Activist and artist Jessica Care Moore has performed her works of poetry across the world, including excerpts from her works, The Words Don’t Fit in My MouthThe Alphabet Verses The Ghetto, and God is Not an American. Her latest work, We Want Our Bodies Back, is available now.

The CEO of Moore Black Press, executive producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the Jess Care Moore Foundation, Moore is a woman of many talents and accolades and continues to be celebrated as one of the most prominent modern American poets. Here are five books Jessica Care Moore reads and what she has to say about them.

Shake Loose This Skin by Sonia Sanchez

Does your house have Sonia Sanchez?  She is the consistent voice I refer back to when I am uncertain about the world. This collection celebrates her lifework of writing us into existence. 

Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980 by Lucille Clifton

I refer back to this collection many times to remind me what a good poem sounds like on the page. Was honored to read with her on many occasions. One of the most beautiful poets to ever do it.

Wild Beauty by Ntozake Shange

This incredible collection of new and selected works is vibrant in English and Spanish.  Her unapologetic, fierce approach to language and life forever changed me. 

The Age of Phillis by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

This new release has become one of my new favorites. Poems imagining the life and times of Phillis Wheatley. A passionate visceral work of history and ancestral memory.  

Assata, An Autobiography by Assata Shakur

This is the text that rocked my world as a very young activist and reader. I have kept my copy since high school, and it’s the book no one can ever borrow  from my library!  Assata escaped her country that wanted to see her dead. Her story is timeless and perfect for the right now.

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