Dick Allen grew up near the Adirondack Mountains in Round Lake, New York. He is one of the founders of Expansive poetry, a movement that started in the 1980s and includes New Formalism and New Narrative. Influenced by Ralph Waldo Emerson,, and Robert Frost, Allen “ranges with ease from astronomy to politics to domestic situations; his poetry captures great swatches of real and imagined experience in nimble style,” according to Publishers Weekly. He was the Director of Creative Writing and Charles A. Dana Endowed Chair Professor at the University of Bridgeport until his retirement in September 2001. In 2010 he was named poet laureate of Connecticut.
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"I learned that I enjoyed poetry - a lot. I'm known as the "football guy" at my school and it surprised me, and others, that poetry would be a big part of my life. Also, I realized that I not bad at performing and public speaking."