D. Allen (they/them) is a multidisciplinary poet and artist living in Minneapolis. Their first hybrid poetry collection, A Bony Framework for the Tangible Universe (The Operating System, 2019), weaves together poems, lyric essays, dictionary erasures, and images in response to the poet's diagnosis with a connective tissue disorder, asking: What holds us together when the body falls apart? D.’s writing has appeared in QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, District Lit, Rogue Agent, Lockjaw Magazine, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. D. has recently received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, an Emerging Artist Grant from VSA Minnesota, and a Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant from The Loft; they have been a resident at the Mallard Island Artist Residency, The Lighthouse Works, Write On Door County, the Andrews Forest, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. D. earned an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota in 2017.
D.’s poetic practice is oriented around presence. Their work takes many forms: word architectures, light drawings, textured surfaces, slow dinners, layered sounds, sustained listening, temporary assemblages, quiet gardening, exploratory movements. Through their work across media and disciplines, D. navigates pain and illness, queer kinship, sex and intimacy, the natural world, and the realities of queer, genderqueer and disabled embodiment. Collaboration and relationship-building are vital to D.’s artistic life.
Currently, D. is developing their first full-length stage work using text, images, light, sound, movement, and large-scale handknit textiles with the support of a 2019 Q-Stage: New Works Fellowship from 20% Theatre Company. D. is also working on a collection of researched lyric essays, while pursuing new collaborations and smaller-scale experimental projects across disciplines.
Photo by poet Roy G. Guzmán.