Young, Dean 1955-
YOUNG, Dean 1955-
PERSONAL: Born 1955, in Columbia, PA; married Cornelia Nixon (a writer).
ADDRESSES: Home—Berkeley, CA; and Chicago, IL. Offıce—Loyola University Chicago, 6525 North Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60626. E-mail—[email protected] edu.
CAREER: Teacher and writer. Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, currently associate professor of English; University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Iowa City, visiting faculty member, 1997-98, 2001. Has also taught at the University of Wisconsin.
AWARDS, HONORS: Fellowship, Fine Arts Work Center; Stegner fellowship, Stanford University; National Endowment for the Arts fellowship; Colorado Poetry Prize, 1995, for Strike Anywhere.
Design with X, Wesleyan University Press (Middletown, CT), 1988.
Beloved Infidel, University Press of New England (Hanover, NH), 1992.
Strike Anywhere, Center for Literary Publications, Press of Colorado (Niwot, CO), 1995.
First Course in Turbulence, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1999.
Skid, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 2002.
Has also produced audio recordings of his poetry for the Library of Congress. Contributor of poetry to numerous periodicals and anthologies, including Ploughshares, Gettysburg Review, Pushcart Prize XXI: Best of the Small Presses, Threepenny Review, and many others.
SIDELIGHTS: Described as one of the standard bearers of modern surrealism, poet Dean Young has been the recipient of a variety of fellowships and awards, acknowledgement that he is being read and heard. Young's first book of poetry, Design with X, was published in 1988, followed by Beloved Infidel in 1992. Publishers Weekly reviewed Beloved Infidel and praised it. "Like many of the 'language poets,' Young seems interested in issues of form vs. formlessness and the tradition of indeterminate language, yet the work remains coherent." Ploughshares contributor Diann Blakely Shoaf similarly remarked on how Young uses the "slightly cracked and wavy but nonetheless serviceable mirror of contemporary language" to comment on modern life, and concluded that Beloved Infidel is "a book that's a winner of hearts."
Young's poetry has been described as witty, exhilarating, and urgent by readers and critics alike. As Charles Simic noted in a remark quoted on the University of Iowa Web site: "The language, the invention, the imagination and the sheer fun of his poems is astounding." Strike Anywhere, Young's third collection, won the Colorado Poetry Prize in 1995. Judged Don Revell of the book, according to the University of Iowa Web site: "In this, the most beautiful of his three collections, Dean Young enlarges the project of North American Surrealism, gifting it with an entirely new intimacy and equally new range."
After 1999's First Course in Turbulence, Young's 2002 collection, Skid, received high marks. As the author remarked on the University of Iowa Web site about the poems in his fifth book: "I think they're very much about misunderstanding. I think to tie meaning too closely to understanding misses the point." Booklist's Ray Olson wrote, "There are now so many things and ideas in the world that it addles even the best-intentioned mind. . . . Surrealism seldom seems as much like real life as in Young's hilarious and cautionary poems."
Young himself acknowledges a subtle evolution in his poetry, as he observed on the University of Iowa Web site: "I think my first two books were relatively austere. In the following books, I tried to work toward celebration and joy and goofiness. But life conspires against you, hand you tragedy, proves that nothing can last. I think all of that is more apparent in Skid than it was in First Course in Turbulence."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Antioch Review, summer, 1993, James Harms, review of Beloved Infidel, p. 57.
Booklist, February 15, 2002, Ray Olson, review of Skid, p. 986.
Boston Book Review, June, 199, review of First Course in Turbulence, p. 32.
Ohio Review, spring, 1993, Tony Hoagland, review of Beloved Infidel, p. 468.
Ploughshares, fall, 1993, Diann Blakely Shoaf, review of Beloved Infidel, pp. 250-51.
Publishers Weekly, June 1, 1992, review of Beloved Infidel, p. 57; February 25, 2002, review of Skid, p. 58.
Threepenny Review, summer, 1990, review of Design with X, p. 21.
Virginia Quarterly Review, summer, 1996, review of Strike Anywhere, p. 100.
Loyola University Web site,http://www.luc.edu/ (July 24, 2002), excerpt from First Course in Turbulence.
University of Iowa Web site,http://www.uiowa.edu/ (July 24, 2002).
Colorado State University Web site,http://www.colostate.edu/ (July 24, 2002), "Center for Literary Publishing."*