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There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker


There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker


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Los Angeles–based writer Morgan Parker's 2017 poetry collection is a Black feminist masterpiece. 

Selected praise for There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé:
This singular poetry collection is a dynamic meditation on the experience of, and societal narratives surrounding, contemporary black womanhood. . . . Ranging from orderly couplets to an itemized list titled after Jay Z’s "99 Problems" to lines interrupted by gaping white space, these exquisite poems defy categorization. — The New Yorker

[A] brash, risqué collection that explores what it means to be a black woman in contemporary American culture. Parker, whose first book won the Gatewood Prize, is as self-assured as the women who appear in these pages, including Queen Latifah, Nikki Giovanni and Michelle Obama. Cultural references, old songs and classic poems spark observations about feminism, sex and desire at a time when “There’s far too many of me dying./ The present is not so different.” . . . Each woman in this fierce collection wants to be seen for who she is, not what society wants her to be, and each demands respect. — The Washington Post

Parker’s poems brings heat to the art of Mickalene Thomas, the racial politics of Barack Obama’s presidency, the body politics of Beyoncé and the danger of moving through America in a black body. — TIME Magazine, Best Paperbacks of 2017

Parker’s poetry is a sledgehammer covered in silk, exposing black women’s vulnerability and power and underscoring what it means to be magical and in pain. This collection is a must for anyone who recognizes that celebrity is an extension of American culture — and for those who don''t, it will transform their perspective. — BuzzFeed

Parker’s second collection . . . exquisitely examines American values, often summoning its celebrities—Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Lou Reed—to illuminate society’s staggering shortcomings and the intricacies of black womanhood. . . . [T]hese poems are, without a doubt, Parker’s as she encapsulates vulnerability, feminism, and utter fearlessness in rhythmic, glittering verse. — Booklist

Morgan Parker''s second book of poetry, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House Books), isn't just the most ferocious collection to be published this year. It's also an antidote to the culture of hate and white supremacy . . . part psychic excavation, part historical exorcism. Having watched Nina Simone in concert on YouTube most of my adult life, I've finally found an experience to compare that to. — Interview Magazine

Employing fierce language and eschewing fear of unflattering light, Parker (Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night) pays homage to the deep roots and collective wisdom of black womanhood. Parker’s poems are as flame-forged as a chain locked around soft ankles. — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

These words, brilliant, lovely, and sharp like a diamond, cut me deeply and left me in awe of Parker’s writing. This book is an exciting contribution to the rich legacy of Black feminist art, literature, poetry, and music that daily adds more complex representations of Black American womanhood. — Bitch Media

The first thing you have to understand is that Morgan Parker is one of the most fascinating poets working today. She writes poems that are clever, beautiful, political, playful, breathtaking. The second thing is that Beyoncé is one of the most potent icons in contemporary popular culture. Now imagine what happens when those two—poet and icon—meet in verse. — Book Riot

Outstanding collection of poems. So much soul. So much intelligence in how Parker folds in cultural references and the experiences of black womanhood. Every poem will get its hooks into you. And of course, the poems about Beyoncé are the greatest because Beyoncé is our queen. — Roxane Gay

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