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 was initially very surprised by how unique each performer can make a poem. Even if twenty different kids are reciting the same poem, they will each make it their own and interpret it the way that they want to. "