Guy Allen

Guy Allen

Professor Guy Allen authored and performed story-based performance pieces in Canada and the United States from 1980-2000. Allen has pioneered writing autobiographical narrative, as a form of community activism. In 1995, Allen co-founded Life Rattle, a Toronto radio program devoted to seeking out, developing and broadcasting stories from Toronto communities, especially from people from communities under-represented in mainstream media. Life Rattle now includes Toronto’s now well-known Totally Unknown Writers Festival, an annual showcase of new writers, and Life Rattle Press, a nonprofit publisher of new writing. Allen’s performance work and his community activism have attracted support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. Allen has advised the Department of Psychiatry at Toronto’s Mt. Sinai Hospital on the use of narrative therapy as a clinical tool. Allen has become known for his innovations in the teaching of writing in universities and colleges and has won four university teaching awards, including Canada’s national 3M Teaching Fellowship. UTM’s Professional Writing and Communication Program, and the expressivist philosophy that underlies it, contains many pedagogical innovations introduced by Allen. Allen teaches Expressive Writing: Pedagogy and Practice to teachers and graduate students at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.