Dennis Held


B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1988


Dennis Held-Broken Word


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Biographical Note

Fourth of eight children, Dennis Held was raised in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. He dropped out of high school in 1975; was awarded a GED 1976. Helped care for his grandfather, who had Alzheimer's disease, then attended UW-Waukesha, where he played soccer and began writing poetry and short stories. Transferred to Evergreen for the Mass Communications and Social Reality program, and completed the Experience of Fiction program. Lived in Missoula, Montana for five years and was awarded the MFA in poetry writing. Taught writing, editing and literature at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, from 1994 until 2001. Betting on the Night, a collection of poetry, was published in 2001 with Lost Horse Press, and was reprinted in 2003. Now living in Spokane, Washington, he teaches writing at Eastern Washington University. His second book of poetry, Ourself, was published in January 2011 by Gribble Press. He continues to publish essays, book reviews, and articles in magazines and for public radio.

Publication Types

Non-Fiction, Poetry, Journalism

Latest Publication Title

Ourself, Gribble Press 2011

Additional Publications

Betting On the Night, Lost Horse Press 2001

Publication Excerpt


Why does he have to wind up on my dash-board, barely strong enough to hover, much less pose any kind of threat: black- striped stinger pulsing like a lover? Why am I so sure it's a He, impotent little death-dealer? In my beat-down car, we're stuck together: dying insect, feeble, humped against the glass, starved for one sip of the holy grape that droops just beyond the veil, succulent cluster gone overripe and unpicked, wasted fruits, lost opportunities and the stray disaster just a windshield away. Stiffly, the window driver's side rolls down. Stumbling, off we go.

How did Evergreen help you in your career?

Evergreen taught me that if I wrote more than was humanly possible, I might become a writer. So I wrote more than was humanly possible--a novella in a ten-week quarter? Rudy Martin, what were you THINKING?--and what do you know, I turned into a writer. Thanks, Evergreen.