Susan D. E. Allison Fund

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A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. ― W.H. Auden


Writing – in all its various forms – is empowering. It’s creative, expressive, illustrative, and informative. The act of writing is a gift of sharing, shaping experience and feeling into something others can read, hear, understand, and relate to.

Susan D. E. Allison served the community through her creative skills, talents, and gentle ways. Her love for the arts in general and particularly the written word are legendary. Through her writing, she gave life and voice to Middletown and shared her abiding and deep love of the community she called home.

Susan’s commitment to her creative art and to her community are evident in her books of poetry celebrating Middletown and the cultural performance space she and her husband founded, NEAR, Inc./The Buttonwood Tree. At The Buttonwood Tree, Susan established a unique space where the written word is brought to life – through readings, theater, dance, and songs – and celebrated for its enduring influence on how we as a community share our experiences.

Two Macdonough Elementary School students decided that Middletown needed a poet laureate after studying the topic in class. Their belief and their persistence paid off when Susan was selected as Middletown’s first poet laureate in 2015. The students believed a poet laureate could help the city and the whole world by sharing the poetry of their community and Middletown’s first poet laureate definitely fulfilled their hopes through her writings and her passion.

Susan’s passing is a great loss to the Middletown community; yet through her poetry and her love of community, her legacy will continue for generations. Her husband, Stephan, and son, John, have established the Susan D. E. Allison Fund at the Community Foundation. Through this Fund her family and friends will honor her memory with grants to support Russell Library programs in the arts through nonprofit organizations serving the North End community. Susan’s gifts – her poetry and her presence – will continue through generations of writers and artists who follow in her footsteps, supported by her fund and the friends and neighbors who know the power and impact of her creative legacy.