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MAGICAL NEGRO

TIN HOUSE, 2/5/19


“If you're anxious for your snug perspective to be rattled and ripped asunder, for the predictable landscape you stroll to become all but unrecognizable, for things you thought you knew to slap you into another consciousness―brethren, have I got the book for you. Bey's bestie continues her reign with this restless, fierce, and insanely inventive way of walking through the world. Once again, children―ignore Ms. Parker at your peril.”
Patricia Smith

Magical Negro is unsettlingly new: a book that incisively explores states of black womanhood with astonishing buoyancy and grief. I can't stop thinking about the songs it sings, songs that feel inevitable and yet unvoiced, complex and yet urgent; poems that are steeped in pop culture and the here-and-now of actual life while also being refracted through the darkest lens of American history. To read it is to wonder what each poem will do next, and to be reminded, over and over, of Parker's extraordinary lyric gifts.”
Meghan O'Rourke

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THERE ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAN BEYONCé

Tin House, 2017

“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

“Morgan Parker''s bombastic second book profoundly expresses a black millennial consciousness with anger and appetite. Everywhere Parker looks, she sees a wildly messed-up world ― "There's far too many of me dying"; "The President be like/ we lost a young boy today." She also answers a personal and public mandate to re-envision it through humor and confrontation.”
NPR.org

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other people’s comfort keeps me up at night

SWITCHBACK BOOKS, 2015

"Honesty, says one of Morgan Parker's speakers, 'is uncomfortable and funny.' And how apt, how acrobatic and unflinching Parker is in bearing this thesis out. Her work roves the surfaces of our American lives—gathering up material from reality TV, from the many products we consume and are shaped by, from the sound of America in our mouths, and the racket of it in our ears. These poems are delightful in their playful ability to rake through our contemporary moment in search of all manner of riches, just as they are devastating in their ability to remind us of what we look like when nobody's watching, and of what the many things we don't—or can't—say add up to. OTHER PEOPLE'S COMFORT KEEPS ME UP AT NIGHT is hilarious and hard-hitting, and it ripples with energy, insight, and searing music."

-Tracy K. Smith

"I can and have read Morgan Parker's poems over and over. They make me high and think like this: Her mind and her thoughts can go anywhere in a poem. She pulls us up short, and when she says 'the sky the sky' I feel that expanse... I start taking notes: She is making a map of what human can be... she's raucous and engaged... indeterminate, visceral... collisions... these are full adventures in scale... Morgan Parker is both intellectual and concerned. Where sentences come from (in me) breaks down when I read these poems. There are piles of masterpieces here. 'I'm not like the king of black people,' to point you to one. She writes history and pleasure and kitsch and abstraction, then vanishes like a god in about 13 inches and I mean that is really cool.”

-Eileen Myles