The many faces of Jo Harvey. This is a woman who tells, writes and acts a good story.

"Every time I do something, it comes from a completely different place
. . . it's just magic.

Jo Harvey Allen: Poet, Playwright, Actress

Plays (written and performed)

Ghost Ship Rodez
An Evening with Terry and Jo Harvey Allen
Chippy: Diaries of a West Texas Hooker (w/Terry Allen)
Pioneer, an opera
(w/Terry Allen and Rinde Eckert )
Ring II: The Embrace ... Advance To Fury
(w/Terry Allen)
Hally Lou*
Anti-Rabbit Bleeder/A Biography
(w/Terry Allen)
Every Three Minutes, a radio play
(w/Bukka Allen)
Do You Know What Your Children Are Tonight? (Smithsonian - w/ Allen family, Terry, Bukka and Bale)
A Moment’s Hesitation
Counter Angel
(originally titled Tables and Angels)
As it is in Texas
ovenant (w/Terry Allen)

Published Works

Cheek to Cheek (poetry)
The Beautiful Waitress (poetry and photographs)

NEA 'Art Matters' Grant

West Texas Walk of Fame, Sept. 2015 (see article in Lubbock Avalanche-Journal )

Sometimes our interviews are like the scene in a sinking ship movie where an unsuspecting crewman opens a hatch and a flood explodes out. And this, our last writer interview in the Southwest with Jo Harvey Allen was one of those. Jo Harvey and her husband, Terry Allen, escaped their hometown of Lubbock, Texas to start a new life in the growing cultural frontier of early 1960s Los Angeles.

As Jo Harvey tells in this interview, her life blossomed through a series of chance events and encounters, and a missed radio interview with Waylon Jennings. The missed interview led to an interview with a Texas waitress that ignited one path. She had more life-changing interviews with yet more “beautiful waitresses” as well as encounters with many of the most significant artistic leaders of the times. She studied poetry with Philip Levine and Kenneth Rexroth. Her poetry grew into plays, her plays into movies, her art into museum showings, teaching and more. She is a beguiling force who follows her mother's advice of knowing that "you are no better or worse than anyone else, and you can go where you want to go."

Interview Movie
(Embedded version below)

MP3 Audio File
(Note: To download the podcast,
right click on the link if you are on a PC,
control click if you are on a Mac. )


Santa Fe, NM

Run Time:



Poet, Playwright, Actress, Artist




Lubbock, TX

Youthful Influence:

Although 'everyone in (her) family were storytellers,' her colorful grandmothers seemed to influence her most.

Favorite Authors:

Philip Levine, Kenneth Rexroth

Creative Habit:

Daydreaming in her favorite spot. Writing in journals. Her writing style is sparse, her creative style is magic.

We all know that writers are first and foremost storytellers, and in this interview we think you’ll agree that Jo Harvey Allen tells a fascinating story that pours through the hatch. And it’s a story so captivating that we forgot to ask our usual set of basic questions we’ve posed to all other writers. But we think that after you’ve watched the interview you’ll forgive our lapse.

A poem and painting that Terry did for Jo Harvey. Their love and regard for each other is evident in small touches everywhere. They've been married since 1961.

Another wing of the studio
and a bad photo (sorry) of a poster for "Counter Angel." She was one of our first performance artists.

Jo Harvey's studio.

A poster for "Hally Lou"

Jo Harvey earned a BFA in design. Her touch is everywhere.

and one for "Home Run"