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The fifth annual Poetry Unplugged is a night of spoken word and music featuring artists from around the country using the life and work of Martin Luther King as inspiration. This year Poetry Unplugged will be a virtual night of TRUTH and POWER. Mahogany Browne hosts an evening filled with Award-winning spoken word artists known for their fierce delivery and ability to move the crowd. Featured poets include Nikki Giovanni, jessica Care moore, and many more.
Poetry Unplugged is supported by Citizens Bank.
This event includes adult language and themes. Viewer discretion is advised.
jessica Care moore
jessica Care moore is a world renownded poet and the Executive Producer and Founder of the 16-year old rock & roll concert and empowerment weekend, Black WOMEN Rock! moore is a strong believer in institution building, creating Moore Black Press Publishing at 23 years old, and began publishing her peers, Saul Williams, asha bandele, Danny Simmons, Newark Mayor and poet, Ras Baraka. and others. She is an educator and strong advocate for youth and women’s voices. She takes her poetry into schools, prisons, women’s shelters and juvenile detention centers. She has been called by many, “The voice of Detroit.” She penned and voiced the award winning Detroit anthem, “Move Here, Move The World,” and voiced digital campaigns for The Skillman Foundation, The Henry Ford Museum, Strategic Community Partners, Boys and Girls Club, Ford’s Michigan Central Station, and many more.
moore is the author of The Words Don’t Fit in My Mouth, The Alphabet Verses The Ghetto, God is Not an American, Sunlight Through Bullet Holes. (Moore
Black Press) Her fifth book, “We Want Our Bodies Back” was published by Harper Collins in March. She is the first black woman poet on Harper Collins since Gwendolyn Brooks.
Her full-scale theatrical work, Salt City, (An Afrofuturistic Techno Choreopoem) premiered in Detroit in 2019. She is the 2018 Joyce Award Winner, 2019 and 2017 Knight Arts Recipient, 2016 Kresge Art Fellow, The 2013 Alain Locke Awardee and the 2015 NAACP Great Expectation Award.
She was recently appointed by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Your favorite’s emcee’s favorite poet, she has recorded her poetry with Common, Nas, Jeezy, Talib Kweli, 9th Wonder, Karriem Riggins, Wordsworth, Elzhi, Valid, The Last Poets, Ursula Rucker, Jose James, Roy Ayers and more. She’s read her work and leant her powerful voice to many causes all over the world, including, United Nations World Aids Day , Shanghai’s Iron Mic Music Festival, Berlin International Poetry Festival, Flupp International Literary Festival in Brazil., and was honored to perform at the first Afrochella Festival in Ghana during the year of the return. Her work has graced the stages of The Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts. Her critically acclaimed jazz soul album, Black Tea – The Legend of Jessi James was released by emcee, Talib Kweli’s Javotti Media Label.
Moore recently joined forces with techno legends Jeff Mills and Eddie Fowlkes to form “The Beneficiaries” with a techno poetry project called, “The Crystal City is Alive.”
Her poem opens up Common’s new album, Beautiful Revolution.
Moore captivated a national television audience in the 90’s when she won the legendary “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” competition a record breaking five times in a row — with a poem. moore’s poetry and voice is prominently featured on the 4th floor of the Smithsonian’s New National Museum of African American History. She is a proud Detroiter and lives in the city where she raises her 14-year old son King.
Paragraph is an Harlem born and raised poet. He was an member of the 2012 Hostos Community College slam team. The first Community College team to compete at the college union poetry slam invitational. an member two time member of the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe national slam time. Paragraph has taught poetry prisons and shelter all throughout New York City. Most of he is a lover of all with a good spirit and righteous heart.
CJ Parker is a Brooklyn-based wordsmith who uses his craft to paint pictures of his life through performance. CJ’s work speaks to his experiences growing up as a multi-ethnic kid in turbulent environments, and how he navigated his troubles to turn affliction into growth.
An Urban Word NYC alum, he has since become the 1st person in history to represent two NY based slam teams simultaneously – the 2018 Nuyorican Slam Team that went on to represent New York City at the National Poetry Slam, and the 2018 Brooklyn Slam Team that went to the first ever Carnival Slam in Antigua. He also earned a spot on the 2019 Brooklyn Slam Team a year later, which toured the Tri-State area and ultimately went on to perform in the 2nd Carnival Slam in Antigua.
Off the stage, CJ is a data analyst in the advertising technology industry, and spends his spare time mentoring youth by using poetry as a means of art therapy.
Peggy Robles-Alvarado is a Pushcart Prize nominee, 2020 Atticus Review Poetry Contest winner, and a BRIO award winner with fellowships from CantoMundo, Desert Nights Rising Stars, The Frost Place, and VONA. She’s also a three-time International Latino Book Award winner who authored Conversations With My Skin (2011), and Homage To The Warrior Women (2012). Through Robleswrites Productions, she created The Abuela Stories Project (2016) andMujeres, The Magic, The Movement, and The Muse (2017). Her work has been featured on HBO Habla Women, Lincoln Center, and her poetry appears in several anthologies including The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext (2020),What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019), and ¡Manteca!- Afro- Latin@ Poets(2017). For more visit Robleswrites.com.
Caroline Rothstein is an internationally touring writer, poet, and performer. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Narratively, BuzzFeed, NYLON, The Guardian, The Forward, Hey Alma, and elsewhere. Caroline and her work have been featured widely including in The New Yorker, MTV News, Chicago Tribune, CBS Evening News, BuzzFeed News, HuffPost, Mic, and Newsweek. She was a member of the 2010 Nuyorican Poets Cafe slam team, which placed second at the 2010 National Poetry Slam, and co-coached the 2013 Nuyorican Poets Cafe slam team, which placed third. She serves on faculty for the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s annual Cornerstone Fellowship, is a Youth Mentor at Urban Word NYC, and is a facilitator for the Dialogue Arts Project. She tours year-round performing her poetry at colleges, universities, schools, summer camps, community organizations, and performance venues worldwide and virtually. She has a B.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Mahogany L. Browne
Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer & educator. Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club & Artistic Director ofUrban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of most recent works: Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice & Chlorine Sky. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Poet Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 7, 1943. Although she grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, she and her sister returned to Knoxville each summer to visit their grandparents. Nikki graduated with honors in history from her grandfather’s alma mater, Fisk University. Since 1987, she has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.