Musician, poet, and editor Dick Lourie grew up listening to and playing folk music. He started playing the saxophone in his 40s and since then has played blues and roots music. He is the author of the poetry collections Calls on the Dream Telephone (1968), Stumbling (1974), Anima (1978), Ghost Radio (1998), and If the Delta Was the Sea (2009), a collection of poems based on the history and music of Clarksdale, Mississippi, home of the Sunflower Blues and Gospel Festival, where Lourie has performed with international blues star Big Jack Johnson. He has also released two CDs based on the poems in his books —combining his sax playing and spoken word with a blues band—titled Ghost Radio Blues (2000) and If the Delta Was the Sea (2014). His poem “Forgiving Our Fathers” was featured in the movie Smoke Signals.
A cofounder and still coeditor/publisher at Hanging Loose Press, Lourie has edited more than 100 titles for the press as well as co-editing several collections of writing by high-school students with Mark Pawlak: Smart Like Me: High School Age Writing from the Sixties to Now (1966, 1989), Bullseye (1995), Shooting the Rat (2003), and When We Were Countries (2010). He was one of the founders of the New York State Poets in the Schools Program.
Lourie lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his wife, the filmmaker Abby Freedman.