DSCF0602.JPG    Poet and songwriter, Paul Allen  received the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry (twice), the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award (George Mason University), the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize from the University of North Texas Press (American Crawl), the Distinguished Research Award from The College of Charleston, and a Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses (XXXII, 2008).  About Allen’s most recent book of poems, poet Andrew Hudgins says, “Ground Forces (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2008), is about brokenness—brokenness and, with richly explored theological implications, everything in the broken world, the fallen world. The voice of these poems is wildly funny, often profane…but always exact, smart, self-aware, and driven to a song like nothing else I know in contemporary poetry.” Songwriter Josh Ritter said of Allen’s first album of poems and songs “[This] CD is AMAZING.  It has totally made me rethink the potential for recorded music.  I’m going to play it for everyone I know.” In May, 2010, Allen retired from teaching poetry writing and writing song lyrics at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, Professor Emeritus.   He currently lives on the road in a camper.