Larry O. Dean

Illinois, United States

Larry O. Dean was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. As a young man, he worked with Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Michael Moore, published essays and reviews on popular culture in the alternative press, and also cartooned for fanzines and other underground outlets. He attended the University of Michigan, where he won three Hopwood Awards in Creative Writing, an honor shared with fellow poets John Ciardi, Robert Hayden, Jane Kenyon, and Frank O'Hara, among others; and Murray State University's low-residency MFA program. He teaches creative writing, literature, and composition as an adjunct English instructor, and is a Poet-in-Residence in the Chicago Public Schools through the Poetry Center of Chicago's Hands on Stanzas program. He was a recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Award for teaching excellence in 2004.

Dean is author of the full-length collection, Brief Nudity (2013), as well as chapbooks Rate of Exchange & Other Poems (1988); Barking Up the Wrong Tree (1989); QWERTYUIOP (1989); Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat (1990); Workers' Comp. (1995); Identity Theft for Dummies (2003); I Am Spam (2004), poems 'inspired' by spam email subject lines; About the Author (2011), which displaces the focus of auto-referentiality from the text to the author as the para-textual 'author bio' becomes the matter of the poems; abbrev (2011), a short sequence of poems based on abbreviations and acronyms culled from popular culture as well as technical and business jargon; and Basic Cable Couplets (2012), 'found' poems with text adapted/modified from, and/or inspired by listings for TV movies. Selected magazine publications include The Berkeley Poetry Review, Gryphon, Passages North, Third Lung Review, The Altered Mind, Lilliput Review, Amaranth Review, Kumquat Meringue, California Quarterly, The Monona Review, Whoreson Dog, Pacific Coast Journal, Tomorrow, Poetry at the 33 Review, Work, Strong Coffee, Maelstrom, Clark Street Review, Red Rock Review, Big Bridge, Pigeon, The Banana King, Sliced Bread, Old City Cool, Keyhole, OCHO, filling Station, Alehouse, Dinosaur Bees, Logan Square Literary Review, Used Furniture Review, Blue & Yellow Dog, Heavy Feather Review, Artichoke Haircut, The Brooklyner, Packingtown Review, and The Battered Suitcase. His work has been widely anthologized, and translated into Chinese, Italian, and Spanish.

In addition, he is a singer, songwriter, and producer, working both solo as well as with several 'hard pop' bands. He has released numerous critically-acclaimed albums, including Throw the Lions to the Christians (1997; reissued 2012) and Sir Slob (2001); Hog Wash! (1989; reissued 2012), The Naked & the Daft (1993; reissued 2012), and Fresh Brood (1994; reissued 2012) with The Fussbudgets; Embarrassment of Riches (1995; reissued 2012) with Malcontent; Public Displays of Affection (1998), Fables in Slang (2001), and WNUR Demos (2012) with Post Office; Gentrification Is Theft (2002), with The Me Decade; and Fun with a Purpose (2009), with The Injured Parties. Since 2001 he has hosted a monthly songwriter showcase, Folk You!

After living in San Francisco for over a decade, he makes his home in Chicago.


Twitter Username: @larryodean


  • Basic Cable Couplets , Silkworms Ink (2012)
  • Abbrev , Beard of Bees (2011)
  • About the Author , Mindmade Books (2011)
  • I Am Spam , Fractal Edge Press (2004)
  • Brief Nudity , Salmon Poetry (2013)
  • Poetry Cram: The Ultimate Chicago Poetry Anthology , Chicago Poetry Press (2012)
  • Dogs Singing , Salmon Poetry (2010)
  • On the No Road Way to Tomorrow , Virtual Artists Collective (2009)
  • Language Lessons , Third Man Books (2014)


  • Gwendolyn Brooks Award(2004)
  • Avery & Jule Hopwood Award(1982)
  • Avery & Jule Hopwood Award(1983)
  • Avery & Jule Hopwood Award(1984)


  • English Instructor at Indiana University Northwest (August 2011 - )
  • English Instructor at Northeastern Illinois University (August 2009 - )
  • English Instructor at McHenry County College (August 2009 - May 2011)
  • English Instructor at Joliet Junior College (January 2010 - May 2010)
  • Poet-in-Residence at Poetry Center of Chicago (August 2003 - )
  • Graduate Assistant at Northeastern Illinois University (August 2008 - May 2009)


  • Bachelor of Arts in General Studies from University of Michigan (June 1984)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Murray State University (August 2009)

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Poetry