Opening Friday, May 12th, from 7:30PM - 9PM
Women & Children First is honored to welcome Morgan Parker for a reading from her acclaimed collection, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce. For this event, Morgan will be joined by local poets Jamila Woods, Nate Marshall & José Olivarez.
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, consumption, feminism, and Blackness. This collection explores femininity and race in the contemporary American political climate, folding in references from jazz standards, visual art, personal family history, and Hip Hop.
Morgan Parker is the author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House Books 2017) and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), which was selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize and a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. 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 of the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She is an Editor for Day One and Little A, and the creator and host of Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel in New York. 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 with her dog Braeburn in Brooklyn.
Jamila Woods was raised in Chicago, IL and graduated from Brown University, where she earned a BA in Africana Studies and Theatre & Performance Studies. She is the author of the chapbook, The Truth About Dolls and her poetry is included in the anthologies The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015), Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (2014), and The UnCommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning & Living (2013). Jamila is also a vocalist & songwriter, focusing primarily on soul/hip-hop centered music. Jamila is currently the Associate Artistic Director of non-profit youth organization Young Chicago Authors, where she helps organize Louder Than A Bomb and designs curriculum for Chicago Public Schools, and teaches poetry to young people throughout the city.
Nate Marshall is from the South Side of Chicago. He is the author of Wild Hundreds and an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. Wild Hundreds has been honored with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s award for Poetry Book of the Year and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. His last rap album, Grown came out in 2015 with his group Daily Lyrical Product. Nate is a member of The Dark Noise Collective. He won a 2015 Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. He is the National Program Director of Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northwestern University.
José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants, the co-author of the book of poems Home Court, and the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Marketing Manager at Young Chicago Authors. A winner of a 2016 Poets House Emerging Poet Fellowship and a 2015 Bronx Recognizes Its Own award from the Bronx Council on the Arts, his work has been published in The BreakBeat Poets, Vinyl Poetry and Prose, The Chicago Tribune, & Brooklyn Magazine, among other places. He is from Calumet City, IL, and lives in Chicago. Follow him on social media at @_joseolivarez.
Thank you to Columbia College Chicago’s Creative Writing Department for co-sponsoring this event.