“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
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.
Please join Parker to celebrate her stunning new poetry collection, which our board member Glory Edim describes as, "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.”
Parker will be accompanied by special guests Camonghne Felix (Build Yourself a Boat) and Angel Nafis (BlackGirl Mansion)
Morgan Parker is the author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (2017), Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (2015), and Magical Negro (2019). Her debut young adult novel Who Put This Song On? will be published by Delacorte Press in late 2019, and her debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World. Parker received her Bachelors in Anthropology and Creative Writing from Columbia University and her MFA in Poetry from NYU. Her poetry and essays have been published and anthologized in numerous publications, including 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. Parker 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. She is the creator and host of Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel. With Tommy Pico, she co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series, and with Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. She is a Sagittarius, and she lives in Los Angeles.
Angel Nafis is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012). She earned her BA at Hunter College and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets Anthology, The Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed Reader and elsewhere. Nafis is a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of a Millay Colony residency, an Urban Word NYC mentor, and the founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon. In 2011 she represented NYC at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam. She is half of the ODES FOR YOU TOUR with poet, musician and visual artist Shira Erlichmanand with poet Morgan Parker, she runs The Other Black Girl Collective, an internationally touring Black Feminist poetry duo. Facilitating writing workshops and reading poems globally, she lives in Brooklyn. In 2016, Nafis was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and in 2017 she was awarded a Creative Writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Camonghne Felix, M.A. is a poet, political strategist, media junkie and cultural worker. She received an M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU, an MFA from Bard College, and has received Fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo and Poets House. The 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee is the author of the chapbook Yolk, and was recently listed by Black Youth Project as a "Black Girl From the Future You Should Know." Her first full-length collection of poems, Build Yourself a Boat, was a 2017 University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham & Pollak Prize finalist, and a 2017 Fordham University Poets Out Loud semi-finalist.