Mike Allen (poet)

Mike Allen (born 1969) is an American news reporter and columnist, as well as an editor and writer of speculative fiction and poetry.

Mike Allen
Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Editor
  • author
  • poet
  • publisher
GenreSpeculative fiction


Allen is married to Anita Allen, with whom he runs Mythic Delirium Books.[1] In his day job, he is a news reporter and arts and culture columnist for a daily newspaper in Roanoke, Virginia,[1] where he currently lives.

Literary careerEdit

The Philadelphia Inquirer has described Allen as being "[a]mong the better-known practitioners of speculative poetry"[2] and said his poems "work best when his bizarre lyricism is put in the service of a scary and taut narrative."[2]

He served as President of the Science Fiction Poetry Association from 2004 to 2006. He created the small press poetry journal Mythic Delirium in 1998.[3][4]

Published biannually, the journal has included poems by authors such as Suzette Haden Elgin, Neil Gaiman, Theodora Goss, Joe Haldeman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Darrell Schweitzer, Sonya Taaffe, Catherynne M. Valente, Ian Watson, and Jane Yolen. In 2013, Allen used the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to convert Mythic Delirium to a quarterly digital journal that publishes fiction and poetry.[5] Allen closed the journal in 2018 after publishing 20 digital issues and 50 issues overall.[6] For his work on Mythic Delirium, Allen was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2019.[7]

Allen also used Kickstarter to continue publishing Clockwork Phoenix, a fantasy fiction anthology series he began editing in 2008.[5][8][9]

Strange Horizons called the first crowdfunded volume, Clockwork Phoenix 4, a look into "the future of publishing, in which a crowd-sourced publication from a very small press can produce, and can present professionally and beautifully, work which is at the height of what is being written in genre."[10]


Allen's short story "The Button Bin"[11] was a finalist for the 2008 Nebula Award for Best Short Story.[12] In 2015, his debut short story collection Unseaming was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award for best single author collection.[13] In 2017, an anthology he edited, Clockwork Phoenix 5, was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award for best anthology.[14]

Allen has won the Rhysling Award for best speculative poem three times, in 2003, 2006, and 2007.[15]


Short story collectionsEdit

  • Unseaming (Antimatter Press, 2014)
  • The Spider Tapestries: Seven Strange Stories (Mythic Delirium Books, 2016)

Poetry collectionsEdit

As editorEdit

  • The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase (with Roger Dutcher, Science Fiction Poetry Association, 2005)
  • Mythic (Mythic Delirium Books, 2006)
  • Mythic 2 (Mythic Delirium Books, 2006)
  • Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness (Norilana Books, 2008)
  • Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness (Norilana Books, 2009)
  • Clockwork Phoenix 3: New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness (Norilana Books, 2010)
  • Clockwork Phoenix 4 (Mythic Delirium Books, 2013)
  • Mythic Delirium (with Anita Allen, Mythic Delirium Books, 2014)
  • Mythic Delirium: Volume Two (with Anita Allen, Mythic Delirium Books, 2015)
  • Clockwork Phoenix 5 (Mythic Delirium Books, 2016)



  1. ^ a b Allen, Mike. "Descent into Light: Mike Allen’s Home Page. About Mike Allen."
  2. ^ a b Strange Wisdoms of the Dead by Mike Allen, PopMatters.com; accessed June 6, 2017.
  3. ^ "Reporter was Nebula contender", Roanoke.com, May 3, 2009
  4. ^ "The Locus Index to Science Fiction: 1984–1998", locusmag.com; accessed June 6, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Defying the Traditional Model: Crowdfunding in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, PublishersWeekly.com, November 21, 2014
  6. ^ Mythic Delirium Closes locusmag.com, April 18, 2018; accessed August 4, 2019
  7. ^ 2019 World Fantasy Awards Finalists locusmag.com, July 25, 2019; accessed August 4, 2019
  8. ^ Internet Science Fiction Database
  9. ^ An Interview with Mike Allen, Editor of the Excellent CLOCKWORK PHOENIX Anthology Series, sfsignal.com; accessed June 6, 2017.
  10. ^ Clockwork Phoenix 4 Archived June 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, strangehorizons.com, July 2014.
  11. ^ The Button Bin
  12. ^ 2008 Nebula Award Ballot
  13. ^ 2014 Shirley Jackson Award nominee and winner list, locusmag.com; accessed June 6, 2017.
  14. ^ 2017 World Fantasy Award Finalists, locusmag.com; accessed July 28, 2017.
  15. ^ The Locus Index to SF Awards, sfadb.com; accessed June 6, 2017.

External linksEdit