jessica Care Moore
jessica Care moore is the CEO of Moore Black Press, Executive Producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven, Jess Care Moore Foundation. An internationally renowned poet, playwright, performance artist and producer, she is the 2013 Alain Locke Award Recipient from the Detroit Institute of Arts. moore is the author of The Words Don’t Fit in My Mouth, The Alphabet Verses The Ghetto, God is Not an American, Sunlight Through Bullet Holes, and a memoir, Love is Not The Enemy. Her poetry has been heard on stages like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts. She has performed on every continent. jessica Care moore believes poems belong everywhere and to everyone.
The theme of the GANSPA Society this month is “Oh Freedom?” What is the most freeing poem you’ve written?
We Want Our Bodies Back for Sandra Bland. It's the title of my fifth book. I can't explain what happens when i read that poem, but it's an overwhelming feeling of freedom, to call for the return of our sister Sandra, and to call for all our children's bodies back who have been killed in police custody or in their own backyards simply existing. Poetry is what helps maintain my freedom.
Y You've been on the poetry scene for a while what is your sage advice for up and coming poets? I read my first poem aloud at my fathers funeral in 1994. Poems never really stopped coming after he passed away. I've been writing since I was around 9 years old. Poems, short stories, articles. Detroit wasn't like NYC. We didn't have cafe and poetry coffee houses dedicated to poets. We really had one spot before i moved to Brooklyn in 1995, The Pourme Cafe. I opened for The Last Poets there, and they told me to reach out if i ever came to NYC, and i did!
My advice: Stay humble, write and read all the time, know that you come from something movements. Know that you are never alone. That your work cannot stay in a "scene." It must grow and so must you, and everyone won't understand your work and process. Don't write for an audience, write from your heart. Poetry is a tradition, not a game.
What next for you?
Along with being a very busy mom, I am working on my fifth book, We Want Our Bodies Back and I'm working to publish NYC based poet, Brad Walrond and his collection, Everywhere Alien. I am also writing my memoir, Love is Not the Enemy. Working on dance theater production in Salt City. We’re celebrating the 15th anniversary on Black WOMEN Rock! In 2019.