Born in Troy, New York, on August 8, 1939, Dick Allen is the author of eight poetry collections, including Present Vanishing (Sarabande Books, 2008). He received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ingram Merrill Foundation and was awarded the Robert Frost Prize for Poetry and the Hart Crane Poetry Prize. Influenced by Zen Buddhism, many of his poems employ a free verse form he called Randomism. He was the Charles A. Dana Professor of English and director of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he taught from 1968 to 2001. In 2010, he was appointed poet laureate of the state of Connecticut, a role in which he served until 2015. He died on December 27, 2017.