Associate Professor Creative Writing & Literary Arts
PhD, Ohio University; MA, Ohio University
Allen grew up in New England and in the suburbs of New York. He
received his undergraduate degree from Goddard College in Vermont in
1971, and attended the Program in Creative Writing at the University of
Iowa in 1972 receiving his MA and his PhD from Ohio University in
Athens, Ohio. He has published two novels: Straight Through the Night
and Mustang Sally. That latter novel was made into the 2003 movie Easy
Six (retitled in the Showtime DVD release as Easy Sex). He is also the
author of The Hands-On Fiction Workbook. His fiction and poetry have
appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, GQ, Story, Prairie
Schooner, The Indiana Review, and River Styx. His collection of short
stories, Ate it Anyway, was a winner of the 2002 Flannery O'Connor Award
for Short Fiction. His first collection of poetry, the sonnet sequence
67 Mixed Messages was published by Ahsahta Press in 2006. A former
three-day contestant on Jeopardy, he currently teaches in the creative
writing program at the University of South Dakota.
| ||Straight Through the Night|
A serio-comic novel about a young man who once wore blue chambray work
shirts, was skinny, and knew things beyond question, and who now wonders
about flesh and love, despair and food, and anger.
| ||Mustang Sally|
Schmidt is an appealing but seedy timeserver in the English department
of a third-rate midwestern college. When his semester teaching the
dismally undermotivated is done, Pack dashes off to Vegas--his favorite
place on earth. There he runs into an ex-student-turned-call-girl, and
his world falls apart.
| ||Ate it Anyway|
In this collection of 17 stories--winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction--memory is potent, senses are sharp, and insight is keen. Allen can take a single word, such as houseguest, or a single sensation or place and spin something memorable around it.
| ||The Hands-On Fiction Workbook|
a workbook format with both in-class and "field" exercises (where
students gather raw material from the outside world), this
activity-based approach to writing fiction gives students hands-on
practice with all the elements and stages of the fiction writing process
-- from preparing to write to succeeding as a writer -- with tips on
"how not to be bad" and how to develop a functional life-long reading
plan and writer's scrapbook.
| ||67 Mixed Messages|
the dark lady of these sonnets, is the breathtakingly beautiful,
hopelessly elusive love object for the writer, who recognizes well the
absurdity of his feelings. A collection spiked with puns and literary
references, 67 MIXED MESSAGES could best be described as a work of
passionate playfulness, pained sexuality, and deadly serious jokes.
Every line scans, every acrostic makes sense, and every joke is funny.