All That Beauty: A Collection of Poems by Fred Moten

All That Beauty: A Collection of Poems by Fred Moten


Reviews of All That Beauty are pouring in from major publications and blogs alike, the general consensus being that Fred Moten's new collection of poetry, his fourth, offers readers an unforgettable experience through its inventive use of language and unforgettable imagery. But don't take our word for it! Read what these reviewers have to say about All That Beauty!


all that beauty

Moten, a professor at the University of California, Riverside, has published eight volumes of poetry, the most recent being All That Beauty. His poems have been translated into seven languages. He is an artist and theorist who has been featured in over twenty solo exhibitions and more than one hundred group exhibitions around the world.


All That Beauty

Fred Moten is a poet, professor, and activist. He is considered one of the most important African American poets writing today. In All that Beauty, he explores beauty through poetry in a way that we have never seen before. 

Moten starts with the question, Who is the prettiest of them all? This question leads him to explore what beauty means in this world and how it relates to race. We see him talk about all types of beauty: physical beauty, inner beauty, spiritual beauty, and intellectual beauty. 

He also talks about who is not considered beautiful in society- those with disabilities or mental illnesses, black people who do not have light skin, women who are not thin enough or do not wear makeup.


African & African American Studies

From its opening line, who is the prettiest of them all? ALL THAT BEAUTY foregrounds beauty as a question. The speaker poses the question to an unnamed other and proceeds to interrogate the unspoken assumptions in their answer. It is not only physical beauty that is measured, but also a person's inner beauty, or their beauty more broadly.



Who is the prettiest of them all? Who is the most beautiful? The answer to these questions is rooted in who we are and our perceptions of beauty. This answer changes from person to person and from culture to culture, but there's one thing that remains constant: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. All That Beauty is a collection of poetry written by scholar, activist, and poet Fred Moten which focuses on how people perceive themselves and others based on their race. It looks at how African American culture defines beauty through its own lens, as well as how beauty can be found in simplicity. The poems explore not just blackness but also femininity, masculinity, queer identity, and more. All That Beauty will undoubtedly make you think about what it means to be beautiful.


A Pathbreaking New Volume of Poems

Fred Moten's new collection of poems, ALL THAT BEAUTY, are a powerful mix of lyrical prose and radical thought. It is an exploration into the idea that all beauty is created and that we are in charge to make it possible for all people to be beautiful.

ALL THAT BEAUTY is the question posed in these poems, but it also implies all the beauty, which could refer to the many cultures and countries represented throughout this book. This collection examines who is the prettiest among us - black or white, woman or man - and what makes someone beautiful. The answer may surprise you!


In the poem Who Is The Prettiest Of Them All Moten writes, I do not know who is the prettiest of them all but I know that she would have to be black. This echoes many themes found in this collection and throughout his work. All that beauty is a powerful, emotional call to arms.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!


You must be logged in to post a comment.