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 Krestova, BC, where she still lives on an acreage with her artist husband Matty Kakes and daughter Scarlett. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA program and teaches English and Creative Writing at Selkirk College.
Her time in residence was spent working on her new novel tentatively titled Let the Music Happen or Like Wind. Taking much needed time away from her busy life as an instructor, editor and mother, Dean found the time in residence invaluable to edit, write and see the novel from different points of view.
Her writing has been nominated for literary awards such as the Trillium and ReLit Awards, the Irving Layton Award, and the Litpop Award. 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.
Her critically acclaimed short story collection, Waiting for the Cyclone, was published by Brindle & Glass in October 2016. Her poetry chapbook The Desert of Itabira was published by above/ground press in January 2020, and her novella in verse, The Filling Station, is forthcoming with Gaspereau Press in 2022. She is currently working on a novel that takes place in her home region of the West Kootenay.