Born in New York, Thomas McKean works in that city as an author, illustrator, artist and editor. His illustrations have featured in such magazines as The Nation and Food and Wine, while his collages and constructions have been included in a number of shows in New York galleries.
He was a personal friend of the poet Ruth Pitter. In 1985 and 1987 he recorded conversations with her during his visits to England. These are transcribed in HappenStance’s A Conversation with Ruth Pitter (2010).
McKean also edited a limited edition of her then unpublished poems, A Heaven to Find (Enitharmon, 1987).