Barry Dempster was born in Scarborough, Ontario, and was educated in child psychology. He has worked at both the Children's Aid and the Queen Street Mental Health Centre in Toronto. For six years, he was poetry and reviews editor for the Poetry Canada Review. Currently, he works as an editor for Brick Books. He and his wife, Karen, live in Holland Landing, Ontario, where he runs a film series and two book groups. He has published eight collections of poetry, three works of fiction and one children's book.