Arts & Culture / Mosaic / October 23, 2008

Alan Michael Parker challenges himself

On Friday, October 17 at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Room, Caxton Club introduced writer Alan Michael Parker.

Parker has had five collections of poetry published, Days Like Prose, The Vandals, Love Song with Motor Vehicles, A Peal of Sonnets, and Elephants & Butterflies, as well as a novel, Cry Uncle. He is also editor of The Imaginary Poets and a coeditor of both The Routledge Anthology of Cross-Gendered Verse and Who’s Who in 20th Century World Poetry.

“I loved it; it was a great crowd. It’s a pleasure being here,” said Parker after the reading.

Parker read from both Elephants & Butterflies, the most recent of his collections, as well as two poems that haven’t yet been published, Family Math and 22 Reasons I Return to the Store. In between his reading he shared anecdotes and a few sources of his inspiration to the audience. Before reading Next Day Air, Parker revealed a vendetta he had had against his mail carrier for years.

“I think writers need villains in their lives. Not on the page but in their lives,” he said.

Parker also shared his experiences in experimenting with different forms of poetry, including sonnets and his objective to exemplify the difference between the American and English sonnet.

“There are a number of kinds of poems I don’t believe in, and now I’m trying to write those poems,” he said before reading 22 Reasons I Return to the Store, a list poem.

“I thought he was refreshing, buoyant, and giving to the audience,” said sophomore Willi Goehring after the presentation.

“I thought he balanced humor and poetry well. I especially liked Family Math,” said junior Meredith Noseworthy, a member of Caxton Club.

Sadie Arft


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