Dean Parkin was born in Suffolk, where he still lives. He left school at 16, worked at a printer’s, then in a bookshop and as a publisher of local history books. Subsequently, he worked for the The Poetry Trust from 2000-2015, latterly as Creative Director, programming the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival.
He is now a full-time freelance poet and delivers workshops and residencies for people of all ages and in 2016 he co-founded Poetry People, which devises and organises community poetry projects. A former Jerwood/Arvon Young Poet, his poems have appeared in many magazines including The North, Poetry Review and The Rialto and he has also appeared in The Forward Anthology.
He has published four pamphlets – his first, Irresistible to Women (2003) was followed by Just Our Luck (2008) – both published by The Garlic Press. A third, Sunshine of Fortune featured poems written during a residency in the Stour Valley. His first full collection, The Swan Machine, was published by The Rialto in 2016 whilst his debut book of poems for children – The Bubble Wrap & Other Poems was published by Small Donkey in October 2017.
An experienced performer, he has been poet-in-residence on BBC Radio Norfolk and his one man show, Dean’s Dad’s Ducks, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He was the first poet to appear on BBC1 reading a poem on the loo.
Photography: Nathan Berry