Poet Lenard D. Moore has just published another book, The Geography of Jazz, (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2018). It celebrates jazz music and jazz musicians.
Moore has performed his jazz poetry with jazz musicians and jazz bands in New York, Wisconsin, Ohio, and North Carolina, among other states for several years. He has written about many North Carolina jazz musicians/artists/singers, including Coltrane, Monk, Simone, and Freelon.
His poem “Ascension: John Coltrane” appeared in the Second Friday ArtWalk poetry exhibit in 2015 at Weaver Street Realty, Carrboro, NC.
Two poems from The Geography of Jazz follow, along with Moore’s extensive bio:
AT THE TRAIN STOP
I imagine the quick hand:
Thelonious Monk waves
at red, orange, yellow leaves
from Raleigh to Rocky Mount.
Alone in this seat,
I peer out the half-window
at the rainbow of faces
bent toward this train
that runs to the irresistible Apple,
determine to imagine Monk
glows like Carolina sun
in cloudless blue sky.
I try so hard to picture him
until his specter hunkers
at the ghost piano, foxfire
on concrete platform.
Now I can hear the tune “Misterioso”
float on sunlit air.
If notes were visible,
perhaps they would drift crimson,
shimmer like autumn leaves.
A hunch shudders
into evening, a wordless flight.
–Lenard D. Moore
“At The Train Stop” originally appeared in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, copyright 2010 by Lenard D. Moore. It is featured on The Mural at the Arts Council of Wayne County.
The bassist hugs
the bass, plunks it.
Ting, boom, ting boom—
the drummer beats
and booms. Saxophonist
weaves notes, oscillates, blows
and the pianist finger-dances
on the keys: “Swinging
at the Haven.” Musicians spark
the sheet music stands
and angled microphones.
Modulating that tempo,
they work the tune.
Drumsticks knocking time,
piano plucking our ears.
Bassman still hugging
the bass, straight sets—
steady as the spring moon
inciting the indigo sky.
—Lenard D. Moore
“Swinging Cool” originally appeared in Chautauqua, copyright 2014 by Lenard D. Moore.
Lenard D. Moore, founder & executive director of Carolina African American Writers’ Collective and U. S. Army Veteran, is author of A Temple Looming (WordTech Editions, 2008); Desert Storm: A Brief History (Los Hombres Press, 1993); Forever Home (St. Andrews College Press, 1992); and The Open Eye (NC Haiku Society Press, 1985).
He also is co-founder of Washington Street Writers Group. He is former President of Haiku Society of America (2008 and 2009) and longtime Executive Chairman of the NC Haiku Society.
Moore’s poems have appeared in Callaloo, African American Review, Agni, Artful Dodge, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Blues Revue Quarterly, Blues Access, and in more than 100 anthologies.
He read/performed his poetry:
- with the jazz combo R.S.V.P, featuring Paul and Drew Laughlin (piano and bass), and Dick Day (drums) in 2003, Otterbein College, in Westerville, OH. The program: “Rhythm: An Evening of Jazz Poetry with Lenard D. Moore.”
- accompanied by jazz pianist Vijay Iyer, saxophonist/ clarinetist/flutist J.D. Parran, and bassist Mark Deutsch in 2002, in the Po’Jazz Series at The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, New York.
- accompanied by bassist Chris Sullivan in 2002 at Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY.
- accompanied by The Joel Dias-Porter Quintet with Al Young (saxophone), Jay Jefferson (drums), Janelle Gill (piano), and Herm Burme (bass) at The 2004 Furious Flower Poetry Conference at James Madison University.
- accompanied by the Mount Olive College Symphonic Band and Jazz Band in 2012, Mount Olive, NC.
- accompanied by The Matt Kendrick Trio with Michael Kinchen (tenor sax), John Wilson (drums), and Matt Kendrick (upright bass) in 2012 at the Community Arts Café, Winston-Salem, NC.
- with the accompaniment of jazz saxophonist James Dallas in 2013 at Capitol West Academy in Milwaukee.
- accompanied by The Dennis Klopfer Jazz Trio with Bill Feldman (drums), Dennis Klopfer (piano), and Duane Stuermer (guitar) in 2013 at Mount Mary College (now Mount Mary University) in Milwaukee.
- in 2015 with the University of Mount Olive Jazz Band, Mount Olive, NC.
Moore is the recipient of several awards, including:
- North Carolina Award for Literature (2014)
- Eastern North Carolina Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet (2009 and 2008)
- Raleigh Medal of the Arts for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts (2008)
- Sam Ragan Award in the Fine Arts (2006)
- Haiku Museum of Tokyo Award (2003, 1994 and 1983)
- Tar Heel Of The Week Award (Sunday, February 8, 1998)
- Margaret Walker Creative Writing Award (1997)
- Indies Arts Award (1996).
Moore is Associate Professor of English at the University of Mount Olive where he teaches Advanced Poetry Writing and African American Literature.
Here is the link to Moore’s book: