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Dennis Lee
Photo credit: Susan Perly

Dennis Lee was born August 31, 1939, in Toronto. Second of four children. Both grandfathers were Methodist ministers; both parents were high school teachers.

He attended Kingsway Lambton Public School. University of Toronto Schools (secondary). University of Toronto. B.A., 1962, in English Language and Literature. M.A., 1965, with thesis on "Ekstatic Form in Modern Literature."

He married Susan Perly, 1985. Three grown children, by previous marriages. One grandson.


  • Taught English at Victoria College, University of Toronto, 1963-67.
  • Resource person at Rochdale College, Toronto, 1967-69.
  • Co-founder, House of Anansi Press, 1967. Editorial director till 1972.
  • Full-time writer since 1972, with forays into related work.
  • Many editing projects in fiction and poetry, mostly on a private basis.
  • Editorial consultant to Macmillan of Canada, 1974-79.
  • Writer-in-residence: Trent, 1975; University of Toronto, 1978-79.
  • Scottish-Canadian exchange fellow, Edinburgh, 1980-81.
  • Director of the poetry programme at McClelland & Stewart, 1981-84.
  • Wrote most of the song lyrics for Fraggle Rock, a co-production of Jim Henson Associates and CBC-TV, 1982-86. (The composer was Phil Balsam.)
  • Scriptwork on two Henson films: The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

Some Passions

  • The Canadian Shield.
  • Cryptic crosswords.
  • In paint: Cézanne, Pollock, Rothko, Motherwell, Borduas, etc.
  • In jazz: Webster, Prez, Parker, Rollins, David Murray, etc.
  • In blues: Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Little Walter, Walter Horton, Otis Rush.
  • Anything on cello, esp. Bach's "Unaccompanied Suites."
  • In poetry: among the dead, Pindar, Hölderlin, Celan, etc. Among the living, Purdy, Creeley, some peers.

Dennis Lee's works copyright © to the author.

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