Oral History Project

Oral History Interview with Reverend Michael Allen

The Poetry Project’s Managing Director, Nicole Wallace, and Volunteer Archivist, Will Edmiston, interviewed Rev. Michael Allen via telephone on February 18, 2012. Allen was the Rector of St. Mark’s Church from 1959-1970. As Rector, he upheld the long-standing tradition at St. Mark’s of welcoming artists of all genres to perform at the church, and believed that artists “were among the few…doing theology.” This engagement in the arts was formalized in 1966 when Allen agreed to help administer a federal grant through St. Mark’s Church which launched The Poetry Project, Theater Genesis and The Film Project. Michael Allen passed away in September of 2013 at the age of 85.