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Dennis Cooper (2006)
Portrait by Jean-Luc Bertini


Dennis Cooper was born on January 10, 1953. He grew up in the Southern California cities of Covina and Arcadia.

He wrote stories and poems from early age but got serious about writing at 15 after reading Arthur Rimbaud and The Marquis de Sade. He attended LA county public schools until the 8th grade when he transferred to a private school, Flintridge Preparatory School for Boys in La Canada, California, from which he was expelled in the 11th grade.

While at Flintridge, he met his friend George Miles, who would become his muse and the subject of much of his future writing. He attended Pasadena City College for two years, attending poetry writing workshops taught by the poets Ronald Koertge and Jerene Hewitt. He then attended one year of university at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where he studied with the poet Bert Meyers.

In 1976, he founded Little Caesar Magazine and Press, which he ran until 1982. From 1980 to 1983 he was Director of Programming for the Beyond Baroque Literary/Art Center in Venice, California. From 1983 to 1985, he lived in New York City.

In 1985, he moved to Amsterdam for two and a half years, where he began his ten year long project, The George Miles Cycle, an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and Period.

His post-George Miles Cycle novels include My Loose Thread, The Sluts and God, Jr.
Other works include the short-story collections Wrong and Ugly Man, poetry collections The Dream Police and The Weaklings, as well as the recent Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries.

Dennis Cooper currently spends his time between Los Angeles and Paris.

He blogs at

His newest novel The Marbled Swarm will be released by Harper Perennial in November 2011.


- Dennis Cooper's blog

- Biography: Photo Gallery

- A DC-compiled list of favourites

- 'First Communion' by Dennis Cooper
All content © Dennis Cooper :: Main heading photograph by Alex Rose :: Site by Kiddiepunk