Parker is one of the greatest contemporary poets of this decade and her newest collection does not disappoint. Her electric prose illuminates the page and sparks with energy and life. An overall outstanding read. Recommended By Haley B., Powells.com
Morgan Parker’s newest collection is going to shake you to your core. While her work continues to explore black womanhood, this collection is an acute examination of the anger, pain, and rawness that comes from being a black woman in America — not just now, but over time as it has revolved more than it has evolved. This time, Parker turns the lens outward on the societal gaze and influences on black womanhood just as much as she reflects inwardly. With an anthropological eye (her educational background), Parker combs pop culture and history to deliver both elegy and wry tongue to the page. Recommended By Kate L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the breakout author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé comes a profound and deceptively funny exploration of Black American womanhood.
A Most Anticipated Book of 2019 at Vogue, O: the Oprah Magazine, NYLON, BuzzFeed, Publishers Weekly and more.
Magical Negro is an archive of black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification, while exploring and troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans. Focused primarily on depictions of black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics — of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience. In Magical Negro, Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes, and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present — timeless black melancholies and triumphs.
“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.” Meghan O'Rourke
“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
“Parker’s voice is surprising, ranging from elegiac to conspiratorial to ecstatic; she interrogates both blackness and femininity like ports in a long personal journey, as places to land but also as points of departure.” Vogue
“[Parker] nimbly creates spaces for you to rest while reading, and let the power of her words and message sink into you like a heavy stone into water, or a hot knife through butter.” NYLON
“2019 justly belongs to Morgan Parker. Her poems shred me with their intelligence, dark humor and black-hearted vision. Parker is one of this generation’s best minds.” Danez Smith, T Magazine
About the Author
Morgan Parker is the author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé and Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Tin House, the Paris Review, The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, Best American Poetry 2016, the New York Times, and the Nation. She is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, and a Cave Canem graduate fellow.