Moore, Opal (b. 1953), poet, short story writer, essayist, educator, and critic of children's literature. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Opal Moore was influenced from childhood by the particular dynamics of the Pentecostal church; echoes of that institution reverberate in her plots, themes, characters, tone, and language. When Moore entered Illinois Wesleyan University's School of Art in 1970, she was so shocked by her first real encounter with racism and her sens~ of powerlessness in the face of it that she sought some control over what was happening to her by writing, thus initiating her first journals. She also turned to writing poetry. After receiving a BFA from Wesleyan in 1974, she enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Iowa, where she began writing fiction. She earned an MA from the University of Iowa's School of Art in 1981, and an MFA from the University of Iowa's Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1982. She has taught creative writing and African American literature at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, Hollins College, Kassel University (Germany), Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz (Germany), and Radford University.
Copyright © 1997 Oxford University Press. This article first appeared in The Oxford Companion to African American Literature.
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Dance, Daryl Cumber. "Moore, Opal." In The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, edited by William L. Andrews, Frances Smith Foster, and Trudier Harris, 507-08. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.