This Wednesday, February 15, Morgan Parker will appear at BAM to launch her new poetry collection, There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé. (One may be tempted to object, after Beyoncé’s stunningly baroque performance at the Grammys last night.) Parker will join the Brooklyn Museum’s Rujeko Hockley to discuss black American womanhood, politics, art, and pop culture. Tickets are available here.
Parker’s poem “Hottentot Venus” appeared in our Spring 2016 issue. (“I wish my pussy could live / in a different shape and get / some goddamn respect,” it begins.) Last summer, she told the Daily,
One thing that interests me about Beyoncé is who her predecessors are, and how she’s a kind of symbol for all the different ways that black women are revered but also surveilled in a really intense way, put on display. That happens to me just walking down the street. It happens in another way for black women who are celebrities. The whole legacy of Hottentot Venus is one of dehumanization and display. I was interested in that line between awe or reverence—and also exploitation. Where is that line? What does it mean to be at once upheld and at the same time continually made to feel less than? All these questions belonged in the manuscript, which I think of as kind of a tome of black womanhood.