Gerald Stern (1925—) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has taught at many universities, including the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. Stern’s career as a poet did not start until he published his first book of poems at age 48. His poetry immediately garnered critical praise, and he began to publish frequently. Over the years he has won several awards, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. In his poems, Stern is often tragic, evoking the ruined and the fallen, but with a passionate and exuberant, yet ironic awareness of the world.