Joseph Allen was born in Ballymena, Co Antrim. He has published poetry in magazines at home and abroad, including; The Antigonish Review, Agenda, Ambit, Acumen, Black Mountain Review, Cyphers, The London Magazine, Orbis, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, Rope, The Shop, The South Carolina Review and The Stinging Fly.
He has published two pamphlets, The Sound of Rooms (2003), and Night Patrol (2004), and three full collections; Landscaping (2007), Family Plot (2009) and Looking for Robert Johnson (2011).
As well as being a poet he is a performing Delta Blues guitarist, singer and harmonica player and also performs in a Bluegrass/Folk band called Sour Hill, playing guitar, dobro, harmonica, banjo, mandolin, auto harp and mountain dulcimer as well as providing vocals. He has recorded four Delta Blues CDs, most recently, Nothin’ but the Devil, on the JA Blues label.
He also writes articles on music and poetry for various magazines, including; The Ulster Folk and Blues Matters.