David St. John was born in Fresno, California. He earned his BA at California State University, Fresno and earned his MFA at Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships, including both the Rome Fellowship and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O.B. Hardison Prize for teaching and poetic achievement from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from Beyond Baroque. St. John has taught at Oberlin College, Johns Hopkins University, and currently lives in Venice Beach, CA.