September Program: Alan Michael Parker



Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 7 p.m.  

Providence United Methodist Church
2810 Providence Road, Charlotte, N.C., 28211


 Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English at Davidson College, Alan Michael Parker is a poet, novelist, professor, raconteur, and squeaky wheel. He writes books. He has written three novels, Cry Uncle, Whale Man, and The Committee on Town Happiness (Dzanc Books, 2014), along with eight 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 and The Ladder (Tupelo Press, forthcoming in 2015).


 He served as Editor of The Imaginary Poets, and co-editor of two other volumes of scholarship. His 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 in 2011 were anthologized in The Best American Poetry as well as The Pushcart Prize; his prose has appeared in journals including The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, and The New Yorker.


 Alan Michael Parker has received numerous awards and fellowships, including three Pushcart Prizes, the Fineline Prize from the Mid-American Review, the 2013 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 2011 novel, Whale Man, was shortlisted for the 2011 ForeWord Reviews's "Book of the Year Award" in the category of Literary Fiction. His essay, "Beach House as Nostalgia Museum," was named a Notable Essay by the editors of the 2013 Best American Essays. He has recently been called "a general beacon of brilliance" by Time Out, New York.


As an undergraduate, Alan 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 Forch√©, Richard Howard, Denis Johnson, Stanley Kunitz, William Matthews, and Nobel Laureates Joseph Brodsky and Czeslaw Milosz. Since 1998, Alan Michael Parker has taught at Davidson College, where he was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in 2007; in 2012, he was named Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English. He also teaches in the University of Tampa Low-Residency M.F.A. program, where he works with graduate student writers in both poetry and fiction. Alan Michael Parker lives in Davidson, NC with his wife, the artist Felicia van Bork, whose work is represented by Jerald Melberg Gallery.


CWC-North Hosting Memoir Workshop:
Writing Descriptive & Narrative Language 

On Saturday, September 19, 2015 please join us at The Friends Meeting House, 625 South Street in Davidson, N.C. for a workshop on Writing Descriptive & Narrative Language In Memoir, led by Gilda Morina Syverson, author of My Father's Daughter, From Rome to Sicily, a Novello Literary Award Finalist, poet, writer and a long time memoir teacher.  Visit her website:


Charlotte Writers Club North is hosting the event from 1:30-3:30 p.m. for writers interested in using scenes from their lives in telling their stories. The workshop fee is $35, Charlotte Writers' Club members pay $25.  Bring a journal and fast writing pen. You may (but it's not required) bring a battery-powered laptop. Workshop limited to 20 people.


Looking for more information about the workshop or if you want to sign up, contact Connie Fisher at Any questions about CWC North or about the venue, contact Caroline Kane Kenna, CWC North,


A reception will immediately follow with Reading and Signing from 4:30 to 5:30. (Reception & Reading are free and open to the public).


Meet-A-Member: Bob Rogers

Introducing Bob Rogers, Vietnam Vet, graduate of S.C. State, studied creative writing at University of Maryland, worked at IBM for 33 years, writes historical fiction (First Dark: A Buffalo Soldier's Story, The Laced Chameleon, Sacrifice at Shiloh Church), and loves baseball and gardening.  


Herewith, his response to a few questions:


      What type of writing do you do?


Fulltime, I write historical fiction and perform my non-fiction play, Lieutenant Flipper's Trial.  My purpose in writing and performing is found in my tag line, "entertaining to educate."  My hope is to help twentieth-first century Americans better understand "how things got this way" in our great country by telling stories of ordinary citizens of all stripes who struggled through wars, natural disasters, recessions, a depression, apartheid, and class/caste issues in the previous two centuries.


 How do you cultivate inspiration for your work?


My problem is having too much to tell in explanation of "how things got this way" in America.  I never want for material or character creation. There are characters rich in personality and problems all over the landscape no matter the era.


In a sentence or two, what else would you like people to know about you?


Libraries in MD and NC, including Fort Bragg, have hosted my play Lieutenant Flipper's Trial. Future confirmed dates include a return to Fort Bragg and new performances in several GA and FL cities. The only confirmed Charlotte performance is scheduled for 2:00 pm, Saturday, October 17, 2015 at the Beatties Ford Regional Library.


My pets are my plants (begonias, petunias, salvias, okra, collards, tomatoes, cayenne peppers, and string beans).


On super bowl day, I watch videos of World Series games instead of football.  I require a regular baseball fix.


 What writing advice would you pass on to other writers?


 Write every day with passion. Proofread and wordsmith, but do not try to do the final edit of your own work.


We welcome writers in all genres and forms to join our Charlotte-area literary community. Your membership in the Charlotte Writers' Club helps support writers, readers, and literacy at a critical time in our nation's and our city's history. Join here.

Thank you for your support!
In This Issue
September 15
General Meeting with Alan Michael Parker
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Providence UMC

September 19
Memoir Workshop
Saturday Sept.19, 1:30 - 3 ;30 pm  The Friends Meeting House, 625 South Street in Davidson, N.C. 

October 20
General Meeting
Critique Groups
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Providence UMC

General Meeting Location
Providence United Methodist Church
2810 Providence Rd.

Click here for a map of the new location.
Ruth Moose Flash Fiction Contest
October 20, 2015
Entry guidelines here.
For a complete listing of CWC contests, please click here .
Mike Tuggle's short story "Gooseberry" is featured in the latest Sorcerous Signals.
Writing Prompt
Serious Prompt
Write an epilogue to the story of your life.

Writer's Digest, July/August 2014 issue,  p. 28
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