William Allen

A poet and painter, William Allen was awarded an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry in 2009. He has taught poetry at New York University and literature at Cooper Union, the School of Visual Arts in New York. He works as a writer at the United Nations Development Programme in New York and teaches writing at UMass Lowell online.
He has exhibited his artwork widely, including P.S. 1 Institute for Art & Urban Resources, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Bienniel with Group Material, East West Cultural Connections, Momenta Art, in New York, Clay Street Press and Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, Wheeler Gallery, 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 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.

He is the author of The Man on the Moon (NYU Press, 1987) and Sevastopol (Xenos, 1997).

Recent poems have appeared in Chelsea Magazine, The American Voice, Global City Review, Poetry East, and Ploughshares. Grants include a D.A.A.D. scholarship and writing fellowships to Breadloaf and Yaddo.

View William Allens painting and poetry at http://www.ekphrases.com/

Lapis Lazuli, 1995
Twelve deep-etched magnesium plates painted with epoxy paint.
Each plate measures 7"x9.5"x0.5", the entire piece installed is 22"x39".
Signed and numbered edition of 8.

William Allen and Barbara Westermann
Three Pillows, 1995
Three embroidered linen boudoir pillow cases, comes in an aromatic cedar box, 13.5"x17.5"x1", and was published in an edition of 12.

~~This piece came out of a collaboration between the sculptor Barbara Westermann and poet William Allen, one which consisted of a room- a hospital room or a prison cell, of white pristine bedclothes on a simple 19th century barracks cot. From the juxtaposition there of Allen's texts, always shards of poems or narratives, enlivened by being hand painted and naive, with Westermann's sculptured monoliths, arose the need for pillows to live by- in the 18th century philosophical tradition of familiar quotations, and the domestic home- spun wisdom of HOME SWEET HOME, the pillow came, a forum for linguistic play and sentimental education, a discovery of the imaginative space that surrounds what we think we read when we know what we are reading. So THREE PILLOWS was born, for Virginia, who's ill and proper and loves the Victorian sense of beauty. (In English,German and Middle English)

Two Dreams, 1998
A lift-ground etching printed in black on white Rives BFK
30" x 40"
Signed and numbered edition of 20.

Ten Commandments, 1998
A suite of ten etchings, lift ground aquatint on colored flats.
9.5" x 12.5" each
Printed on Rives BFK in a signed and numbered edition of 21.

~~Ten Commandments picks up where Moses left off (with all due respect): these are sayings animated by active verbs (these acts are already happening) to suggest the here and now. Rather than moral imperatives, they speak to the world we live in where things are are, rather than should be. And concrete rather than abstract, these haiku-like invectives want to entertain and amuse as well as educate. It’s politics of the personal in the onomotopaeia.

Fire Sermon, 1998
Sandblasted Travertine marble, three stones each 26"x22"x1.25".
Signed and numbered edition of 3.

Seven Seas, 2001
A suite of seven woodcuts printed in black on color flats. Printed on Rives BFK paper, 10.75" x 10.75". Signed and numbered edition of 21.

~~From the Adriatic to the Sargasso and beyond, the number of seas is countless--and delicious to the speaking tongue--working the imagination to the limits of the known world of travel, geopolitics and literature.
~~These prints counterpoint American folk art with hypertext. Here narrative is ingrained into wood, and so too are certain notions about the mythopoetic, inventive, and fictional courses of a sea shanty or a fish tale. The names of the seas make startling or strange connections. The text's handmade signature plays with the vivid, pristine color, and the sounds of the words when you say them out loud should delight the tongue as well as the corpus colossum.

Seven Wonders, 2001
A suite of seven woodcuts printed in black on black Arches paper, 10.75" x 10.75". Signed and numbered edition of 21.

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