Alumni Profiles

 

Rashaun Allen, B.S.’09

In the Moment

Rashaun Allen

As an assistant manager at Hannaford near his Wappingers Falls, N.Y., home, Rashaun Allen oversees daily operations for various departments; assists customers and vendors; plans training for associates; and helps direct the store’s community-service efforts. On his own time, however, Allen is a poet who launched RashaunEnterprises LLC, now operating as RoyalBluePublishing.com.

“My poetry is my heart on display,” says the Brooklyn, N.Y., native. While “a handful of the poems” in his self-published A Walk Through Brooklyn and In The Moment “are personal,” and some “mention current events, politics and religion,” the others “are snapshots of a collective experience we all share. My goal is to keep my poetry timeless and relatable,” explains Allen, whose themes include love, social issues and overcoming hardship.

“Everyone has a moment in life that decides his or her future. That moment, for me, happened at a poetry showcase. I really wanted to win. I didn’t, but I made a personal commitment not to let adversity get the best of me. I decided to write a book, which became A Walk Through Brooklyn. My favorite poem in it is ‘If I Could’; it is dedicated to my mother. Another of my favorites, from In The Moment, is ‘A Hero,’ written for my grandfather.”

Both In The Moment and A Walk Through Brooklyn are available as e-books. Through RoyalBluePublishing.com, “I am looking for writers to publish in non-fiction and fiction genres. I don’t rest on my laurels,” notes Allen, adding that he plans to write “a memoir or a self-help book.”

Allen, who always “loved to write,” majored in business administration and English at UAlbany, “a place conducive to growth. I was offered a generous financial aid package; pre-enrolled in the School of Business; and selected as an EOP student, which meant I would have a lot of support.”

EOP, he adds, was “my road map” at the University. “The administrative staff – Dr. [Carson] Carr, Maritza Martinez, Tyshena Hunter and Chris Fernando – was my compass. Dr. Carr emphasized the importance of lifting other people up as you climb. Maritza’s dedication impresses everyone. Chris would lend his ear to me whenever I was contemplating a life decision. I never considered having a mentor until a conversation with Tyshena. I had study groups and went to social events with my EOP peers. EOP was my extended family.”

To learn more about A Walk Through Brooklyn and In The Moment, visit RoyalBluePublishing.com. For writing inquiries, email Allen at Rashaunenterprises@gmail.com.

– Carol Olechowski