We Want Our Bodies Back: Poems (Paperback)

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A dazzling full-length collection of verse from one of the leading poets of our time.

Over the past two decades, jessica Care moore has become a cultural force as a poet, performer, publisher, activist, and critic. Reflecting her transcendent electric voice, this searing poetry collection is filled with moving, original stanzas that speak to both Black women’s creative and intellectual power, and express the pain, sadness, and anger of those who suffer constant scrutiny because of their gender and race. Fierce and passionate, Jessica Care moore argues that Black women spend their lives building a physical and emotional shelter to protect themselves from misogyny, criminalization, hatred, stereotypes, sexual assault, objectification, patriarchy, and death threats.

We Want Our Bodies Back is an exploration—and defiant stance against—these many attacks.

About the Author

jessica Care moore is the founder and CEO of Moore Black Press, executive producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven, Jess Care Moore Foundation. An internationally renowned poet, playwright, performance artist, and producer, she is the 2019 and 2017 Knight Arts Award Winner, 2016 Kresge Arts Fellow,  NAACP Great Expectations Awardee,  and an Alain Locke Award recipient from the Detroit Institute of Arts. Moore is the author of The Words Don’t Fit in My Mouth, The Alphabet Verses the Ghetto,  Sunlight Through Bullet Holes, and  the  critically acclaimed Techno Choreopoem, Salt City. Her work has been published in numerous literary collections and she has performed on stages all over the world, including The Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the London Institute for Contemporary Arts. jessica lives and writes in an historic Detroit neighborhood with her son King Thomas.

Praise For…

“moore provides a blueprint for how to veer outside of fixed expectations and still remain unflinching in her love for herself.”
— The Mantle

We Want Our Bodies Back is a lyric encyclopedia, a psalm book, a conflagration of fire and fierce black joy. And jessica Care moore is the 21st Century poet warrior America desperately needs.” 
Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate

“Our plump, perfect, shea-buttered bodies. Our sun-scarred sinewy selves. Our stout tree-trunks, our walls. Our muscled forearms, our thick thighs, our phenomenal asses. Our weary hands. Forever, black women have shouldered the weight of the same world that denies their power and sway. The inimitable jessica Care moore—who has spent her life singing the most forceful notes of our soundtrack—is calling an end to that now.  If We Want Our Bodies Back empowers you, it was meant to. If this book frightens you, it should.”
— Patricia Smith, poet, playwright, author of Incendiary Art

“jessica Care moore is my hero. Powerful, beautiful, excellent and unapologetically Black. She is who I want to be when I grow up. Her writing allows us to be seen for who we truly are.”
Talib Kweli, rapper, entrepreneur, and activist

"There are many times that jessica Care moore's work has made me spend hours figuring out how much of her work would be socially acceptable to steal. I really wish she had put this out while I was writing my last album."
Boots Riley, director, emcee, Sorry to Bother You 

“Imbued with heartache, anger, celebration, and rejuvenation, the poems in We Want Our Bodies Back reflect the sui generis funktified flyness that jessica Care moore has exemplified as an independent artist, activist, publisher, and curator for nearly a quarter-century. Perhaps the premier resistance writer in America today, moore furnishes luminous poetic signposts for our treacherous journey through the gloomy landscapes of 21st century America.”
— Tony Bolden, author of Afro-Blue: Improvisations in African American Poetry and Culture

We Want Our Bodies Back is a soaring resistance/upright bass/instrument of war. Here are poems that seek out my pain. A soldier allowed their childhood, a people returned to their Detroit. In a time of cobalt-imperialism, someone is still writing songs about God. Yes, revolution is exhausting, but we make countries; you and I.” 
— Tongo Eisen Martin, author, Heaven is All Goodbyes
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062955289
ISBN-10: 0062955284
Publisher: Amistad
Publication Date: March 31st, 2020
Pages: 224
Language: English
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