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Simple Universal

Publication Details



Simple Universal (poetry & fiction) - $10
poetry & fiction by Jeff Allen
ISBN 978-0978744182 • saddle-stitch • © 2008
32 pages (5.5"”X 9”) • out of print

Jeff Allen's expressive collection is a compilation of poetry and fiction that is uniquely attributable to Jeff's own personal voice. Exploring themes such as escapism and the fleeting nature of life, Jeff's book is a wonderful debut piece for a young artist and the third in Bronze Man Books' chapbook series.

Every copy of Simple Universal features a protective removeable cover featuring high quality letter press. In addition,

Special Edition copies are available with original color prints by artist Lauren Wika.

out of print

Simple Universal, by Jeff Allen, illustrated by Lauren Wika. (Decatur, IL.: Bronze Man Books, 2008). 32 pages, 5 x 9, saddlestitched. ISBN 978-0-9787441-4-4. out of print


Simple Universal is a poetry collection created by Jeff Allen and put together by the editorial staff at Bronze Man Books. In the preface for this moving chapbook, Dr. Stephen Frech, a professor of Creative Writing a Millikin University and author of If Not for These Wrinkles of Darkness and Toward Evening and the Day Far Spent, offers praise for this debut artist.

"Jeff Allen, in this collection, demonstrates what Eliot talks about in "Tradition and Individual Talent:" writers must absorb the traditions as a means for stirring talent that we night say is individual. While these poems bear resemblances to other great talents, they are pure Jeff Allen: far-reaching, thoughtful, and expressive."

Dr. Frech's summary could not be more appropriate. Jeff Allen's work is unique unto itself, perhaps echoing masters of the past, but crying out in a voice thoroughly modern and singular. When reading Jeff's work, it's almost as if you are transported into another world - one where the laws and points of view are altered to suit this young poet's imagination and style. To quote Jeff's poem "Way,":

There exists a crossing, a bridge between
our tangible, filtered realiy and a grace ever

For many readers, they will find a bridge that leads elsewhere in Jeff Allen's work, particularly in poems like "Way" and "like Houdin." Jeff is undoubtedly an important young poet of the twenty-first century, and Bronze Man Brooks is proud to be part of this burgeoning career.

About the Author

Jeff Allen began life very small. Since then, he's earned his Bachelors of Art from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and has been published in Collage, Millikin's literary magazine. He lives in Chicago. Jeff calls into morning radio talk shows and knows the unique despair of professional sports fandom. He understands that this is the only family he gets, and is pretty okay with that. Someone once taught him that whatever happens there are conditions that indicate things could never have gone any other way. He understands that one too, but is not as okay with it. Fortunately, he has seen the future, and will live to tell about it.


Limited Special Edition of Simple Universal

This stylish version of Jeff Allen's chapbook, Simple Universal, features a color print of artist Lauren Wika's work on the cover. In addition, there are several color prints featured within the content of the book, including the thumbnails featuered in every header featuring the poetry titles. This chapbook offers something different from Bronze Man Books' usual black and white aesthetic, and is something that can be treasured for many years to come.

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