Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English at Davidson College, Alan Michael Parker is a cartoonist, novelist, poet, and professor.
Alan Michael Parker has written four novels: Cry Uncle, Whale Man, The Committee on Town Happiness, and Christmas in July. He is also the author of nine collections of poems: Days Like Prose, The Vandals, Love Song with Motor Vehicles, A Peal of Sonnets, Elephants & Butterflies, Ten Days (with painter Herb Jackson), Long Division, The Ladder and The Age of Discovery (Tupelo Books, October, 2020). He served as coeditor of The Manifesto Project, Editor of The Imaginary Poets, and coeditor of three other volumes. In 2021, he judged the National Book Award in fiction.
AMP’s poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Pleiades, and The Yale Review, among other magazines, and twice in The Best American Poetry annual; his prose has appeared in journals including The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, and The New Yorker. New cartoons and flash fictions of his may be found in Fiction Kitchen (Berlin), LITRO, New Flash Fiction Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review.
Alan Michael Parker has received numerous awards for his writing, including the 2021 Emily Clark Balch Prize in Poetry from the Virginia Quarterly Review (for the best poems published in the magazine that year, chosen by the editors), the 2020 Lunate500 Prize for his story, “Unemployment Benefits,” the 2019 Randall Jarrell Prize for his poem, “Psalm,” the 2018 Joanna Catherina Scott Award for his poem, “Virtual Villanelle,” and the 2017 Brockman-Campbell Award for The Ladder (an annual prize for the best book of poetry published in the state of North Carolina); along with three Pushcart Prizes, the Fineline Prize from the Mid-American Review, the 2013 and the 2014 Randall Jarrell Award, the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the 2012 North Carolina Book Award for Long Division. His most recent fellowships include residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Corporation of Yaddo, and as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. He has been called “a general beacon of brilliance” by Time Out, New York.
While still an undergraduate, at age twenty, AMP was invited to join the graduate poetry workshop at Washington University, where he studied with Donald Finkel, Howard Nemerov, and Mona Van Duyn. As a graduate student in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, where he received his M.F.A. in Writing, Alan Michael Parker studied with Carolyn Forché, Richard Howard, Denis Johnson, Stanley Kunitz, William Matthews, and Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky (with shorter stints with Nobel Laureates Seamus Heaney, Czeslaw Milosz, and Derek Walcott). Since 1998, Alan Michael Parker has taught at Davidson College, where he holds the Douglas C. Houchens Chair in English. Alan Michael Parker lives in Davidson, NC, with his wife, the artist Felicia van Bork.
AMP cartoons under the name Ampydoo: his work may be found at www.ampydoocartoons.com, on Instagram as Ampydoo, and each Friday in Identity Theory.