Monday, July 16, 2007

Alan Michael Parker

Alan Michael Parker's five collections of poems include the forthcoming Elephants & Butterflies. He teaches at Davidson College and in the Queens University low-residency M.F.A. program.

I recently asked him what he was reading. His reply:
Bruce Smith’s poems have been by my bedside for some time, his resplendent diction always gratifying. I’ve read a couple of his collections, and of late, I’ve been re-reading Songs for Two Voices; there, I greatly admire the conceptual problems he sets for himself. Smart, smart.

Giuliana Bruno’s Public Intimacy: Architecture and the Visual Arts considers museum architecture and film-viewing in terms of spectatorship. I like quite a few of the essays in the volume, particularly “Fashions of Living.” The ideas there relate glancingly to a book I’m writing about art and space.

I’ve just finished Michael Chabon’s latest, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. The novel’s as energetic as the characters are dissipated, which seems to me technically risky. Plus the novel’s an astonishing work of speculative fiction, so when it succeeds, my assumptions about history are called into question.

Finally, I’ve just started Miles Harvey’s The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime. So far, the book’s a very entertaining portrait of a thief, amid broad considerations of maps, map-making, map connoisseurship, and the collector’s fetishism.
Visit Alan Michael Parker's website to learn more about his writing.

Read, or listen to him read, his poem "I Have Been Given a Baseball..." in Slate.

--Marshal Zeringue