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DANIEL ABDAL-HAYY MOORE

young MooreBorn in 1940 in Oakland, California, his first book of poems, Dawn Visions, was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books, San Francisco, in 1964. In 1972 his second book, Burnt Heart, Ode to the War Dead, was also published by City Lights. He was the winner of the Ina Coolbrith Award for poetry and the James D. Phelan Award for the manuscript of poems in progress that became Dawn Visions. From 1966 to 1969, Mr. Moore wrote and directed ritual theatre for his Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company in Berkeley, California.

When he became a Muslim in 1970, he took the name Abd al-Hayy, and began traveling extensively in Europe and North Africa (Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote of this period: “Moore [became] a Sufi and, like Rimbaud, renounced written poetry.”). After ten years of not writing, however, Moore “renounced” his renunciation and published three books of poetry in Santa Barbara, California in the 1980's, The Desert is the Only Way Out, The Chronicles of Akhira, and Halley's Comet. He also organized poetry readings for the Santa Barbara Arts Festivals and wrote the libretto for a commissioned oratorio by American composer, Henry Brant, entitled Rainforest, which had its world premiere at the Arts Festival there on April 21, 1989.

In 1990 Mr. Moore moved with his family to Philadelphia, where he continues to write and read his work publicly. He has received commissions for two prose books with Running Press of that city, the best selling The Zen Rock Garden and a men’s movement anthology, Warrior Wisdom; his commissioned book for The Little Box of Zen was published in 2001 by Larry Teacher Books.

Daniel Moore's poems (sometimes under the name Abd al-Hayy Moore) have appeared in such magazines as Zyzzva, the City Lights Review, and The Nation. He has read his poetry to 40,000 people at the United Nations in New York at a rally for the people of Bosnia during that war, and has participated in numerous conferences and conventions at universities (including Bryn Mawr, The University of Chicago and Duke University in 1998, the American University at Cairo, Egypt, in 1999, and the University of Arkansas in the year 2000). His book The Ramadan Sonnets, co-published by Kitab and City Lights Books, appeared in 1996, and his book of poems, The Blind Beekeeper, distributed by Syracuse University Press, in January of 2002. To date (2004), he has over 50 manuscripts of poetry which make up his present body of work.

In March of the year 2000, and October of 2001, Mr. Moore collaborated with the Lotus Music and Dance Studio of New York, performing the poetic narration he wrote for their multicultural dance performance of The New York Ramayana, and recently revived his own theatrical project in The Floating Lotus Magic Puppet Theater, presenting The Mystical Romance of Layla & Majnun with live-action and hand-puppets. He wrote the scenario and poetic narration and directed a collaboration between traditional Mohawk and modern dancers for The Eagle Dance: A Tribute to the Mohawk High Steel Workers, which was to be presented in New York on September 22, 2001, postponed for a performance on March 16, 2002 at the Aaron Davis Hall in Harlem. He has participated in The People’s Poetry Gathering of New York, narrating a cabaret version of The New York Ramayana at the Bowery Poetry Club and participating in a panel on The Poet in The World: Words in Community. He continues to give many public readings during the year, often accompanying himself on specially tuned zithers.

 

 

 

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