In honor of our MasterMind genius awards, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes in random order. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email email@example.com with the whos and whys.
33. Preston L. Allen
Call Preston L. Allen an explorer: one who journeys to uncharted
territory in the earth, sky, or rich psychological landscapes
of our minds. This Florida scribe knows writing is an act of discovery.
Why do we do what we do? How can we change what we don't understand?
Exploratory writers like Allen start with nothing and learn as they go.
If you don't comprehend it, rip it apart, dissect it, stick it under a
microscope, and write a novel. You'll figure it out.
Take Allen's recent award winning All or Nothing, published in 2008 by
the Brooklyn based Akashic Books. It explores gambling and addiction in
South Florida Indian casinos. Allen himself knew a thing or two about
the subject. "I did not understand my addiction to gambling, so I wrote
about it. I understand addiction now. I can proudly say I no longer
Writers like Allen know fiction is the lie that tells the
truth. Luckily for South Florida, this explorer of prose is just hitting
his artistic stride. In 2010, he published Jesus Boy, a coming-of-age,
sexy novel set in a church community which received considerable praise from no less than the New York Times. Allen grew up in the 617
(Boston) as well as the 305. He currently teaches writing at Miami Dade
1. List five things that inspire you.
-Any kind of music, but old-time gospel music especially
-Ironies and injustices observed
-Bad dreams and nightmares
-A stormy night, especially if it's in winter
2. What was your last big project?
The novel Jesus Boy--after more than 20 years, I finally finished it.
3. What's your next big project?
My ultra-violent crime novel Father Forgive Me.
4. Why do you do what you do?
I discovered a long time ago that when I tell a story, it helps me to
understand the thing I do not understand. I do not understand love, so I
write about it; I do not understand hate, so I write about it. That's
why I do it. To understand.
5. What's something you want Miami to know about you?
I believe that art, by its very nature, must be a little bit disturbing.
What's something you don't want Miami to know about you?
What I don't want Miami to know are the identities of the people some
of my more autobiographical works are based on, and I take great pains,
artistically, to conceal them.
The Creatives so far:
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40. Heather Maloney
41. Jorge Rubiera
42. Elaine Lancaster
43. Nick Duckart
44. Danielle Estefan
45. John Dufresne
46. Monica Lopez de Victoria
47. Bill Bilowit
48. Alette Simmons-Jimenez
49. Tawnie Silva
50. Ginger Bardot
51. Jonathan David Kane
52. Naomi Fisher
53. Rocky Grimes
54. Teresa Barcelo
55. Paul Tei
56. Lee Materazzi
58. Anna Mixon
59. Octavio Campos
60. P. Scott Cunningham
61. Elena Garcia
62. Summer Hill
63. Autumn Casey
64. Juan Navarro
65. Serge Toussaint
66. David Rohn
67. Diane Brache
68. Spencer Morin
69. James Anthony
70. Jim Drain
71. Claudia Calle
72. Kevin Arrow
73. Andrew Hevia
74. Ana Mendez
75. Michael McKeever
76. Diana Lozano
77. Ricardo Pau-Llosa
78. Agustina Woodgate
79. Tarell Alvin McCraney
80. Jennifer Kronenberg
81. Farley Aguilar
82. Colin Foord
83. Karelle Levy
84. Matt Gajewski
85. Antonia Wright
86. Allen Charles Klein
87. Christy Gast
88. Gustavo Matamoros
89. Shareen Rubiera-Sarwar
90. Kyle Trowbridge
91. Clifton Childree
92. Jessica Gross
93. Danny Brito
94. Nektar de Stagni
95. Anthony Spinello
96. Vanessa Garcia
97. Justin Long
98. Rosie Herrera
99. Rick Falcon
100. Ingrid B