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There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,190 ratings  ·  412 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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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,190 ratings  ·  412 reviews

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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.
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.
". . . 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
. . .
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Poetry lovers
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.
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
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.
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.
Jai Danielle
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Crying over beautifully written Black girl poetry on a Monday night, wyd?
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is for all the grown women out there whose countries hate them and their brothers.
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
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
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).

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.'
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
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.

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.


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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Jamise // Spines & Vines
This wasn't for me. I don't think I cared that much about the subject and did not connect with most of the poetry. Overall I just didn't like it.
2.5 stars
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This collection of poems was such a raw and honest telling of life as a black woman in America interlaced with pop culture references through the lens of race. There are, of course, aspects of this experience that I will never be able to fully understand, but Parker does a magnificent job of demonstrating some of the stereotypes and everyday issues that woc face in our modern day society.
Daniel Sevitt
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I know I have a problem reading poetry and i will have to pick this up again and find my way through it. I did get the sense of urgency and the originality of the voice, but I found the whole thing less accessible than, say, Claudia Rankine's Citizen.
Callum McAllister
For the first half, I wasn't really getting into it. Which is fine; these are not poems meant for me. However, I really, really liked the second half. Perhaps the poems got better, or more relevant to me, or they were poems more to my taste. Or maybe her style and voice suddenly clicked for me, and if I went back and read the first half again, I would enjoy it more. But there we are. The highlights were: "Untitled While Listening to Drake," "Beyonce in Third Person," "Heaven Be a Xanax," and "Pl ...more
James Smith
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rekindled the fire of language for me. Will be return to it soon, and again and again.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry
Really awkwardly written IMO. There was one line I liked:
"When he opens his mouth a
chameleon is inside, starving."

But that's it. The rest of it seemed forced, e.g.:

"for example
I'd miss my booty
in your butt".

What does that even mean?
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So this is what happens when an anthropologist writes poetry. Thise collection does not hold back any punches, is definitely Beyoncé-centric, but it deserves to be explored. It was a pleasure to read.
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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
“I am a dreamer with empty hands and I like the chill.” 8 likes
“What kind of bodies are movable and feasts. What color are visions.” 6 likes
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