Jessica Care Moore

Jessica Care Moore photo

Jessica Care Moore is a Top 100 Bestselling Author Making Our List 6 Times

jessica Care moore is an internationally renowned poet/ publisher/ activist/ rock star/ playwright and actor. She is a five-time Showtime at the Apollo winner; has featured on hip-hop mega-star, Nas’ "Nastradamus" album and was a returning star of Russell Simmon’s HBO Series, Def Poetry Jam.

After her legendary win on the Apollo stage, jessica Care moore was approached by several book publishing companies, but in 1997, she paved her own path and launched a publishing company of her own, Moore Black Press. Which has released her first book; The Words Don’t Fit In My Mouth, several thousand copies and a few years later, she followed up with her second collection of poetry and essays, The Alphabet Verses The Ghetto.

Moore Black Press proudly published famed poets, Saul Williams and Shariff Simmons; Def Poetry Jam’s co-founder, Danny Simmons, NBA basket-ball player, Etan Thomas, activist and poet, Ras Baraka and former Essence Magazine editor and author, Asha Bandele.

This bold and electric artist has shared the stage with the late Ossie Davis, CeCe Winans, Gregory Hines, Anthony David, Norah Jones, Amiri Baraka, Patti Labelle, Roy Ayers, Mos Def, The Last Poets, Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, Nikki Giovanni, Steve Harvey, Maya Angelou and many others. In 1999, she was honored as Woman of the Year by the Harvard Black Men’s Forum.

She is among the few poets who can attract more than the usual eclectic artsy crowd; bringing people from all backgrounds to fall captivated by her lyrics, verses and the universal raw truths in her poems. This Detroit bred natural born entertainer fuses a rock band with hip-hop and poetry. Her band, Detroit Read (pronounced "red"), fuses soul rock ’n roll sounds inspired by Prince, Betty Davis, Janis Joplin, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye. The performance is a combination of heart-pounding rock, acoustic guitar, house and raw hip-hop mixed with jessica’s soulful raspy voice as lead vocalist.  

jessica Care moore voices herself as a strong warrior in the fight against AIDS. She has performed for the United Nations World AIDS Day Commemoration two years in a row. She also organized the successful Hip-Hop-A-Thon Concert in (San Francisco), which helped increase AIDS education in the Black and Latino Bay-Area communities. She has performed at several AIDS WALK Opening Ceremonies in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Florida and Atlanta.

Her innovative and inspiring take on literacy among our nation’s youth landed her opportunities to produce several art programs, concerts, and workshops for the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, and worked as a facilitator for The Langston Hughes National Poetry Circle Project.

As an internationally respected author and poet she has rocked stages all around the world from Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Berlin, Paris, Holland, England, Scotland and many others. jessica Care moore teamed up with Impulse recording artist, Antonio Hart on the album "Here I Stand," and collaborated with Big Cat’s rap artist, PBT, and also featured on The Last Poets Tribute Album.

Her talent does not stop at poetry, jessica featured in "Hugh’s Harlem Dream" (STARZ), and starred in the award-winning independent film, "His/Herstory." She also captured the lead in the independent film, Under The Gun, which co-stars Umi and M1 of Dead Prez. She had a cameo appearance in the award-winning film, "Slam," and is one of the stars of the documentary, "Slamnation!" She is the producer, writer and star of the poetry and music themed show, "SPOKEN!" aired on the Black Family Channel, produced in association with Moore Black Press and directed by CEO, Robert Townsend. She is one of the featured artists in the PBS special; "I’ll Make Me a World."

She is the playwright and author of "There Are No Asylums for the Real Crazy Women," a one-woman stage production that reveals the true life story of Vivienne Eliot, the late first wife of famous poet T.S. Eliot. Fusing her contemporary poetry, hip-hop culture, feminist thought and language, jessica offers a moving and innovative portrayal of an English woman born in 1888. She also authored and performed in the one-woman stage play "AlphaPhobia," a semi-autobiographical sketch about a female poet who believes the alphabet is trying to kill her.

Her literary work has received wide exposure, and her poems featured in several major anthologies including; "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), "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, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, Maya Angelou and many others.

Jessica was also featured in Essence, Blaze, Source, Vibe, African Voices, Bomb, Mosaic, Good News, Savoy, One World, BE, Ambassador Magazine and others. The poet/actors return to the "D" has been met with much buzz, gracing the covers of The Metro Times, African American Family, The Detroit News, and The Detroit Free Press.

This talented powerhouse was commissioned by The Apollo Theater to debut her new multi media solo theater show, God is Not an American. Her show sold out the Apollo Theater Salon Series in April, and after a return from touring in France and Amsterdam, she will bring the show back to NYC for encore performances in Brooklyn and Harlem in July 2009.

You Want Poems
feat. Jose James & Roy Ayers - Single

Jessica in Summer
feat. Paris Toon & Mothers Favorite Child - Single


I am a work in progress
for asha bandele
- jessica Care moore -

We are born writing
but will learn to wait
An agonizing line of blood will follow our future
and never find us
mistaking our memories for actual events
reason and common sense will never make an appearance
opening the door after a temporary disappearance
the fisher man showed up in your world again
guess that’s why our female heroes got fancy
addictive names like


You were born writing little girl
but you will learn to wait
the lines will appear as currents
events to fool you into submission
the grocery store
the post office
the unemployment line
the local train platform at two in the morning
this is where you will find poetry
screaming between the air inside your walk
this is how you’ll learn to kiss and paint
nurse babies and call "next!"
on the ball court
your name will be one african syllable too many
for jane who didn’t do her lower case b
phoenix assignment
pretending that she just can’t pronounce Kenya or Brendesha
with america’s alphabet
this is the moment you find meaning in cuss words
you will take cuts attempting to find the front line
your scent will leave hunters running in the wrong direction
as your home becomes brick your bones become thick
clocks will confuse the moon into thinking
dark is a synonym for gloom
you will stay still as your body leaves the room
for the first time in weeks
strength will appear from behind the sun
they will call you a freak and you will believe them
you were born writing and will soon learn to run

we are born writing
but will learn to wait
the wind will pause our dreams
lies suddenly sound like laughter
we will survive in here
or after
skeleton woman break dancing
into poses resembling roses
emulating an african nose
that never smelled ivory up close

this is when you will cry the most
learn to gather your tears into your fists
realizing water will never grant your wishes
reflections are always true but never wet
so we kiss ourselves
till our lips turn dry and honest

you will hear faint pieces of your voice
in the electricity of a phone line
screaming for freedom
in the middle of a message or a voyage
never delivered during long distance
conversations or kidnappings
this is the moment your fingers
will find your hand
and hang up on your past beliefs
what is a white courtesy phone?
Why can’t I ever find one?

the lines will appear as a sound waving
good bye
when you jump off the side of the ship
in the footsteps of the march of tears
funeral processions will break into the hustle
digging up murdered soil
that forgot this was a man’s world
and daddy needs a son baby
everybody will wear black
forgetting this is your damn birth day party
There was a time we didn’t have to wait
nine months for our children to be born
we just believed they would come
and waited for them to quickly leave
i’ll take the young pretty one
with the chiseled brown lips
for 5 axes 3 pigs 2 arrows 1 chicken and a bushel of wire
this is when you’ll carve your first pencil from wood
and draw blood
this is when your story is erased
I was born writing
but will be taught to wait
I am an incomplete sentence
a work in progress
and i’m not finished

Related Links

Read more about Jessica in the Summer 1998 issue of Mosaic Literary Magazine (download electronic version)

Saul Williams Page’s Moore Black Press Page

mums, Williams moore and Beau Sia

Learn more at Jessica Care Moore’s official website

5 Books by Jessica Care Moore