Young Dawkins received a MALS in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College in 1987. He participated in the Frost Place Summer Festival of Poetry the next two summers, and in 2001 was awarded the Poetry Prize by the Seacoast Writers Association.
In June 2005, he was honoured with the creation of a Graduate Creative Writing Prize in his name at the University of New Hamshire.
Dawkins has had work published in several US literary journals including Currents and Concrete Wolf. His debut poetry collection The Lilac Thief was published in 2009 by the New Hampshire based Sargent Press, and the title poem from The Lilac Thief was included in the 2008 Poets’ Guide to New Hampshire.
In April 2010, another poem from the collection, Letter to My Unborn Child, was selected by Garrison Keillor for his Writer’s Almanac and broadcasted to millions of listeners on NPR.
Young was a central figure in the New Hampshire beat revival movement, where he helped found the Jazzmouth poetry festival in 2005, before moving to Scotland and becoming a regular on the Scottish Performance Poetry scene.
He was the 2011 Scottish Slam Poetry Champion, and in June 2011 represented Scotland at the Slam Poetry World Cup in Paris. In August 2011, he performed a weeklong solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe, and he organised and hosted the BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam from 2011-2013.
In September 2013 he moved to Tasmania with his wife and young son. He is the 2014 Hobart City Slam Champion, and was a guest poet at the 2016 Tasmanian Poetry Festival. He was also chair of the Tasmanian Writers Centre Board in 2016.