Leesa Dean is a graduate of the University of Guelph's Creative Writing MFA program and teaches Creative Writing at Selkirk College. Her previous publications include Waiting for the Cyclone, nominated for the 2017 Trillium and ReLit Awards, and the poetry chapbook The Desert of Itabira. Her novella-in-verse, The Filling Station will be published in November 2022 with Gaspereau Press, and she has a second chapbook, Apogee/Perigee, forthcoming with above/ground press in 2023.
She is currently finishing a second full-length manuscript, Traps + Trappings, a poetic memoir on survival camp and intergenerational forms of survival, illness and addiction. Poems from that manuscript were shortlisted in 2022 for the Diagram chapbook contest and the Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse contest, and in 2023, her poem "Timelapse" was runner-up for the Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize.
She lives with her husband and daughter on an acreage in Krestova, BC (Unceded Sinixt Territory) where she keeps planting quinoa seeds that are gobbled up by the band of wild turkeys roving the area. She also helps plan the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, serves as a board member of the Kootenay Literary Society, runs the Black Bear Review (www.blackbearreview.ca) and curates an elaborate dollhouse, inhabited by the cast of Twin Peaks.
I can and have spoken on a variety of topics, including:
-Writing craft (fiction, non-fiction and poetry)
-Writing through challenging life circumstances
-Being a rural artist
I have delivered workshops on the following topics:
-Liberating structures in fiction
-The art of the sentence
-How to hustle: grant writing and networking
-Writing from experience
I have delivered workshops and been a guest speaker in a variety of schools, ranging from grade 3 classrooms to university classes. Please see the descriptions for workshops and presentations for ideas of my areas of expertise.