The poems in Alan Michael Parker’s fifth collection, Elephants & Butterflies, are both wild and calm, boisterous and quiet. These lyrics employ his trademark surprise, song, and startling metaphor while allowing the ideas to simmer just below the surface. Parker’s poems accomplish the difficult task of being accessible while still pursuing complex philosophical and personal knowledge.
“All through Elephants & Butterflies, Alan Michael Parker chases metaphysical questions with a combination of whimsy, hominess, and subtle urgency. If the soul is broken, if God has checked out, if people suffer needlessly, Parker responds in poems half tuned to the imagination, half to the raw prosiness of life—or, as he suggests, half to the comics, half to the news. He writes a language of gleeful inventiveness, utterly unpretentious, and distinctly American in tune and tone.” —Rosanna Warren
Parker’s poems, “My Son, Under the Waterfall” and “Peaches or Plums,” were featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac.
Parker’s poem, “Wednesday Sonnet,” appeared in the 2008 Poetry Calendar. Shafiq Naz, ed. (Bertem, Belgium: Alhambra Publishing).
Parker’s poem, “Oh, What a Red Sweater,” was anthologized in 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. Billy Collins, ed. (Harper-Collins, 2005).
Parker’s poem, “The Eclipse,” was included in Never Before: Poems about First Experiences. Laure-Anne Bosselaar, ed. (Four Way Books, 2005).
Parker’s poem, “What Was He Saying, And to Whom,” was selected for inclusion in the Academy of American Poets on-line collection of American poetry.
Here is a new interview with Alan Michael Parker about Elephants & Butterflies, from the Davidson College website.