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Dick Allen
(Editor, Poet)

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Profile created August 20, 2008
Poetry
  • Present Vanishing (Oct 1, 2008 release)
    Present Vanishing is a book where East and West meet, where Zen contends with social satire, often on the playing fields of American landscapes. In Dick Allen's new poems, almost every word is a search for calm in the midst of contemporary chaos. Paradox is everywhere: the present vanishes, even as it unscrolls before us.

  • The Day Before: New Poems (2003)
    Dick Allen takes what we thought we knew for sure about the world and turns it inside out—the clichés, the rules of thumb, the assumptions we gloss over and take for granted. We see the objects and events of everyday life in renewed, suddenly vivid terms, so that the songs, the kisses, the summers, the promises and lies, and the people—all that we've lost and keep losing—begin to shine anew under Allen's elegiac and celebratory attention. The poems in The Day Before are, as always in Allen's work, passionate chronicles of contemporary America in transition to the new millennium, marked by the ebullience of high craft and formal virtuosity. But these new poems, a unique hybrid of lyric-narratives, are remarkable for their added, personal gravity, their burnish of hard-won wisdom. And the miracle is how, in the face of our irrevocable losses as nation, species, and individuals, Allen's poems come down on the side of life and joy. "Some years I've/Barely survived;//Others, I climbed around and shouted in,/Doing my best to live a praising life."

  • Ode to the Cold War: Poems New and Selected (1997)
    Dick Allen is a central figure in America's often neglected "transition generation"-poets born in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Known both for his poetry and for his innovative writing on poetics, Allen has long promoted the idea that our art must move away from narrow self-concern and include the worlds of contemporary events, science and religion. His poems, wide-ranging, visionary, and unique, powerfully engage the intellectual and moral questions of our time. Ode to the Cold War: Poems New and Selected is a showcase for over thirty years of work by this increasingly celebrated master of American verse.

  • Flight and Pursuit (1987)

  • Overnight in the Guest House of the Mystic (1984)

  • Regions With No Proper Names (1975)

  • Anon and Various Time Machine Poems (1971)

  • West is up (1961)

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