Dean Parkin was born in Lowestoft in 1969 and left school to work at a printers and then a bookshop. He is a full-time writer, freelance poet, playwright and workshop leader.
In 2018-19 he wrote Pearls from The Grit, the successful touring theatre show. Featuring three actors, a musician and myself as the writer/narrator, it was performed to sell-out audiences across East Anglia in October 2018 and November 2019. This co-incided with the publication of a revised edition of The Grit: The Story of Lowestoft's Fishing Village, described as an East Anglian oral history classic, which I originally co-wrote with Jack Rose in 1997.
A Jerwood/Arvon Young Poet in 2003, he has two collections, The Swan Machine (2015) and The Bubble Wrap (2017) for children, and have written three one-man shows including Dean’s Dad’s Ducks which appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe. His new collection, Secrets Corner, will be published in the summer 2023.
In the 1990s he co-wrote, edited and published nearly 40 local history books. In 1999 he began his long association with the international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and its organisation, The Poetry Trust, where he held various roles for 15 years, latterly as Creative Director.
Since 2015 he has worked as a freelance writer & workshop leader and run sessions in schools, prisons, colleges, universities and residential homes, with every age from primary school children to the over nineties.
In 2016 with Naomi Jaffa he co-founded Poetry People which delivered The Grit, a project to celebrate Lowestoft's forgotten fishing village. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project ran from 2017-18 and won a National Creative Learning Award for Literature and Creative Writing.
He specialises in creating video poems — three of his most popular, Right Up Your Street, Spread a Little Kirkleyness and Suffolk Heart have over 100,000 views online. In 2023 his first short film, Little Cote, which he co-created with Nathan Berry, was premiered at The Horkey at The Cut on 28 October 2023.
Dean is the first poet to appear on BBC1 reading a poem on the loo.
He writes with an eye for detail
and a winning sense of irony.
Funny, sad and thought-provoking
in equal measure.
East Anglian Daily Times
Entertaining with effortless ease
and page after page of
The Yorkshire Times
A natural born storyteller.
Poems full of mischief, laughter and tears.