Detroit Evening Report: jessica Care moore selected as Detroit’s new Poet Laureate

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jessica Care moore poses in the WDET studios in October 2022.

jessica Care moore poses in the WDET studios in October 2022.

jessica Care moore has been named the city of Detroit’s new Poet Laureate.

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The city has appointed two poet laureates throughout its history — Dudley Randall, who served as the city’s first Poet Laureate and was appointed by Mayor Coleman Young in 1981; and Naomi Long Madgett, who served in the role for nearly two decades, from 2001 until her death in 2020 at the age of 97.

The city says a committee of literary leaders chose moore after a rigorous review of 10 years of work and accomplishments. However, her career is much longer than that.

moore is a five-time winner of Showtime at the Apollo; the CEO of Moore Black Press; the founder of Black Women Rock!; producer of the opera “Wild Beauty,” performed at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra last year; producer and star of the newly released film, “He looked Like a Postcard”; and she is set to release a rock album under the name We Are Scorpio with Steffanie Christ’ian in June.

The poet laureate position is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, which also sponsors the City Historian and the city’s first composer laureate, to be announced in June. moore’s actual and poetic voice can be heard in recent ad campaigns by Pure Michigan and Gucci.

“As Detroit continues to come back, we are making it a priority to create beauty along the way,” said Mayor Duggan in a news release. “Beauty can take many forms, including the spoken word and musical compositions.  Establishing the roles of Poet Laureate and Composer Laureate is one way we can highlight, celebrate and develop the incredible talent we have in our city.”

Unlike previous Poet Laureates, moore will be expected to compose poems for special events and occasions as well as “make poetry real” for residents, and especially the children, of Detroit.

Other headlines for Tuesday, April 30, 2024:

  • The Progressive Art Studio Collective is opening a new Detroit space at the Lantern building in Detroit’s East Village. 
  • Black Voters Matter and Growing Real Alternatives Everywhere is hosting a Warrant Clinic from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Bowens Senior Center in Pontiac. The event provides an opportunity for community members to address outstanding traffic and misdemeanor warrants without fear of arrest or deportation.
  • A coalition of grassroots labor and community organizations is hosting an event at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Sacred Heart Activities Building in Detroit to promote single payer health care.
  • The second District 7 Community Leadership Conference hosted by Detroit Councilmember Fred Durhal will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Detroit Union Carpenters & Millwrights Training Center in Detroit. Register by calling 313-224-2151 or emailing

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.