RS: Your poetry collection Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), was selected by Eileen Myles (amazing) for the 2013 Gatewood Prize. What did it feel like to be noticed by Eileen Myles like that?
MP: UNBELIEVABLE. As in, I couldn't actually believe it. Eileen has been one of my influences and poetry aunties for so long, and with my first book, I wasn't sure if what I was doing was cool or good or understandable to other people, or even if I was doing anything at all, so having her select it for publication was instant validation that I'm still registering, quite honestly. Plus it gave me a reason to befriend her, and that feels like walking on a cloud. Wish I could reach back to the Morgan who was reading Skies for the first time and tell her that she/ a version of her would one day chill with Eileen Myles. She'd never believe me.
Your upcoming collection is titled There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Coconut Books 2016). You're probably going to get this question a lot, but how did you come up with such an amazing title?
Straight up: in the bathtub.
I wrote a poem of the same name that lists a few things that are more beautiful than Beyoncé, for example lavender, education, "the fucking sky," then decided to make it my title. I love a long title. No shade to Beyoncé though, just to be clear. Once I gave a reading at a college and afterwards a student asked me if I hate Beyoncé and wanted to bond over it. I don't! But my argument is, have you ever seen the sky?
What can people expect from your reading?
I have a nervous laugh thing, so that. I make pretty split-second decisions about what I'll be reading but most of my poems do one or more of the following:
1) elicit white guilt
2) reference a song or a meme or a TV show
2) make you reach for a glass of wine or a Xanax
3) laugh really hard until you realize what I'm saying is super depressing