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There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  5,154 ratings  ·  647 reviews
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé uses political and pop-cultural references as a framework to explore 21st century black American womanhood and its complexities: performance, depression, isolation, exoticism, racism, femininity, and politics. The poems weave between personal narrative and pop-cultural criticism, examining and confronting modern media, consumpti ...more
Paperback, 85 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Tin House Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  5,154 ratings  ·  647 reviews


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Roxane
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Adam Dalva
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A major book - one to keep coming back to:

The President Has Never Said the Word Black

To the extent that one begins
to wonder if he is broken.

It is not so difficult to open
teeth and brass taxes.

The president is all like
five on the bleep hand side.

The president be like
we lost a young boy today.

The pursuit of happiness
is guaranteed for all fellow Americans.

He is nobody special like us.
He says brothers and sisters.

What kind of bodies are moveable
and feasts. What color are visions.

When he opens his mo
...more
Simon
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce is a stunning, provoking pop culture poetry extravagansa on feminism, race and America. Everyone read it.
John Mauro
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who thinks poetry doesn't matter anymore needs to read this vibrant collection of poems from Morgan Parker.

The poems are bursting with life, with insightful commentary on race, feminism, celebrity culture, and more.

This collection of poems will leave a long lasting impression on you. This is among the best poetry collections I've ever read.
...more
Carol
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
". . . There are more beautiful things than Beyoncé: self-awareness,
Leftover mascara in clumps, recognizing a pattern
This is for all the grown women out there
Whose countries hate them and their brothers
Who carry knives in their purses down the street
Maybe they will not get out alive
Maybe they will turn into air or news or brown flower petals
There are more beautiful things than Beyonce:
Lavender, education, becoming other people
The [f----ng] sky
. . .
...more
Brown Girl Reading
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought I was going to like this collection of poems more than I did, especially when I saw the blurb on the cover by Terrance Hayes. I wish she wouldn't have used this title for her collection of poems. My favorite poems: 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Girl, These are Dangerous Times, Man, Afro, and Hottentot Venus. There alerts of pop culture references so if you aren't into that you probably won't enjoy these poems. One thing is certain I'd love to hear these performed by Morgan Parker. ...more
Olivia-Savannah
Feb 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really liked the themes of black culture, feminism, freedom and contemporary times in this poetry collection. While the first poems weren’t ones that I loved, I quickly warmed up to the writing style, the form and the stylistic devices the poet used. My favourites in the collection were Afro, 13 Ways to Look At a Black Girl and It’s Getting Hot in Here so Take off All Your Clothes. Admittedly, I picked up this collection due to its title and wanting to know what could be more beautiful than Be ...more
Lori
Feb 08, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is a collection in which the whole is greater than its parts, which is not to say the parts don't consist of superb poems, because they do. But like Lemonade, this is a conceptual work so is best appreciated in its entirety.

To convey a sense of Morgan Powers, these are her group Acknowledgments at the end:
I bow to my muses: John Coltrane, Carrie Mae Weems, Billie Holiday, Nelly, Drake, Peanut Butter Wolf, W. B. Yeats, Fania All Stars, Digable Planets, Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Barack and Mich
...more
Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

I wanted to love this collection more than I did. I thought from the title Beyonce would be used as a launching pad to reference the problematic ways women exist in media. This isn't a rebuke of Beyonce which the title hints at. This book used Beyonce and other pop culture references, in a way that didn't resonate with me. I wasn't familiar with some of the references, but the ones I recognized didn't make sense in the context.

The poems centered around r
...more
Jai Danielle
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Crying over beautifully written Black girl poetry on a Monday night, wyd?
Kevin
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Just as good as a Beyonce album with surprise bonus tracks that you didn't know were there. ...more
Erin
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, important, feminist to the highest degree. There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce is a exploration of black girl magic.
مهسا
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is for all the grown women out there whose countries hate them and their brothers.
Sara the Librarian
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hardcore and hilarious and beautiful and bad ass are really, really poor descriptors for this brutal, gorgeous book.

I have never really read poetry, do not know how to read it, and have only embarrassing memories of a misspent youth wearing black and writing "poems" about crying tears of blood and being in hopeless, unrequited love with...whoever I was in love with that particular week.

My point is I have no frame of reference so this could be terrible poetry that everyone who's anyone in poetry
...more
Bogi Takács
Incisive poetic work about gender, race (specifically Blackness) and mental illness, some truly stunning lines. I took some closeups for Instagramming purposes :)

I liked the engagement with Beyoncé, Lady Gaga etc. that the book is generally praised for, but something else also struck me that I don't see mentioned in reviews - I felt that at times this book had an approach that seemed inspired by queer and trans work on femininity, without the author actually being queer or trans (AFAIK?). I have
...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
I requested this on Netgalley - and they rejected me! Ahhhhhh!!!

But I NEED it.

...more
Kathleen
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much I'm teaching it in my Intro to Literature class.

Watching TV and thinking "White people are crazy"
Watching YouTube and thinking "Kanye West
is crazy"
Looking in the mirror

Everything crazy is the best
It's what I learned from aunties
& empty bottles after midnight
...more
J Beckett
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Read Morgan Parker's "There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce," until you memorize every word, get swallowed in every mood, and exist in a fantastic reality not yet defined! Without exaggeration, Morgan Parker is-- *expletive*-- amazing.

Morgan's poetry reminds me of hearing my real voice and meeting my hidden personality while wandering through the late 80s and early 90s New York city: gritty, pleasant, affectionate, deadly. I have heard her work before, that incredible voice echoing, bell
...more
Ken Stampe
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-reads
I don't think Morgan Parker woke up one day and said, "I'm gonna write poetry that Ken Stampe will like." I'm willing to conceded that I may not be the target audience for this book.

But...

I love poetry and thought I was pretty open-minded about poetry. I use Kendrick Lamar, Tupac Shakur and even Beyonce in my English classes. But not one poem from "There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce" will make it inside my room.

So many of these poems were impossible for me to relate to. Where I struggl
...more
Darkowaa
!!! https://africanbookaddict.com/2017/04...

3.5 stars really. My favorite poems were: 'Hottentot Venus' (this poem was golden!!); '13 Ways of Looking at a Black Girl'; 'These Are Dangerous Times, Man' and 'Welcome to the Jungle.'
...more
La Loves a Little Tea and Books
Beautifully insecure
coveting what others find desirable
ending on finding
what works best for her

Cop this poetry collection. Women of any race, class, sexuality, and religion can certainly relate to what she captures on the page.

4/5
Robyn
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Excellent collection of poems that sparked my emotions and intellect (what there is of it, at any rate).
Ebony (EKG)
Feb 08, 2022 rated it liked it
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé explores how black femininity, womanhood, and beauty standards-specifically for black women- are examined in the media. Morgan Parker uses pop culture references to Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Jay Z, and Parker even has a poem titled “Slouching Towards Beyoncé”, referencing Joan Didion’s work.

Frequently referencing pop culture is a bit of a risk in my opinion, since doing so heavily relies on the reader’s understanding of the moment’s cultural significance.
...more
chantel nouseforaname
The thing about Beyoncé Is that we are all Beyoncé and Beyoncé is all of us. Morgan Parker exalts, rests in truths savoury and unsavoury and really just gives life to every word in these poems.

There's something magical, extraordinary and ordinary about black womanhood. Something powerful in all things black and female. Morgan captures it all here.

My favourite poem was All They Want Is My Money, My Pussy, My Blood -- bisshhhhh!!!!! read this shit and relate in the real world.

Beyonce on the Lin
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, read2018
Strong voiced poems that demand multiple readings, with just enough Beyoncé.

Favorite poems include:
-The President Has Never Said the Word Black
"To the extent that one beings
to wonder if he is broken...."

-Afro (online in no. 7 of the Portable Boog Reader)

-The Gospel of Jesus's Wife

-Heaven Be a Xanax
"...And I will take the offering on my tongue
And it will not be a vault
And someone will not invade me
And I will kneel to pray
And I will address the prayer to myself
And I will be allowed."

-Slouching To
...more
7jane
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I thought I could squeeze this slim collection here at the end, and it was quite an experience. Many of the poems' themes revolve around Beyoncé, but not all. I felt that the amount of poems was just right. While the language is sometimes rough, the poems are packed with images, life pictures, and comment on living as a black woman in America.

"What Beyoncé Won't Say on a Shrink's Couch"
what if I said I'm tired
and they hear wrong
said sing it

It's very true that although the book is not a thick
...more
D.A.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Art hurts," wrote poet Gwendolyn Brooks, "Art urges voyages." Morgan Parker's poems hurt deeply and voyage widely. They do not let you sit comfortably and idly and safe, but take you on an adventure like no other. Like the "Fantastic Voyage" promised by R&B legends Lakeside, Parker's work is "live, live, all the way live." Get on board this trip; it is like no other. ...more
Emmkay
Feb 03, 2022 added it
Shelves: race, 2022-reads, poetry
Not sure if I was reading through this at the wrong time or while too tired, but it just didn’t do it for me. Poetry that heavily references pop culture or any particular subculture can be a tricky thing - could be ‘YES!’, could be ‘huh?’. There were some images and insights here and there that fell into the former category for me, but those moments were too fleeting. Maybe I’ll pick it up another time and find it really exciting.
mad mags
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
"It’s mostly about machine tits"

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

This is for all the grown women out there
Whose countries hate them and their brothers
Who carry knives in their purses down the street
Maybe they will not get out alive
Maybe they will turn into air or news or brown flower petals
There are more beautiful things than Beyoncé:
Lavender, education, becoming other people,
The fucking sky


("Please Wait (Or, There Are More Beautiful Things
...more
Ellie
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite collection of poems ever. The rhythm, the thoughts expressed, come together to make moving, exciting poems. Written by an African-American woman and focused often on themes of race, I nevertheless felt invited into the poems, perhaps because of the feminism or individual struggles, but mostly by their beauty, energy, and intensity.

Using Beyonce (and the Obamas) as a trope for racial choices and struggles, the poems are often outright, laugh aloud funny which heightens
...more
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Morgan Parker is the author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, a Goodreads Choice Award semi-finalist, and Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night, selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize. 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, a ...more

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