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 cartooned for fanzines as well as other underground outlets. He attended the University of Michigan, where he won three Hopwood Awards in Creative Writing, along 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 higher ed creative writing, literature, and composition, and is a Poet-in-Residence in the public schools through the Chicago Poetry Center’s Hands on Stanzas program. He was recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Award for teaching excellence in 2004.

In addition, Dean’s a singer, songwriter, and producer, working both solo as well as with several ‘hard pop’ bands. He has released numerous critically acclaimed albums, including Good Grief (2015), 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; Product Placement (2019) and Fun with a Purpose (2009) with The Injured Parties. Since 2001 he has hosted a monthly songwriter showcase, Folk You!

Dean’s most recent book is Frequently Asked Questions (forthcoming). He is also author of Activities of Daily Living (2017), Brief Nudity (2013), and chapbooks Muse, Um (2022), ekphrastic poems inspired by visits to the Art Institute of Chicago; Basic Cable Couplets (2012), a series of ‘found’ poems with text adapted/modified from, and/or inspired by listings for TV movies; 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 series of poems based on abbreviations and acronyms culled from popular culture as well as technical and business jargon; I Am Spam (2004), poems ‘inspired’ by spam email; Identity Theft for Dummies (2003); Workers’ Comp. (1995); Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat (1990); QWERTYUIOP (1989); Barking Up the Wrong Tree (1989); and Rate of Exchange & Other Poems (1988). Selected magazine publications include Berkeley Poetry Review, Passages North, Lilliput Review, California Quarterly, Pacific Coast Journal, Maelstrom, Red Rock Review, Big Bridge, Old City Cool, Keyhole, OCHO, filling Station, Alehouse, Dinosaur Bees, Logan Square Literary Review, Blue & Yellow Dog, Heavy Feather Review, Artichoke Haircut, The Brooklyner, Everyday Genius, and Packingtown Review. His work has been widely anthologized, and translated into Chinese, Italian, and Spanish.

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

Other Works

  • Activities of Daily Living

  • Brief Nudity

  • Basic Cable Couplets

  • About the Author

  • abbrev

  • I Am Spam


Awards and Recognition

  • Gwendolyn Brooks Award
  • Jule & Avery Hopwood Award