Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Larry O. Dean  

Pen Name: Lawrence O. Dean


Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: in Flint, Michigan

-- Website --
-- Larry O. Dean on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Dean resides in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Dean is a Chicago-based singer-songwriter, journalist and poet. He was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. As a young man, he worked with Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Michael Moore, was widely published in the alternative press, and also worked as a cartoonist. He attended the University of Michigan at Flint and Ann Arbor, during which time he won three Hopwood Awards in Creative Writing, an honor shared with fellow writers Robert Hayden, Jane Kenyon, Frank O'Hara, Arthur Miller, John Ciardi, and Mary Gaitskill, among others. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Murray State University, and since 2003 has taught 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.In addition to writing, he is a singer and songwriter, working both solo as well as with several 'hard pop' bands. He has released numerous critically-acclaimed CD's, including ''Throw the Lions to the Christians'' (1997) and ''Sir Slob'' (2001); ''Public Displays of Affection'' (1998) and ''Fables in Slang'' (2001), with Post Office; ''Gentrification Is Theft'' (2002), with The Me Decade; and ''Fun with a Purpose'' (2009), with The Injured Parties. He also hosts a monthly songwriter showcase, ''Folk You!,'' now in its seventh year.He is author of books, ''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); and ''I Am Spam'' (2004), a series of poems 'inspired' by spam email. He recently completed a new manuscript, ''Brief Nudity'', as well as a 'best of' collection including poems from out-of-print works. 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'', and ''Black Creek Review''. His work has also been widely anthologized.After living in San Francisco for over a decade, Dean now makes his home in Chicago.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Rate of Exchange and Other Poems

Zenith Beast Books. 1988

Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat

Zenith Beast. 1990

I Am Spam
ISBN: 0972255362

Fractal Edge Press. 2004

The unique inspiration for these poems (the subject lines of spam e-mail messages) and the wry, surreal humor that delight the full range of readers, from those deeply immersed in prosody to those who last read poetry under duress in high school. In the end, however, the surface wit of these poems cannot mask the craft and precision of the winner of five Hopwood Awards at the University of Michigan.


Gwendolyn Brooks Award, Poetry Center of Chicago, 2004 Avery & Julie Hopwood Award, University of Michigan 1981-82-83

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)