Michael Allen

WorksCriticismNotes

Life
1936-2011; b. England, grew up in Wales; ed. at Leeds University; held fellowships at Birmingham and Yale; appt. to English Dept., at QUB, 1965, teaching American literature; Snr. Lect. in English at QUB; issued Poe and the British Magazine Tradition (1969) and Emily Dickinson (1985), a pamphlet for a British Association for American Studies; a founding member of the Belfast Group poetry-reading forum, he taught and influenced writers emerging at Queens from his colleague Seamus Heaney - who called him “the reader over my shoulder’ (Preoccupations) - to his students Paul Muldoon and later Leontia Flynn; retired 2001, and received the festschrift, Last Before America: Irish and American Writing; Poems and Essays in Honour of Michael Allen, ed. Fran Brearton and Eamon Hughes (Blackstaff 2001); d. 31 July 2011 (aetat. 75); survived by his wife Maureen Alden and their children Catherine and Matthew; a selection of his Irish criticism was edited b Fran Brearton as Close Readings in 2015.

Michael Longley:

We looked after poets after a fashion. And you
Who over the decades in the Crown, the Eglantine,
The Bot, the Wellie, the Chelsea have washed down
Poetry and pottage without splashing a page
And scanned for life-threatening affectation
My latest “wee poem” you have looked after me.

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Works
Michael Allen: Close Readings - Essays on Irish Poetry, ed Fran Brearton (Dublin: IAP 2015), 320pp. [cover port.; incls. studies of Kavanagh, MacNeice, Heaney, Mahon, McGuckian, Muldoon and Michael Longley - the last a ground-breaking study of the dynamics of that poet’s career.]

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Criticism
Fran Brearton & Eamonn Hughes, eds., Last before America: Poems and Essays in Honour of Michael Allen (Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 2001), 233pp.

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Notes
Oops!: [Q.a.,], review [q.a.,] of Michael Allen, Poe and the British Magazine Tradition (OUP), in Nineteenth-century Fiction, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Dec. 1970): ‘a prime example of the adequate dissertion that becomes an inadequate book’ - sweeping unsupported generalisations, partial opinion and the omission of those in opposition …’. (p.371.)

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