Gerald Stern

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Gerald Stern (b. February 22, 1925) is an American poet.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA to Harry and Ida Barach Stern, he was educated in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Stern earned his B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh in 1947 and an M.A. at Columbia University in 1949. He did post-graduate study at the University of Paris in 1949-50.

He married Patricia Miller in 1952 (divorced); they have two children: Rachael and David.

His work has been widely recognized after the 1977 publication of Lucky Life and a series of essays on writing poetry in American Poetry Review. He has been given many prestigious awards for his writing, including the 1996 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and a National Book Award for poetry in 1998 for his book, This Time: New and Selected Poems. He received the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2005.

Stern has taught at Temple University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. For a number of years prior to achieving fame, he taught at Raritan Valley Community College. For many years he taught poetry writing at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Stern is currently a faculty member of New England College's Masters of Fine Arts Program in Poetry.


  • Pineys, poetry, (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1971)
  • The Naming of Beasts, poetry, (Omaha: Cummington Press, 1972)
  • Rejoicings: Selected Poems 1966-72, poetry, (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada: Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1973)
  • Lucky Life, poetry, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977)
  • The Red Coal, poetry, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981)
  • Paradise Poems, poetry, (New York: Random House, 1984)
  • Lovesick, poetry, (New York: Perennial Library, 1986)
  • Selected Essays, essays, (New York: Harper, 1988)
  • Two Long Poems, poetry, (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1990)
  • Leaving Another Kingdom: Selected Poems poetry, (New York: Harper, 1990)
  • Bread without Sugar, poetry, (New York: Norton, 1992)
  • Odd Mercy, poetry, (New York: Norton, 1994)
  • This Time: New and Selected Poems, poetry, (New York: Norton, 1998)
  • Last Blue, poetry, (New York: Norton, 2000)
  • American Sonnets, poetry, (New York: Norton, 2002) (shortlisted for the 2003 International Griffin Poetry Prize)
  • Not God After All, poetry, (Pittsburgh: Autumn House Press, 2004)
  • What I Can't Bear Losing: Notes from a Life, essays, (New York: Norton, 2004)
  • Everything Is Burning, poetry, (New York: Norton, 2005)
  • Source: Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 2005.
  • Academy of American Poets Page: Gerald Stern
  • Griffin Poetry Prize biography, including audio clip
  • Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts, includes recently published poems
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