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Poetry Book of the Month July 2019


Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The July 2019 Poetry Book of the Month is Magical Negro by Morgan Parker.  

About Magical Negro

From the breakout author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé comes a profound and deceptively funny exploration of Black American womanhood.

Magical Negro by Morgan Parker the July 2019 featured Poetry Book of the Month.

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.

Reviews

“Morgan Parker’s latest collection, Magical Negro, is a riveting testimony to everyday blackness. . . . It is wry and atmospheric, an epic work of aural pleasures and personifications that demands to be read—both as an account of a private life and as searing political protest.” —Glory Edim, Time Magazine

“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, able to hold herself and her world, which includes all of us, up to impossible lights, revealing every last bit of our hopes, failings, possibilities and raptures.” —Danez Smith, T Magazine

“Morgan Parker continues to fearlessly explore what it means to be a black woman in the United States today. . . . Bold and edgy, the writing spotlights the strength and tenacity that enable the speaker to survive grief and inequity. It also gives voice to her disappointments and delights as she claims—and proclaims—agency over her body and her life.” —The Washington Post

“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

“From dating white boys to imagining what Diana Ross was thinking in that famous photo where she licks her fingers after eating a pair of ribs, Parker’s second poetry collection runs the gamut. But each poem is written with her signature wry humor and caustic honesty.” —BuzzFeed

“One could spend hours discussing not only the whole collection, but each individual poem. . . . Dizzyingly interdisciplinary . . . A book that delights and astonishes even as it interrogates.” —The Los Angeles Review of Books

“Morgan Parker’s poetry is vital, in both senses of the word. . . . Poetry’s defenders need not answer those who would sing its dirges, but if they did, Parker’s work could serve as an indisputable response.” —Literary Hub

“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

You can read more about Morgan Parker and her work here: 

http://www.morgan-parker.com/

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