Jeffery Renard Allen
- His novel Song of the Shank has garnered immediate critical acclaim.
- Author of two collections of poetry, Stellar Places and Harbors and Spirits, and three works of fiction, the widely celebrated novel, Rails Under My Back, the story collection Holding Pattern, and his latest novel, Song of the Shank.
- Allen was awarded The P.E.N. Discovery Prize. His widely celebrated novel, Rails Under My Back, won The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Fiction. His story collection Holding Pattern won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.
- He has also been awarded a Whiting Writer’s Award, a support grant in Innovative Literature from Creative Capital, The Chicago Public Library’s Twenty First Century Award, Recognition for Pioneering Achievements in Fiction from the African American Literature and Culture Association, the 2003 Charles Angoff Award for Fiction from The Literary Review, and special citations from the Society for Midlands Authors and the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation.
- Allen holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently a faculty member in the writing program at the University of Virginia. He has taught in the writing program at Columbia University and for many distinguished writers’ conferences and programs around the world.
[A] masterly new novel. . . . It sagely explores themes of religion, class, art and genius, and introduces elements of magic realism . . . resulting in the kind of imaginative work only a prodigiously gifted risk-taker could produce.
The prodigiously talented Jeffery Renard Allen is without a doubt one of our most important writers.
Jeffery Renard Allen works language to make himself smarter, the readers smarter, the language smarter.
…Jeff Allen has indeed given exhaustively of himself in the often-astonishing performance of this epic work.