The Voice of Detroit: City Names Jessica Care Moore As Newest Poet Laureate

Detroit has named Jessica Care Moore as its newest poet laureate, a fitting choice given her deep roots in the city’s vibrant cultural fabric.

In her new role, Moore will orchestrate poetry events citywide and contribute to initiatives dedicated to Detroit’s diverse community, Fox 2 Detroit reported. The lifelong Detroiter will deliver an annual address at the Detroit Public Library and compose an original poem for an end-of-year presentation.

“I only hope with this new position, I’ll be able to turn on some lights inside our schools filled with promise and untapped young genius,” Moore said during an April 30 press conference. “Poems belong to all of us, and they all have the power to change lives. Poems absolutely saved my life.”

Mayor Mike Duggan lauded the appointment, stating, “This is a recognition that was overdue…Now it’s official.”

Moore envisions a future where poetry permeates educational environments. Advocating for a curricular shift in 2024, she stated, “Let’s bring in contemporary writers and poets and bring them into the classroom. We have great poets in this city.” Her vision resonates with Director Rochelle Riley’s goals for Detroit, embracing performing arts to nurture local talent without the perceived need to leave the city for stardom.

Beyond her poetic prowess, Moore is also an activist, filmmaker, publisher, and founder of The Moore Art House, a non-profit dedicated to fostering literacy in Detroit.

A product of Detroit’s public schools, Moore pursued higher education at Wayne State and Michigan State before establishing Moore Black Press Publishing Inc. in Brooklyn in 1997. According to her website, Moore Black Press has published the works of Saul Williams, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, and Danny Simmons, with plans to launch poetry and spoken word audiobooks through a HarperCollins imprint in 2024.

Moore’s multifaceted artistry has garnered acclaim, from voicing the Pure Michigan campaign in 2023 to collaborating with hip-hop luminaries like Common, Nas, and Jeezy. Her Rock & Roll project, “We Are Scorpio,” with powerhouse singer Steffanie Christ’ian, is slated for a June 2024 release on Talib Kweli’s label.

In 2023, Moore graced the Shabazz Center alongside Angela Davis and Benjamin Crump at the invitation of Malcolm X’s family. Her upcoming feature film, He Looked Like A Postcard, is slated for a June 2024 release..

Moore also performed at BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s “Woman of Power” poetry jam.

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