Leesa Dean was born in Northern British Columbia and raised in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. She spent a decade in Montreal where she studied Creative Writing at Concordia University before moving to Toronto. She also lived on random farms and beaches before eventually settling in Nelson, BC. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA program and now teaches English and Creative Writing at Selkirk College.
Her writing has been nominated for literary awards such as the Trillium and ReLit Awards, the Irving Layton Award, and the Litpop Awar. She is co-founder of the Black Bear Review, a Kootenay-based literary journal, and was Interviews Editor for The Humber Literary Review from 2014-2016. When she's not writing or teaching, she is almost certainly on a wild adventure somewhere, doing things like riding her bike across Canada or befriending circus bear trainers in the Deep South.
Her critically acclaimed short story collection, WAITING FOR THE CYCLONE, was published by Brindle & Glass in October 2016. She is currently finishing a poetry collection, Manuelzinho: A Novel in Verse, which takes a character from an Elizabeth Bishop poem and creates a life narrative for him. She is also working on A Few Red Flags, a collection of short stories featuring disaster moms, set in her home region of the West Kootenay.
The author is represented by Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic Agency.
Photograph by Ayelet Tsabari