LENARD D. MOORE, A POET OF DISTINCTION
December 2014 profile
by L. Teresa Church, PhD
2014 marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of the North Carolina Awards. This award is the highest such honor that the Governor and the State of North Carolina can bestow upon its citizens for outstanding achievements in public service, science, literature, and fine arts. On November 13, Lenard D. Moore is one of six honorees for this year and received an award in the field of literature, a field in which he has distinguished himself during the past three decades.
Many people immediately think poetry at the mere mention of Moore’s name. This Jacksonville, North Carolina native son is gifted, critically acclaimed, and scholarly informed in every aspect of the poetic genre. He is praised in his hometown, throughout the State of North Carolina, across the nation, and in other countries where he has presented his work. Moore has also traveled extensively conducting workshops, teaching classes, and helping to put literary communities on the map. He is so proficient at practicing his craft, until one might easily conclude that he and his writings are virtually inseparable. Drafting new poems, or revising some of the many he has written is ever a part of his day. He is never at a loss in finding something to document or comment on through haiku, tanka, sestinas, kwansabas, villanelles, pantoums, sonnets, or blues and jazz poems, just to mention a few of the many forms he has mastered during his career.
A small notepad stays conveniently tucked into the inside pocket of his jacket, along with an assortment of ink pens. Wherever his travels take him, he observes the world around him, notes its rhythms, sights, and sounds, and sketches poems that capture significant moments in time. He has put his poetry toolbox to good use building a body of work that commands the attention of the literary world. His writings are featured in nearly four hundred major journals and anthologies and several full-length collections. Many of his poems are prize-winning works and some of his writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
In the field of literature Moore is distinguished indeed. He also writes drama, essays, literary criticism, and books reviews, mentors countless emerging writers, and collaborates on a variety of noteworthy projects with established writers. Moore has served as a teacher in the Wake County, North Carolina Public School System and taught at Shaw University and North Carolina A&T State University, in Raleigh and Greensboro, North Carolina, respectively. Currently, he serves as an Associate Professor of English at the University of Mount Olive and is the Director of the Literary Festival at this institution. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective, Co-founder of the Washington Street Writers Group, Executive Chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society, and past president of the Haiku Society of America.
The State of North Carolina Award in Literature for 2014 - Youtube video link.