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Paul Allen

Ground Forces

PRESENTING:Poetry: Sunday, 3/1, 11:30 a.m. - 12: 20 p.m., Lexington B; Music & Writing: Sunday, 3/1, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., Ballroom


Paul Allen teaches courses in poetry, form and meter, and writing song lyrics at The College of Charleston, in Charleston, SC where he is Professor of English. His poems have appeared in a number of journals as well as in several anthologies He has received the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry twice, the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award (George Mason University), the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize from the University of North Texas Press, the South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellowship, the John Williams Andrews Narrative Poetry Prize from Poet Lore, the Distinguished Research Award from The College of Charleston (2007), and a Pushcart (XXXII, 2008). His books include American CrawlHis Longing (FootHills Press, 2005), Ground ForcesPoetry, Ireland, 2008), and a new CD of songs, Waiting for the Last Bus. He has presented his work at over 100 venues in over a dozen US states, including Millennial Stage of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has recently completed a one-month, six city book launch tour of Ireland. (UNT Press, 1997), (Salmon

“Ground Forces is about brokenness—brokenness and, with richly explored theological implications, everything in the broken world, the fallen world. The voice of these poems is wildly funny, often profane (and sometimes that profanity is ironic and sometimes it's pure rage) but always exact, smart, self-aware, and driven to a song like nothing else I know in contemporary poetry.” —Andrew Hudgins, poet

“I am throwing no phony bouquets when I say that, on reading this, I often felt, as someone once said, like putting my quill back in my goose. Allen manages to be funny, deeply reverent, judicious, and moving all in the same breaths. He is one of the best poets going.” —Sydney Lea, poet, novelist, essayist

“Those who heard singer/songwriter Paul Allen at our recent Gage Hall Coffeehouse know what a rare blend of humor and musical talent he brings to the stage. He entertained with poetry and song and kept a tough audience of 70 in his spell for two hours. We are counting the days until he makes his return.” WILL MOREDOCK, SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE NEWSLETTER, Unitarian Church, Charleston.

“The audience responded with their raucous approval and unbridled enthusiasm.” BOOTH CHILCUTT, Sumter Opera House

“Poet and musician, Allen seduced his audience with a unique blend of very direct poetic themes from his Ground Forces collection, punctuated by splendid musical interludes; compositions from his CD Waiting for the Last Bus. Bray Arts still talk about that November night the Carolina poet managed to charm their sensibilities with his sharp ironic wit, clear observations of human frailties and true poetic musicality.” Bray Arts (Bray, Ireland)

GENRE(S): Poetry Songwriting