Nakesha Moore - Poet

Nakesha Moore is on her way to becoming well known in the world of contemporary poetry. She started writing as a child and her poetry has grown with her. Each poem reflects real life experiences. She refuses to water anything down. This makes her controversial yet relatable to the masses. A tortured childhood, abusive relationships, and grief are all subjects Nakesha has chosen to delve into honestly. With a raw openness that few possess, she skillfully manages to make you feel every emotion. 

Nakesha has been an active participant of Lynchburg’s annual Juneteenth Celebration for many years, and has appeared on the television show “Lynchburg Live “with Linda Smith and on The Tony Camm Radio Show. In November of 2014, it was announced that Nakesha was chosen to be a performer on the Speak Life Tour 2015. Speak Life is an organization founded by Catherine Trotter in Baltimore, Maryland. The groups mission is to encourage and inspire the youth through art. Over the course of 2015, the tour had several performances in the Mid-Atlantic region. Nakesha’s last performance of 2015 was at Riverview’s Art Gallery for “Lynchstock Presents…..Lynchbrrrr”.  Nakesha also performs as a part of The Listening, a recurring event featuring local artists of different genres.

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When did you know you wanted to be an artist? 

Lynchburg Live is a local Comcast Cable television talk show on the Hill City Channel In Lynchburg, VA, Comcast channel 190. The ability to write poetry comes not only from a special talent the poet possesses, it comes from the heart. This show features personal friend & local poet, Nakesha Moore.

I’ve been in love with words as long as I can remember. As a child I loved to read. Books were my friends. It sounds cliché, but they really were my chance to escape from the real world. I loved singing too, and I wrote my own songs. To my mother’s dismay, I would perform my songs after dinner. The thing was, I couldn’t carry a tune to save my life. Eventually, my mom began to encourage me to write poems instead of songs. This way she only had to listen to me speak the words and not sing them. I remember being a bit discouraged that my mom didn’t enjoy my singing, but her honesty was the best thing she could have done for me. I’ve been a poet ever since. 

How does your personal story/background influence your work? 

My story is my poetry. Everything that I write, I have lived. Everyone has secrets and insecurities that shape them. The difference is, instead of hiding my pain away, I write it down. I have been through some pretty dark times. I don’t think I would have made it through without the poetry. Honesty is both terrifying and freeing. Overall, it’s quite therapeutic. 

Which of your works are you most proud of? 

I have three favorites right now. The first will always be “Living A Lie”. It was the first poem I ever did for an audience. I think I cry every time I share it. It was the first time I was 100% honest in my writing. I held nothing back. I wrote about a sexual assault that happened in my past, as well as physical abuse from my children’s’ father, and the death of my firstborn.  The next piece is “For The Sake Of My Children”. It is a very socially conscious piece, inspired by my children. If I had to pick one poem to leave as a legacy for my little ones, that would be it. I don’t think you really know fear until you have kids. As a parent, you want the best for them. Then somewhere along the way, you realize you have no real power. You can teach them and nurture them, but it will be the world that will really shape them. 

My last piece is a poem called “Full Disclosure”. It is an adult-themed poem. The language and content are intense. When I wrote it I had been going through a severe case of writers’ block. I was depressed that I couldn’t write. Then I went to a poetry showcase and got to see poets from the well-known Striver Row. I remember sitting in the audience in tears. It was that powerful. So when I came home, I knew I wanted to do that. I decided to be completely uncensored. I wrote the whole poem in about half an hour. I don’t think I can ever write anything that is more me than “Full Disclosure”.  As the title hints, I put it all out there.

What is the hardest part about being a professional artist? 

I have a line in one of my poems, “My openness opens the door for popular opinion”. That is the hardest part. I am so honest in my poetry that it gives strangers complete insight into me. I have been at the grocery store and had a woman come up to me and hug me. She told she too had been molested as a child. While, I’m grateful to connect with people on the most basic level, it’s also a bit intimidating. When I meet people, I have to assume that they know everything about me already. For $10, they can purchase my book “Before The Afters’ on Amazon and gain full access to my life. It’s all there in black and white.

What artists inspire you?

There are so many. My favorite poets are Maya Angelou and Edgar Allen Poe. Coincidentally, my favorite poems by each is titled “Alone." As far as artists I actually know, I would say Linda Smith. She is a fellow poet (among other things) who has faced challenges in life, but has prospered.  I look up to her, and can only hope to follow in her footsteps.

I’m also inspired by Catherine Trotter. Baltimore has been in the national spotlight for some negative things recently. But Catherine has been able to provide a positive release for the children. She gives them hope, and that is priceless.

What advice would you give aspiring artists who come from minority or under-represented groups? 

Be you. Be honest. Be real. Don’t shy from controversy. If you have something to say, then say it. And say it loud.

Excerpt from “Same Difference”

Wishing I had the words to heal the world
But I’m just a girl
Throwing my tears at the tv screen
Choking on silent screams
So many unanswered questions
No Peace, No Justice
Cursed by the inverse
Truth hurts
Lies detected
Reality rejected
Because it’s hard to believe
That this is the land I bequeath to my seed
And I guess Martin had to die to realize his dream was just a dream