My name is Matt Saunders. I’m a poet, failed pastor, and recovering fundamentalist Christian. I trained at a Pentecostal Bible college and worked in Church planting for about six years, at the same time being a teacher at a Christian school where I taught six different subjects, and doing a Master’s degree.
I burned out, hard, and experienced a period of mental illness. Recovery from that – and in a Church context where people tried to cast demons out of me instead of love me – was tough. I turned to poetry to exorcise my real demons. My poem “Ragamuffin Men” was published in Dr John Andrews’ book “Moving Beyond Mediocrity” and I’ve continued to write for the last ten years, speaking at local poetry events, and on the “Roots” stage at my first Greenbelt in 2014 – here’s a video of that performance..
Recently my poems have taken a flavour of protest instead of just personal catharsis. “The Unstoppable Church” is meant to be indictment of Churches that ignore justice and mercy, but still “live in victory”. Just today I wrote “War, American Style“.
I’d like the chance to share some of my poetry and thoughts at Greenbelt 2015. Thank you for your consideration.