Young Dawkins holds both a BA and a MALS graduate degree in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College, and has twice participated in the Frost Place Summer Festival of Poetry. He has been published in several US literary journals, including Currents and Concrete Wolf. In 2001 he won the Seacoast Writers Association Poetry Prize, and his poem The Lilac Thief was included in the 2008 Poets’ Guide to New Hampshire. In June 2005, he was honoured with the creation of a Graduate Creative Writing Prize in his name at the University of New Hampshire.
Young’s first poetry collection, titled The Lilac Thief, was published in 2009 by New Hampshire based Sargent Press. In 2010, Garrison Keillor selected a poem from this collection – Letter to My Unborn Child – for inclusion in the Writer’s Almanac on NPR.
His second full length collection Slow Walk Home was published in 2021 by Red Squirrel Press in Scotland. The collection is available for purchase from the Red Squirrel Press website, and from several bookshops across Tasmania. In 2022, Slow Walk Home was long listed for the Tim Thorne Prize for Poetry in the Tasmanian Literary Awards.
Young was a central figure in the New Hampshire beat revival movement, where he helped found the Jazzmouth Poetry Festival, before moving to Scotland and becoming a regular on the Scottish Performance Poetry scene. He was the 2011 Scottish Slam Poetry Champion, and the 2012 runner up. In May 2011, Young went to Paris to represent Scotland in the Poetry Slam World Cup, and in August 2011 he performed a solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe.
From 2011 – 2013, Young organised and hosted the BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam.
Since moving to Tasmania in 2013, Young has regularly performed at the Silver Words spoken word night and the UndergroundArtBar in Hobart. He has also performed with highly acclaimed jazz musicians Andrew Legg and Nick Haywood at venues including Lark Cellar Door, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Tasmanian College of the Arts.
Young was the 2016 Chair of the Tasmanian Writers Centre, an invited poet at the 2016 Tasmanian Poetry Festival, and a participant in the 2017 Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival. In both 2017 and 2019, he won the Huon Valley Storytellers Cup, which takes place as part of the Huon Valley Midwinter Festival. In 2019, he performed and led writing workshops at the Nayri Niara Good Spirit Festival on Bruny Island.
Young’s poem The Secret to Trout was published in Griffith Review 63: Writing the Country; his poem Radio was published in Griffith Review 64: The New Disruptors; and his poem How the Sky Stays Above Us, was published in Griffith Review 68: Getting On.