William Allen


51 Birchwood Drive
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Author's Bio

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 Clay Street Graphics Press. He is also represented by Cade Tompkins Fine Art. His 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 Lowell. He went over to technical writing and then to the humanitarian assistance world in working as a communications specialist at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), then as Communications Officer at the United Nations Internatioal Computung Centre (UNICC) in New York. Currently he is a senior communications adviser with the UNICC.

He lives in Jackson Heights (Queens) and Rhinebeck, N.Y. with the artist Barbara Westermann, after living twenty years in the East Village of New York City, where they raised their daughter Lotte.

Publications & Prizes

Sevastopol: On Photos of War (Xenos Books, 1997)
The Man on the Moon (Persea, 1987)
American Voice
Denver Quarterly
, ,
Newport Review
, , ,
Spazio Humano
Prizes won: 

Virginia Center for the Creative Ars, 2013

Queens Council on the Arts, 2012

N.E.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry), 2009

Yaddo Fellowship, 1999

Publication Prize, New York University, judged by Philip Levine, 1987

DAAD Fellowship, 1987

Breadloaf Fellowship, 1985

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Muriel Rukeyser, William Blake, Herman Melville, J.M. Coetzee, W. G. Sebald.

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Apr 07, 2022