Poetry News

Parrots Descend on HTMLGiant

By Harriet Staff


Grant Maierhofer reviews a bunch of Parrot series chapbooks, published by Insert Blanc Press, over at HTMLGiant. Maierhofer begins by probing into the shadowy origins of Insert Blanc, writing:

The Parrot series, published by Insert Blanc Press, was much like its imprint started in a mess of pleasant confusion—my understanding is Insert was at first largely a fake press, that slowly became real—in that prior to the actual writing of each Parrot chapbook, they were simply descriptions of (fake) books by (real) authors to include in the entire fiction that is Insert Blanc; however, after a time, the authors of the (fake) descriptions of the Parrot books were asked to actually write them. What the real story is exactly I’m not particularly concerned. I received seven of the Parrot chapbooks—8-14—and for the past few weeks I’ve carried them around in my backpack, taking one out at random when a moment presented itself for a brief dose of whimsy and entertainment, and what follows will be my perceptions of each of them commingled with anything else I have inside my head upon reading.

Hmmmmm, intriguing. For a sample, here's what Maierhofer writes about Stan Apps's Politicized Pretty Picture, Parrot #9:

I’m interested in the potential hinted at by the structure of this poem. Basically it’s an essay, a list, describing the societal considerations and community strictures/benefits related to “prettiness” in our world. For a minute I believed the author had tapped into something entirely new and unprecedented and though examples came shortly thereafter to counteract this theory—Gibran, Lao and Sun Tzu, etc.—I still believe that the exact method employed here—numeration, academic language balanced against personal/poetic reflection, etc.—does hearken to something new and I’m interested in this. The subject of prettiness may be an interesting thing to most readers, and I think the words used here to describe it do just as good a job as any formal essay you’re likely to find, but the structure of this work is what I find most striking.

Make the jump to read Maierhofer's other brief reviews from the Parrot series, including chapbooks by Amanda Ackerman, Teresa Carmody, Vanessa Place, Janice Lee, Amina Cain, and Michelle Detorie.