Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Irma Joan Allen  

Pen Name: Irma Waggoner Swierk, Irma Swierk

Genre: C:ADULT C:YA Non-Fiction

Born: 1931 in Paradise Township - Mattoon, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Allen was born in Mattoon, Illinois. She lived in Brookfield, IL for many years and now resides in the Chicago suburbs.

Biographical and Professional Information

Irma Waggoner Swierk Allen has always liked to write, and was pleased when a local newspaper published her "Christmas Story." She then coauthored ''Ten Sisters, A True Story'', and ''Ten Little Sisters''. She lived for many years in Brookfield, IL, where she ran a grocery store and found pleasure in her sizeable family and her music. She now resides in the Chicago suburbs, a short distance from three of her sisters. She is featured in the award-winning PBS short documentary on the Ten Sisters (Prairie Fire - PBS WILL) which won a Gracie Allen Award in 2004. She is featured in a full-length PBS documentary, Ten Sisters: A True Story. DVDs are available through PBS WILL 217 333 1070. The story of the Ten Sisters was also featured in ''Family Circle Magazine'', and three newspaper articles about the ten sisters won awards for journalism.

Published Works Expand for more information

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