Brief Biography

Richard Dey was graduated in 1973 from Harvard College, where he studied under Robert Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Bishop, and was Poetry Editor of The Harvard Advocate. Previously he had attended a workshop with James Dickey and served for three years in the U.S. Army as a journalist in Washington, DC. He first went to Bequia, northernmost of the Grenadines in the lower Caribbean, in the summer of 1971, while crewing on a yacht, and he returned to the island most winters through 2010. 

Dey has worked as a commercial fisherman in the offshore lobster and swordfish fisheries off New England, as a freelance journalist, in publishing, and as a taxicab driver. His articles have appeared in Sail, Harvard Magazine, Yachting, The Boston Globe, and Caribbean Compass, among other publications, and his poetry in Poetry, Sail, Harvard Magazine, WoodenBoat, Caribbean Writer, and Caribbean Compass, among others. He lived aboard his own 38-foot Murray Peterson schooner, "Bequia World," cruising and racing in the early 1980s along the East Coast and in the Bahamas. 

Aboard FV "Side Show" with a friend lately of Veatch Canyon, 1977.

A mid-course edition of The Bequia Poems was published in 1988 by Macmillan Caribbean. One book he edited is The Schooner Pilgrim’s Progress: A Voyage around the World 1932–1934 by Donald C. Starr (Peabody-Mystic 1996). In 1995 and 1996 he served as a professor of maritime literature and history in Long Island University’s SEAmester program. The father of two grown sons, he lives in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. 

RD at CC

At an exhibit of his chapbook collection, Connecticut College, 2008. (Photo by Becca Saxon.) 

Just after returning from Bequia on March 4, 2010, Dey fell at 2 AM while sitting down at his desk in an armless, wooden chair. Having twisted his neck in two ways while hitting the floor, he found himself paralyzed. In short, he had suffered a spinal cord injury that, bad as it is, is “incomplete”he can do most things and walk in limited circumstances. Of course, in a sloop equipped for the handicapped you don’t have to do much walking. 

© Richard Dey 2013