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Leesa Dean

Leesa Dean

Photo: Erica Brault

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.

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 ( and curates an elaborate dollhouse, inhabited by the cast of Twin Peaks.

c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction
I write professionally in the following language(s):


Waiting for the Cyclone. 2016, Brindle and Glass
The Desert of Itabira. 2020, above/ground press
The Filling Station. 2022, Gaspereau Press


Leesa Dean
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Are you available for public presentations and/or workshops:
Presentation Description

I can and have spoken on a variety of topics, including:

-Writing craft (fiction, non-fiction and poetry)

-Writing through challenging life circumstances

-Grant writing


-Starting magazines

-Being a rural artist

Presentation Length:
1 hour
Fiction, Poetry
Any: I have been a guest speaker in elementary, secondary, high schools and post-secondary institutions.
Audience Size:
To be discussed depending on length and amount of prep required
Workshop Description:

I have delivered workshops on the following topics:

-Liberating structures in fiction

-The art of the sentence

-How to hustle: grant writing and networking

-Experimental fiction

-Writing from experience

Workshop Length:
1-3 hours
Workshop Intended Audience:
All ages
Workshop Audience Size:
Up to 20 per session
Workshop Fee:
As per standard artist fee schedule
Are you available for school visits?:
School Presentation Description:

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.

School Presentation Length:
1-2 hours
School Intended Audience:
School Audience Size:
School Presentation Fee:
As per standard artist fee schedule
Interested in participating in the Union’s Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program:
Interested in participating in the Northern Ontario WITS program: