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Detroit Celebrates Jessica Care Moore as New Poet Laureate in the Spirit of Art and Soul

Detroit has named Jessica Care Moore its new Poet Laureate, recognizing her as a voice that embodies the city’s spirit and its resilient arts scene. This announcement, made by the Mayor alongside Detroit’s Office of Arts, Culture, and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE), highlights a significant step in recognizing local talent on a national scale. Moore, a lifelong Detroiter, steps into this role backed by her substantial contributions to poetry and community engagement.

Known for her dynamic presence and poignant words, Moore has consistently used her platform to explore and uplift the Black experience and women’s empowerment. Her work with Pure Michigan and Gucci, creating Detroit-centric poems, is a testament to her ability to weave the local narrative into broader, national conversations.

Moore’s literary journey is distinguished by her deep-rooted connection to Detroit and her commitment to using her voice to inspire others. Her recent collaborations with Pure Michigan and Gucci to create unique poems for their Detroit campaigns have showcased her talent on a national platform. Additionally, her role extends beyond poetry—she is a celebrated filmmaker, the founder and producer of Black WOMEN Rock! – Daughters of Betty, and the visionary behind The Moore Art House, a nonprofit aimed at boosting literacy through the arts.

Black women have always been foundational to the power and pulse of poetry, their words etching out spaces of resistance, revelation, and profound beauty. From Phillis Wheatley, the first African American author of a published book of poetry, to the transformative might of Maya Angelou and Audre Lorde, these poets have wielded their craft as both a sword and a salve, confronting harsh realities while nurturing communal healing and empowerment. The strength of their verses has bridged generations, crafting an enduring legacy of cultural defiance and expressive freedom that resonates deeply within the community.

This legacy vibrates with particular resonance in Detroit, a city with its own storied history of artistic soul and social transformation. Detroit has been a crucible for Black artistic expression, where music, art, and literature have converged to narrate the trials and triumphs of its people. Today, the city continues to celebrate this rich cultural heritage, invigorated by a renaissance of arts that taps into deep historical roots while forging new narratives. Figures like Jessica Care Moore stand at the intersection of this dynamic, drawing on the storied past of Black women’s literary contributions to mold a future where Detroit’s soul—and its profound contributions to Black culture—continues to evolve, inspire, and ignite.

The timing of this announcement aligns with the culmination of National Poetry Month, an annual celebration initiated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. This month-long event is dedicated to appreciating the profound emotional, humorous, and experiential dimensions conveyed through poetry, a period celebrating poetry’s power to capture life’s complexities and joys. This role, supported by the Ford Foundation, highlights the foundation’s ongoing investment in Detroit’s cultural leaders, including the forthcoming positions of Composer Laureate and City Historian.

Jessica Care Moore’s appointment is a clear signal of Detroit’s dedication to recognizing artists who not only produce compelling work but also actively enrich their communities. As Poet Laureate, Moore is set to continue her impactful work, championing the arts and literacy while inspiring the next generation of Detroit artists.