December 15, 2022
In January 2015, Karl found himself writing a series of poems that marked a distinct stylistic departure from his previous writing. A year-and-a-half after beginning the project, he bundled the poems together under the title Human Abstract, and, after whittling the collection down, he found himself with a nearly 200-page manuscript. Before his death in Sept. 2019, he expressed a clear wish that these poems might reach a wider public.
Night-utterances written in the hours before dawn, Human Abstract, chronicles the passage from winter to spring, and explores the implicit mystery of what it is to be a human in time, capable of humor and longing, desire and violence: gone in a flash. The poems are a reflection of life, breathing, aching to be read.
Karl Parker received an B.A. and a B.Phil from University of Pittsburgh in 1994 and an M.F.A. in Poetry from the New School in 2004; he was a PhD candidate (ABD) in English at Cornell University where he received his M.A. in 2001. He taught literature and creative writing at Cornell, Hunter College, Auburn State Correctional Facility, Hobart & William Smith Colleges (where he also served as Poetry Editor of the Seneca Review for five years), Syracuse University, and the Downtown Writer’s Center in Syracuse, NY.
His first book of poems, Personationskin, was published by NoTell Books in 2009. He also released two chapbooks, Harmstorm (2006, Lame House Press) and Outsides (1994, self-published with a grant from the University of Pittsburgh). Individual poems appeared in such places as Stone Canoe, Volt Magazine, S/tick, Spoon River, and Seneca Review.