William Allen (artist)

William Allen (artist)

William Marshall Allen (born in 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American poet and visual artist. His poetry is rooted in Imagism, history, politics, and art. His word art painting and prints are published by [http://www.patsfallgraphics.com Clay Street Graphics Press] . He is also represented by [http://www.cadetompkins.com Cade Tompkins Fine Art] . His [http://www.ekphrases.com poetry and art work] is influenced by Concrete Poetry, Fluxus Art, and the ecphrastic tradition in literature and art.


William Allen grew up in Connecticut, receiving a bachelor's degree in Art from Wesleyan University and an M.A. in both American History and Creative Writing from New York University. He studied there with Philip Levine, Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, and Carolyn Forche. He has worked as tugboat crew, U.A.W. training program instructor, and art trucker. He has taught poetry and writing at New York University, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the School of Visual Arts the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where he currently teaches online. He is also an online course designer and a software writer at Pitney Bowes Litigation and Document Services in Providence, RI. He lives in Providence with the artist [http://www.barbarawestermann.com Barbara Westermann] , after living twenty years in the East Village of New York City, where they raised their daughter Lotte.


The Man on the Moon. [http://www.nyupress.org New York University Press] (hardcover), 1987. ISBN 091461052X (paperback) Persea Press, 1987. ISBN 0892551143Sevastopol: On Photographs of War. Xenos Press, 1997 [http://www.xenosbooks.com/Sevastopol.htm ISBN 187937302] .

Poems published in American Voice, Central Park, Chelsea Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, Defined Providence, [http://www.denverquarterly.com Denver Quarterly] , [http://www.indiana.edu/~inreview Indiana Review] , [http://www.newletters.org New Letters] , [http://newportreview.org/ Newport Review] , [http://www.newportartmuseum.org Newport Art Museum] monograph on James Baker, The Quarterly, Pequod, [http://www.poetryeast.org Poetry East] , [http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/ Prairie Schooner] , [http://www.spr.armstrong.edu Southern Poetry Review] , Ploughshares [http://www.pshares.org/] (editor Paul Muldoon).

Recent poetry readings include [http://newsgrist.typepad.com/projectrendition Project Rendition at Momenta Art in Brooklyn] , NY, Chester College, A.S. 220 in Providence, RI, [http://www.wheelergallery.org/westermannallen.html Wheeler Gallery] , with Patricia Spears Jones (with exhibition of paintings), October 2005; White Electric Coffee with Kathleen Hughes, A History of the Azores, March 2005; [http://www.risd.edu/museum_press_48.htm Rhode Island School of Design Museum] , Crisis and Response Show, Poems of Love and War, January 2003, Yaddo Corporation (summer 1998), New York University, the Museum of Modern Art (Pasolini poetry reading with Isabella Rossellini, etc), Black + Herron Gallery, [http://www.baeditions.com Brooke Alexander Editions] , [http://www.poetryproject.com St. Mark’s Poetry Project] , [http://www.knittingfactory.com The Knitting Factory with Tom Laverack] , [http://www.lamama.org La Mama La Galleria] , United Nations Coffee House (Poems against the War), Tin Pan Alley, [http://peninehart.com/ Penine Hart Gallery] , and others in NYC.


He has shown his artwork at the [http://www.eabfair.com E|AB Print Fair] in 2007-2006, [http://www.ps1.org P.S. 1 Institute for Art & Urban Resources] , Long Island City, NY, 1987, the [http://www.moma.org Museum of Modern Art] , East West Cultural Connections, [http://www.momentaart.org Momenta Art] in New York, [http://www.patsfallgraphics.com Clay Street Press Gallery] and Michael Solway Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, Wheeler Gallery, [http://www.providenceartclub.org Providence Art Club] , White Electric Coffee in Providence, RI, and at Williams College, the Newark Art Museum and Aljiri Arts Center of NJ, and the [http://www.ansg.org Norton Sculpture Gardens] in West Palm Beach, FL.

He has work in the permanent collection of Progressive Insurance in Cleveland, OH and Fidelity Investments of Boston.

His word art is published by [http://www.patsfallgraphics.com Clay Street Press ] Graphics of Cincinnati, OH and include Seven Wonders of the World, Seven Seas, Ten Commandments, Fire Sermon, Two Dreams, Lapis Lazuli, Three Pillows.


Jenné Andrews, in the [http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/cr/index.html Colorado Review] , has written “The tradition among many men writing poetry today is still that if you approach pain directly, with the first person, it is too much like sentiment. One poet whose work is an exception to that rule is William Allen, and his collection The Man on the Moon, chosen by Philip Levine in the NYU annual publication award in creative writing, is a fascinating, sometimes disturbing work."

Robert Phillips, in Chelsea Magazine (65), writes “ The duty of a poet writing in the ekphrastic mode—describing works of art—is not to duplicate the work of art in words, but rather to enter into it with sympathy and empathy, to attain intimacy with it, and to strike correspondences and epiphanies. As William Allen’s marvelous eye seeks out the telling details in each photograph in Sevastopol, in precise and controlled language, he deserves high praise.”

Jamey Gambrell, in Art in America, May 1984, writes of the Group Material installation at P.S. 1, writes: " Perhaps the most harrowing and effective piece in "Time Line" was Bill Allen's 'History of the U.S. Marine Corps,' where numerous copies of a photograph of a man being confronted by a soldier ran around the upper edge of the room like a recurring nightmare, crowning the rest of the installation. The image was the same, but each photograph bore a different caption: Brazil 1852, Uruguay 1855, Panama 1873, Mexico 1875, and so on."

Ken Johnson in the New York Times, Summer 2001, of a Handmade Words show at K.S. Art, writes, "Professional artists appropriate the look of vernacular authenticity to more conceptually complex ends, creating signs that are more like concrete poetry. A small piece by Christopher Wool has stenciled black letters that say, "You make me"; a pink enamel panel by William Allen bears the haikulike text "Tree shrew/Chewing Gum/Blue Blaze"; whatever else these works might mean, they stand for the enduring value of the unique human touch in an age of electronic and digital communication."

Sara Eisen, in the Cincinnati Enquirer (Dec 9, 2004), writes: "Allen in his art seeks specific words and strategically places them with each other in his pieces, conveying ambiguous but meaningful ideas about various social, historical and philosophical themes. In 'Ten Commandments,' he showcases a personal version of the widely recognized religious doctrine including commandments, such as 'Kissing King William' and 'Stammering out Sentences.' According to Allen, it is an attempt to "work historical and religious ideas into new directions."


Allen was the winner of the New York University Creative Writers Competition for 1986, judged by Philip Levine.

He has received a DAAD fellowship to live and travel in Germany, a [http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/blwc/ Breadloaf Writer’s Conference] grant and a Yaddo Fellowship. Recently he was Artist-in-Residence and Writer-in-Residence at Chester College in New Hampshire.

Poems Online

* [http://www.pshares.org/issues/article.cfm?prmArticleID=4816 "Gregoriou"]

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