Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker is a poet, essayist, and novelist. She is the author of the young adult novel Who Put This Song On? and the poetry collections There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé and Magical Negro, which won the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award. Parker’s debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and has been hailed by The New York Times as “a dynamic craftsperson” of “considerable consequence to American poetry.”


  • “Joyous, ironic, biting, knowing—Parker’s sublime poetry encapsulates and reflects our era.”

    —Oprah Daily

  • “[Parker’s] writing crackles with caustic humor and wrenching insight. You know from jump that she’s going places.”


  • “Phenomenal.”

    Ms. Magazine

  • “Stellar.”


  • “A poetic superstar.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Captivating.”


  • “What this re-release shows, more than anything, is that Parker has always possessed an uncanny ability to intermingle philosophy and lyric. . . . trust me, this is a collection you will want to spend time with.”

    —The Poetry Question

  • “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. . . . There are piles of masterpieces here.”

    —Eileen Myles

  • “I love these poems by Morgan Parker. They tell everything exactly like it is, and they don’t let us off the hook. . . . They hit you with the authority and moral clarity of Langston Hughes, and have the omnivorous eye of Frank O’Hara.”

    —Matthew Rohrer

  • “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

  • The firebrand poet behind There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé pens another lay-it-all-on-the-line volume of scorching verse.”

    O, the Oprah Magazine

  • Magical Negro, Morgan Parker’s new poetry collection, has me thanking all my lucky, dark stars. Every time I encounter her work on the page, I find myself full of what artist Glenn Ligon would call ‘negro sunshine.’ A bright, black joy that I deserve and need and welcome.”

    —Saeed Jones, Glamour

  • “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.”


  • “[Parker’s] poems have the ability to soothe and to incite, she 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. It’s nothing short of triumphant.”


  • “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.”


  • “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

  • As witnessed in this third collection, blackness cannot be confined to a simple definition. Parker writes of the black experience not as an antidote or opposite to whiteness, but a culture and community where irreplicable nuances are created in spite of, not because of, pain and trauma.”

    Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

  • “A searing indictment, an irreverent lampoon, and a desperately urgent work of poetry, to be read alongside the work of Eve L. Ewing, Tiana Clark, and Nicole Sealey.”


  • “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