As the author of 17 books and eight CDs, spoken word artist and poet Terry Moore has many accomplishments under his belt. This multi-talented man is also a father and activist, dedicating time to the Center for Fathers & Families through workshops for fathers, mothers, and children. Beyond that, his own organization, T-Mo Entertainment, produces poetry and music events throughout Sacramento–bringing Terry’s work, as well as that of many others, to the Sacramento community.
Becoming a poet
After attending a poetry reading on the East Coast and listening to other poets, Terry embraced the vibe and got the poetry bug–big time. While stationed overseas in the military, Terry wrote incessantly. Although he does not have a formal education in poetry, he has spent time studying English professors and the English language in a decorative manner and applied this to his poetry later on in life.
Under the mentorship of local poet Lawrence Brooks, Terry dedicated himself to becoming a poet. After meeting and taking a liking to Saul Williams and Maya Angelou, he worked even harder to become a well-versed poet, and he still is today. Terry has since gone on to share the stage with many notable poets, musicians, and authors including The Temptations, Kirk Franklin, Rashaan Patterson, Dr. Cornel West, CeCe Winans, and many, many others.
Terry finds endless inspiration from the people who are affected by his poetry–people who hang his poems on their walls, own his CDs and books, plus, he says, “the people who tell me my poetry changed their lives, the people who follow me and support me, the people who call and tell me they want to hear me and my poetry even during times when I feel like I could quit doing poetry, the couples that need to be inspired by love poems, and my mentors who know that their word work in me has not yet fully manifested. Also, the people who contact me and ask me to do a poem for them or their event, the single mothers who tearfully tell me their stories, and last but not least, the poets who look up to me and tell me I’m their mentor.” Terry is driven to work hard for all of these people.
Many years ago, a man Terry did not know pulled him aside and told him that in order to be successful, he needed to be “unique, the best, or the first.” Keeping this mantra in mind, Terry has met with much success. Even though he has often been recognized for his poetry–winning five “Best Poet” awards from different organizations–he still doesn’t consider himself the best poet in the community. That being said, he prides himself on being unique and the hardest working. Terry says, “I go straight for the hearts of people in the audience instead of focusing on the depth of my performance. It’s a style that combines the words and encouragement of my parents, that gentleman who pulled me aside, and the true desire not to be too deep or boring, but passionate to the fullest, which ultimately is entertaining intellectually.”
Poetry in action
I love you loving me
Because you loving me when I don’t have the strength myself
Is good for my mind, soul and health
In life I don’t even want wealth at all
All I want is for your love to stay in the distance to hear my call
I feel like a tree without a single leaf
Lost when I’m without your belief
Naked and empty and lonely
Many could make me feel loved, but I need you only
I’m in love with her
The woman on the street
The woman with no food to eat
She’s teaching me how to be strong
She’s teaching me right from wrong
She’s teaching me how not to lose hope
One day she’s going to overcome alcohol and dope
One day her children will embrace her again
One day it won’t matter where she’s been
See Terry at work
Terry always has a list of upcoming events where you can catch him reading his poetry or simply putting on the show. Here are a few places where you can catch him this Summer: