Dean Young (poet)

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Dean Young
at the 2013 National Bookfest
at the 2013 National Bookfest
Born1955 (age 66–67)
Columbia, Pennsylvania
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize finalist

Dean Young (born 1955) is a contemporary American poet in the poetic lineage of John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and Kenneth Koch. Often cited as a second-generation New York School poet, Young also derived influence and inspiration from the work of André Breton, Paul Éluard, and the other French Surrealist poets.


He was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania. He received his MFA from Indiana University.[1]

In 2008, Young became the William Livingston Chair of Poetry of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.[2]

His most recent books are Bender: New and Selected Poems, Fall Higher and The Art of Recklessness.

In an interview,[3] Young said his poems are about misunderstanding and that tying meaning too closely with understanding is not the intent of his poetry. He finds the process of creation to be more important than the work itself: his poems are more demonstrations than explanations. He also finds that using mangled quotes from technical journals, as he experimented with in First Course in Turbulence, allows for a kind of collage in which tones confront each other. Citing Breton as an influence, Young finds Surrealism useful in understanding the imagination and removing the boundaries between real and unreal.

In 2011, Young had a heart transplant. The possibility of his death and encounters with impermanence are frequent themes in his poetry, especially in Fall Higher, which was published days after his transplant.[4]


He was awarded the Colorado Prize for Poetry for Strike Anywhere, has received a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and has been awarded fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2002) as well as from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. His work has been included in The Best American Poetry anthology multiple times, dating back to 1993.

Elegy on Toy Piano (2005), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Dean was the Poet Laureate for Texas in 2014.



  • Young, Dean (1988). Design with X.
  • Beloved Infidel (1992) Originally published by Wesleyan University Press.
  • Strike Anywhere (1995)
  • First Course in Turbulence (1999)
  • Skid (2002)
  • Ready-Made Bouquet (Published by Stride, ISBN 9781900152990, 2005)
  • Elegy on Toy Piano (2005)
  • Embryoyo (2007)
  • Primitive Mentor (2008) (shortlisted for the 2009 International Griffin Poetry Prize)
  • 7 Poets, 4 Days, 1 Book (Trinity University Press, 2009)
  • 31 Poems, 1988-2008 (published by Forklift, Ink, 2009)
  • The Foggist (2009)
  • The Art of Recklessness (2010)
  • Fall Higher (Copper Canyon Press, 2011)
  • Bender: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2012)
  • Shock by Shock (Copper Canyon Press, 2015)
  • Solar Perplexus (Copper Canyon Press, 2019)

List of poems[edit]

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Another lethal party favor 2013 Young, Dean (October 28, 2013). "Another lethal party favor". The New Yorker. Vol. 89, no. 34. p. 35.


  1. ^ "Dean Young". 25 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2011-07-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Jubilat, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2002. ISSN 1529-0999.
  4. ^ "The Heart Of Dean Young's Pre-Transplant Poetry". Retrieved 2019-02-27.

External links[edit]