The Age of Discovery
by Alan Michael Parker
“In The Age of Discovery, Alan Michael Parker, line by startling line, has written a wry, deeply humane collection for our uncivil age.”
Published: October 2020
Alan Michael Parker’s latest collection, The Age of Discovery, is a work of enduring beauty, filled with his signature tenderness and surprise. Parker’s interests range from the Psalms to the Internet, from a woman stepping out her window to die to two men trying to learn how to live as they argue in a row-boat. With an eye on some of the greatest love poets (Amichai, Mistral, Neruda), Parker delivers a collection deep in empathy, rigorously attentive, and formally
In Parker’s poems, the time of day matters, as we move through dawn, dusk, and deep night. There’s often a knowing moon, an unknowable wisdom, and a relentless curiosity: he’s a poet who delights in imaginative play, too, with an abiding love of song and imagery. But we’re always smack in the 21st century in this new collection, with technology redefi ning the sublime, and the ever-present threat of loneliness—tempered, these poems suggest, by compassion and
|Dimensions||6 × 9 in|
The Age of Discovery is a devastating take on the ways we stave off panic. Mythic, precise as a statistician, Alan Michael Parker eyes the virtual data, “bottomless as coffee”; the culture, on the cusp of cancellation. (“I love you more with every hit,” he writes, both acknowledgment and threat.) Parker lays bare the limits of nostalgia, where “the boarded-up video store / makes sadness look pretty”—the farce that art transforms, and the truth of it, too. In The Age of Discovery, Alan Michael Parker, line by startling line, has written a wry, deeply humane collection for our uncivil age.
With The Age of Discovery, Alan Michael Parker locates a new register. Throughout this collection are poems that resonate with humor blending through heartbreak, that sound this poet’s singular voice, and that, ultimately, sustain with Parker’s signature, enviable imagination.
—Jon Pineda, Little Anodynes and Let’s No One Get Hurt