Antoine Moore – 'Tapestry Weaver'

Antoine Moore's debut book, Tapestry Weaver, offers a window into his life, adroitly weaving tales of his experience of self and others in the form of poetry.  The book is divided into three sections.  The first, ‘Not Just Crazy’, was inspired by his work with alcohol and drug and mental health problems.  It makes plain the struggles we all face in trying to accept ourselves or to change. The second section is ‘Love, Family, and Community’ and relates to the challenges and triumphs of different types of relationship -- romantic, familial, communal.  It demonstrates how we are all deeply embedded in and undeniably impacted by a complex system of relations. The last is 'Freedom to Be' and is about personal triumph and having the courage to stand up for one’s own values, and calling attention to contemporary social ills.  It challenges several popular social perceptions concerning gender, sexuality, politics, and other topics.  Several poems in the book began as spoke word pieces and therefore read somewhat like mini-stories.  Antoine lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

There is something gratifying about the sound of fingers pecking nimbly across keys; trotting over space bar, letters, and shift; tap dancing to the rhythm of inspiration and creation.  In my most oblique fantasies, I never envisioned publishing a book of poems.  It's ironic that I told a poet friend once that I doubted whether I even had a creative bone in my body. 

A drama therapy trainer once asked me to describe in graphic detail a quotidian behavior I performed.  At the time I had a skin disorder that kept me up at night, every night, so I responded by richly describing scratching my body feverishly until I tore skin.  The thick description transformed almost effortlessly into a poem.  It was around that time that my writing career began.  I write poetry because it helps me to make meaning and understand the events in my life, connects me emotionally and mentally to discomfort and pain. The process helps me to deepen and settle into the unknown.  My experience with writing has awakened an interest in using 'creative voice' as a vehicle for transformation (whether it be writing stories/poems/journaling, storytelling, performance). 

Figuring out how to perpetually transform and evolve is, I believe, the deep seated historical challenge of the 21st Century.  In this age of information glut and sensory supercharge, it becomes critical to find ways to keep up, stay grounded, and make sense of it all.  Writing is a proven strategy to make concrete one's inner intuitions, to sift through useless refuse and worn out identities, to gain distance and perspective and temporarily opt out of the all-too-pervasive intensity cauldron of life.  It is a way to find buoyancy amidst a sea of uncertainty. 
Writing can radically shift long jaded perceptions, alter the landscape of fractured hopes, even possibly transform profound cynicism into spiritual rapture.  All of this I believe is the promise of good writing.   I feel grateful for the privilege to have been the channel to create this book and am thrilled to have the opportunity to share it with others.

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