Though labeled as such, Jessica Care Moore doesn’t identify as a slam poet. She prefers just being called a poet. A woman who tells you that “Scorpio and gentle don’t fit in the same sentence” should probably be listened to, especially when she talks back to Mari Evans, calls out John Mayer, and won Showtime at the Apollo’s weekly talent competition five times in a row.
Moore took the stage in the Frank and Katrina Basile Theater at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center (450 W. Ohio Street) on Thursday, April 15. She engaged the crowd with numerous asides, some which happened in the middle of a poem. One of my favorite reminders was, “Continue to write no matter who breaks your heart.” Moore came down hard on social service agencies who make life harder than it already is for single mothers and trashed the notion of compartmentalizing people based on their racial backgrounds. “We’re all multicultural!” she exclaimed before sharing “Box This,” which includes the brilliant line, “Your momma’s white so you’re an “other”?”
Moore dropped advice on the crowd, including the always relevant, “Take what you love to do and find a way to make a living from it.” She certainly inspires: Moore is a full-time poet who sold 20,000 copies of her first book, The Words Don't Fit In My Mouth. Her company, Moore Black Press, has published nine books since 1997, including The Seventh Octave: The Early Writings of Saul Stacy Williams. Though she’s collaborated with poet greats like Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni, Moore feels like the kind of person you could sit down and talk to as though you’d long been friends. Perhaps it was her comment that she would do anything to provide for her son, including “titty dance on Friday nights” that makes her so approachable.
Visit http://www.myspace.com/jessicacaremoore for samples of her work.