Jessica Care Moore

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jessica Care moore, 2015

Jessica Care Moore (stylized as jessica Care moore; born October 28, 1971) is an American poet.[1] She 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 recipient of the 2013 Alain Locke Award from the Detroit Institute of Arts.[2]

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 We Want Our Bodies Back. Her poetry has been heard on stages including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts.[3]

Early career[edit]

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Jessica Care Moore first came to national prominence when she won the "It’s Showtime at the Apollo" competition a record-breaking five times in a row. Her performance of the poem "Black Statue of Liberty" earned her several meetings with high-profile publishing companies. In 1997, she launched a publishing company of her own, Moore Black Press.[4]

Her first book, The Words Don’t Fit In My Mouth, sold more than 20,000 copies. Along with her own work, she also published poets such Saul Williams, Shariff Simmons, Def Poetry Jam's co-founder Danny Simmons, NBA player Etan Thomas, Ras Baraka and former Essence Magazine editor Asha Bandele.[5]


Moore's work has been published in several literary collections, including 44 on 44 (Third World Press, 2011); A Different Image (U of D Mercy Press, 2004); Abandon Automobile (WSU Press, 2001); Listen Up! (Random House, 1999); Step Into A World (Wiley Publishing, 2001); Role Call (Third World Press, 2002); and Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Crown Publishing, 2001). She is the youngest poet published in the Prentice Hall Anthology of African American Women’s Literature by Valerie Lee, alongside literary greats such as Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, and Maya Angelou.[6]

Moore has appeared on the cover of The New York Times, The Metro Times, Michigan FrontPage, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, African Voices Magazine, and Black Elegance Magazine. She has been featured in print and online magazines across the world, including Essence, Huffington Post, Blaze, The Source, Vibe, Bomb, Mosaic, Savoy, One World, Upscale, Ambassador Magazine, and UPTOWN.[7]

Her multimedia show, God is Not an American, was produced by The Apollo Theater and Time Warner's NYC Parks Summer Concert Series. She was the host, writer and co-executive producer of the poetry-driven television show Spoken, which was executive produced by and directed by Robert Townsend and aired on The Black Family Channel.[8] In June 2019, she staged the afrofuturistic, techno-Inspired choreopoem "Salt City" at the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit, Michigan.[9]

Her work is featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.[10]

Hip hop contributions[edit]

Moore's poetry is featured on NasNastradamus album, Jeezy's Church in These Streets, and Talib Kweli’s Attack The Block mix tape. She is a returning star of Russell Simmons’ HBO series Def Poetry Jam.[7] She is also featured on the Silent Poets track This Is Not An Instrumental.

Music projects[edit]

Jessica Care Moore's techno solo theater performance The Missing Project: Pieces of the D is a high-energy homage to Detroit. She continued to push the boundaries of the genre by producing her first conceptual art installation, NANOC: I Sing The Body Electric, which opened at the Dell Pryor Gallery in 2011. Her work is currently[when?] on exhibit at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City and the Charles H. Wright Museum through August 2014 for her Black WOMEN Rock! Exhibition.

This musical focus has led her to create her first album, Black Tea: The Legend of Jessi James.[11] The album is a highly personal and passionate piece of work. It is decades of Moore's musicality shared with her audience in a new way. There was already music in her poetry; she has now brought it full circle. The album was produced by Moore and pianist Jon Dixon. Features include Imani Uzuri, Roy Ayers, Talib Kweli, Jose James, One Belo and Ursula Rucker. It was released in fall of 2014 by Moore's record company Words on Wax, in partnership with Javotti Media.

Jessica Care Moore was featured on a spoken word album "Eargasms" released/distributed by Rawkus Records


As an artist and activist, Moore lent her powerful voice to the international fight against AIDS. She performed for the United Nations World AIDS Day Commemoration two years in a row and was one of the organizers of Hip-Hop-A-Thon, a concert in San Francisco, which helped increase AIDS education in the Bay Area's Black and Latino communities. Moore has also performed in front of thousands of people during AIDS WALK Opening Ceremonies in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Florida, and Atlanta.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Jessica Care Moore lives, writes, and plays in downtown Detroit, where she is raising her 14-year old poet, musician and hockey player, King Thomas Moore.[13]


  1. ^ "Jessica Care Moore: Spoken Word Laureate of our generation". Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
  2. ^ "Moore Black Press - Representing Legacy Since 1971". Moore Black Press. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  3. ^ "jessica Care moore". Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Moore Black Press". Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  5. ^ Aptowicz, Cristin O'Keefe (2008). Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, Soft Skull Press, p. 135. ISBN 1-933368-82-9.
  6. ^ "Welcome -". Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Jessica Care Moore - Speaker Profile and Speaking Topics". Archived from the original on May 26, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "jessica Care moore poet - publisher- activist- rock star- playwright - actor". Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  9. ^ "Salt Mines Below Detroit Inspire Local Poet to Create Techno-Inspired Choreopoem". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  10. ^ Appelbaum, Diana Muir (27 March 2017). "Museum Time". The New Rambler. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  11. ^ "18th & Vine Jazz & Blues Festival". jessica Care moore. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  12. ^ "Jessica Care Moore". Fubar. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "Untitled". Retrieved June 11, 2015.

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