DEAN PARKIN was born in Lowestoft in 1969 and left school to work at Panda Books in the town’s High Street. In the 1990s he co-wrote, edited and published nearly 40 local history books, many of them under his own Rushmere Publishing imprint.
In 1999 he started 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 poet, writer and workshop leader. He has run sessions in schools, prisons, colleges, universities and residential homes, with every age from primary children to the over nineties.
In 2010 he wrote and performed his one man show Dean’s Dad’s Ducks at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, followed by his Poem for Suffolk show across the county in 2014. He has published two poetry collections, The Swan Machine (2015) and The Bubble Wrap (2017) for children.
In 2016 he co-founded Poetry People which devised and delivered The Grit, a project to celebrate Lowestoft’s almost forgotten fishing village. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project ran from 2017-18 and consisted of workshops in primary schools and residential homes, GritFest celebration day, and the creation of a new theatre show, Pearls from The Grit. Featuring three actors, a musician and Dean himself as the writer/narrator, performances drew sell-out audiences across Suffolk in October 2018. With Arts Council support, the show will tour Suffolk and Norfolk in November 2019.
Dean is currently working on two books which will be published in 2020 by Corner Street. A newly revised and illustrated edition of Jack Rose’s autobiography, Lowestoft Life will be followed by Suffolk Heart, a collection of Dean’s own stories, poems and illustrations of life in the most easterly county.