Department of English

Dean H Young

ProfessorM.F.A. in Creative Writing, 1984, Indiana University

William Livingston Chair of Poetry
Dean H Young





Research Interests
Dean Young has published ten books of poetry, recently Elegy on Toy Piano, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Primitive Mentor. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, two from the National endowment for the Arts as well as an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has taught in the low-residency MFA program at Warren Wilson College and was on the permanent faculty at the Iowa Writers' Workshop until becoming the William Livingston Chair of Poetry at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. A book on poetics, The Art of Recklessness will be published in 2009.


Recent Publications

Primitive Mentor, University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming 2008

embryoyo, Believer Books, 2007

Elegy on Toy Piano, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006

Ready-Made Bouquet, Stride Books (UK), 2005

Original Monkey, Center for the Book, Iowa City (limited edition), 2004

Skid, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999

True False, Inflorescence Press (limited edition), 2002


Awards and Honors

  • Literature Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2007
  • Finalist, Pulitzer Prize, 2006 (for Elegy of Toy Pianos)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2002-2003
  • Finalist, Lenore Marshall Prize, American Academy of poets, 2004 (for Skid)
  • Virginia Butts Sturm Writer in Residence, University of West Virginia, 2002
  • Poems selected for Best American Poetry, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2006
  • Pushcart Prize, 1997
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, 1988 and 1996


E 380F • Literature For Writers

34840 • Spring 2016
Meets F 1200pm-300pm CAL 323

Reading the Avant Garde/Dada & Surrealism. In this course we will read Rimbaud, Apollonaire, Tzara, Breton and others in the study of the two most important artistic movements of the 20th century with particular attention to how the ideas and practices of those movements have a lasting effect on the practice and production of poets today. Written requirement will be a combination of creative and critical work.

CRW 355P • Advanced Poetry Workshop

33695 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CAL 22

CRW 355P  l  Advanced Poetry Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  Young, D

Unique #:  33695

Semester:  Fall 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

CRW 355P and E 355K may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 340P (or E 341L).

Description: This is a class for practicing poets with workshop experience. While emphasis will be upon work written by students in the class, we will also foster a vital connection to the work of contemporary and past poets. Students will be expected to work not only on their own poems but also their ability to articulate a sophisticated and informed relationship to poetry in general.

Requirements & Grading:

About a poem a week to be submitted for workshop although all these poems will not be addressed in class.

Ongoing written responses to the work of classmates as well as occasional assignments made at the discretion of the professor.

Attendance. Active and vocal engagement demonstrated in class consistently.

A final portfolio of about five poems, the majority of them substantially revised in response to workshop feedback.

E 380F • Literature For Writers

35025 • Spring 2015
Meets F 1200pm-300pm CAL 200

Lyric Intensity

We are currently in an age, at least in part, of lyric coolness.  I’d like to examine the poetry of intensity.  We’ll begin with looking at a selection of primitive poems which capture some of the intense purposes of poetry.  Then we will look at poets closer to our time: Keats, Hopkins, Tzara, Berryman, Šalamun and a few others.  Students will be required to make a class presentation and submit short written statements.

CRW 325P • Poetry Writing

34890 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 21

Instructor:  Young, D

Unique #:  34890

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Only one of the following may be counted: CRW 325P, E 325 (Topic 2: Creative Writing: Poetry), 325P.

Prerequisites: One of the following: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: Students in this class will be expected to write and turn in one poem a week, some to be discussed in class. We will also be reading a few books by established poets and students will be required to write a short response to each book.

Requirements & Grading: TBA.

E 386L • Creatv Writ: Wrkshp In Poetry

35770 • Spring 2013
Meets M 1000am-100pm FDH 213

E 386L Creative Writing: Workshop in Poetry

This is a graduate workshop for poets in either of the MFA programs.  Concentration will be upon generating new work, discussing it and other poetic concerns in class.  This is not a class for beginners or casual writers.

E 380F • Literature For Writers

35765 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 100pm-230pm CBA 4.340

Readings in the Avant Garde

In this class, we’ll read two of the major precursors to the great artistic explosion of the last century, Rimbaud and Apollonaire, then survey the three major movements: Futurism, Dada and Surrealism.

E 325P • Poetry Writing

35240 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 200

Instructor:  Young, D            Areas:  IV

Unique #:  35240            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Spring 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

E 325 (Topic 2: Creative Writing: Poetry) and 325P may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: Students in this class will be expected to write and turn in one poem a week, some to be discussed in class. We will also be reading a few books by established poets and students will be required to write a short response to each book.

Requirements & Grading: TBA.

E 380F • Literature For Writers

35585 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 323

Literature for Writers: Books That Mattered

In this class we will read one book of poems a week, considering its lasting influence and effects on the poetry that comes after, both in terms of lyric possibilities as well as what a book of poems can do, how it can be put together.  Students will be expected to submit a creative response to each author that will be looked at in class.  Also each student will report on a book of her choosing in class, as well as submit a written version of that report.

Reading List (subject to change)

Lyrical Ballads

Leaves of Grass (1855 version)

Spring and All


Silence in the Snowy Fields

Lunch Poems


The Branch Will Not Break

Lost Pilot

End of Beauty

My Life

E 379S • Senior Seminar-W

35125 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 210

E379S: The Beginning of the Avant Garde (35125)

Professor Dean Young
Spring 2010
Tuesday/Thursday, 3:30-5:00PM


Course Description

This class will focus on some of the predecessors and early exponents of the avant garde in the twentieth century. We will begin with Rimbaud and Apollonaire, two figures who stand alone in their innovative literary production then proceed to the more collective concerns of Futurism, Dada, Surrealism and OULIPO. Students will be required to produce three creative works that exemplify or react to the ideas and procedures of particular avant gardes. Also students will be required to write a manifesto of their own, parodic or otherwise. A final paper, on an individual poet or manifestations of the avant garde not explored in class for instance, will be the foundation for an in-class presentation during the last few weeks of the semester.

Reading List:

  • Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads
  • Whitman, "Song of Myself"
  • Rimbaud, A Season in Hell (Donald Revell's translation)*
  • Apollonaire, The Self-Dismembered Man*
  • Futurism--handouts
  • Dada
  • Tzara, Anti-Manifestos*
  • Surrealism
  • Breton, Manifestos of Surrealism
  • Lorca, Poet in New York*
  • OULIPO--handouts

Additional readings will be from The Random House Book of Twentieth Century French Poetry as well as handouts.

Writing Requirements

  20%: 3 creative works (of prose, poetry or whatever) that show an interaction with any of the particular aspects of the avant garde that emerge in our discussions and readings. At least two of these are due before spring break. (March 15).
  20%: One 3-5 page position/manifesto satement. This may be approached with great sincerity, great mockery or somewhere in between.
  40%: Final Project. 12-15 page paper. This may be an in-depth study of a single poet associated with the avant garde or a consideration of a particulat idea that emerges and morphs through the work of more than one artist.
  10%: Class presentation based on your final project. These presentations will occur in the last weeks of the semester.
  10%: Participation.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

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