netherlands), Somerset Storyfest, The Global Health Summit, Write Around the Murray, Breath and the Clay (North Carolina), Whitsundays Youth Voices Festival, The Justice Conference (AUS, US and NZ), Cairns Tropical Writers Festival, Williamstown Literary Festival, Beyond the Books festival, Once Upon a Festival,  Anglican Schools Australia Conference, Amnesty International Conference, and many, many more.


Whether in the creative industries, at schools, or keynote speaking/consultancy in the corporate/community sector, Joel uses the Creative Process as a framework for growth and development in whatever field he is speaking to. After sessions with the VILLAGE ROADSHOW management team Clarke Kirby, the CEO, said, ‘Joel is a true creative genius and his impact on my team was nothing short of extraordinary.' So whether you are after passionate performance poetry, inspiring keynote speaking, creative consultancy for your organisation, development of your own creative practice or inspiration and learning for your students…Joel covers it all.


Junior Fiction/
Graphic Novel
Art, poetry and music exhibition
Poetry Album
Deep Place Podcast
Season three
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Poetry Book
What people say

What the People Have to Say


“The old windows are not letting in much light. Nor do they allow people to look out, through and beyond. We see it everywhere: in the cynicism of politics, the machinery of the

market, the intransigence of religion passing for faith, and the ravaged quality of so many human lives. Light is not getting through. We have always waited and asked for better windows, a truer lens, some ways to see the brightness and goodness that we somehow know is there. It is to this deeper, already knowing, that Joel McKerrow appeals. He draws us through a much better window.”

~ Father Richard Rohr,

~ The Centre for Action and Contemplation ~

 “Joel is a special human being who brings care and magic to everything he works on. Our community of storytellers are among some of the most creative people in the world, and he displayed a unique ability to inspire and move them deeply.”

~ Harris III ~

~ Director of STORY GATHERING- Nashville ~


I witnessed the incredibly talented Joel McKerrow at STORY Gatherings in Nashville where I was also a main stage speaker. He is captivating. He stole the ‘show’ with an extraordinary blend of warm generosity, deft poetry, powerful charisma and no ego. I left awed and authentically grateful to be in his presence.


~ Krista Monson- Creative Director ~ Cirque De Sole- Las Vegas.

Joel McKerrow does what poets should do ... makes you laugh, think, cry, pray, hope, worship, wonder, and sit back and say, "Ahh, now I see!" In a time when politics, theology, and other important avenues of human intercourse suffer from a flatness of prose and a vacuum of meaning,

Joel walks on stage just when we need him, sounding off with all the craft of a first-rate poet and all the verve of a first-rate performer.

~ Brian McLaren, author/speaker/activist ~


"Joel is a powerful presence in any room. He makes each individual feel seen, valued, and connected to a deeper place. His poetry

is booming, spectacular; but his message even more. He is in the uppermost tier of speakers I've worked with, so much so that I hired him again, and again.”

~ Brooke Shaden – Founder, Promoting Passion Conference ~


Joel McKerrow is a true leader in Australia's performance poetry scene...A man who can tear a roof down with his performances and

bring tears with his subtle eloquence. Joel's writing reveals a wisdom beyond his years and his devotion to his work and to the greater good of all of humanity shines unwaveringly.

~ Luka Lesson ~ Australian Poetry Slam Champion


‘Joel McKerrow is not just some redhead... he's just some redhead who happens to be an exceptional spoken word artist. Fiercely political and humane... the fact that he's a redhead is inconsequential. He's a redhead.’

~ Shane Koyczan- Canadian poet ~

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