Gerald Stern (born February 22, 1925) is an American poet, essayist and educator. The author of twenty collections of poetry and four books of essays, Stern has taught literature and creative writing at Temple University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Raritan Valley Community College, and Iowa Writers' Workshop. Since 2009, Stern has been distinguished poet-in-residence and a member of the faculty of Drew University's graduate programme for a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry.
Gerald Stern at the Miami Book Fair International in 2011
February 22, 1925|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
|Occupation||poet, essayist, educator|
University of Pittsburgh (BA)|
Columbia University (MA)
University of Paris
|Spouse||Patricia Miller (m.1952, divorced)|
|Partner||Anne Marie Macari|
|Children||2, Rachael, David|
Stern is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University and has attended the University of Paris for post-graduate study. He received the National Book Award for Poetry in 1998 for This Time: New and Selected Poems, and was named as a finalist in 1991 for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Leaving Another Kingdom: Selected Poems. In 2000, New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman appointed Stern as the state's first poet laureate.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US to Harry and Ida Barach Stern (Polish and Ukrainian Jewish immigrants), he was educated in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Stern studied at the University of Pittsburgh (B.A., 1947) and Columbia University (M.A., in 1949). After receiving his undergraduate degree in English, Stern also served the United States Army Air Corps.
He did post-graduate study at the University of Paris in 1949–50 and spent his twenties living in and traveling between New York City and Europe. At that time he started to write and publish poetry.
His work became widely recognized after the 1977 publication of Lucky Life, which was that year's Lamont Poetry Selection, and of a series of essays on writing poetry in American Poetry Review. He has subsequently been given many prestigious awards for his writing, including the 1996 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the 1998 National Book Award for This Time: New and Selected Poems, and the 2012 Library of Congress Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Award for Early Collected Poems: 1965–1992. He was Poet Laureate of New Jersey from 2000 to 2002, and received the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2005. Since 2006, Stern has been a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Stern has taught at Temple University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Raritan Valley Community College, and Iowa Writers' Workshop. During the mid-1970s, Stern was a literature consultant for both New Jersey and Pennsylvania Council of the Arts as well as a coordinator for Pennsylvania Poetry in schools. Stern is former faculty member and co-founder of New England College's Master of Fine Arts Program in Poetry. Stern is currently serving as distinguished poet-in-residence at Drew University's low-residency MFA Program in Poetry beginning January 2009, with Jean Valentine, the other distinguished poet-in-residence for the program.
He married Patricia Miller in 1952 (divorced); they have two children: Rachael, a nutrition therapist living in Alabama; and David, an architect living in Massachusetts. He also has 4 grandchildren, Rebecca, Dylan, Julia, and Alana. His companion is poet Anne Marie Macari, and he lives in New York City and Miami Beach, FL.
Honors and awardsEdit
- 1976 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
- 1977 Lamont Poetry Selection
- 1980 Guggenheim Fellowship
- 1981 Melville Caine Award
- 1982 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
- 1987 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
- 1991 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Finalist
- 1992 Paterson Poetry Prize
- 1996 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
- 1998 National Book Award for Poetry
- 2000–2002 Poet Laureate of New Jersey
- 2005 National Jewish Book Award in Poetry
- 2005 Wallace Stevens Award
- 2012 Library of Congress Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Award
- Stern, Gerald. "Gerald Stern's Papers". Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation > Fellows Archived June 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
"National Book Awards – 1972". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
(With acceptance speech by Stern and essay by Ross Gay from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
- "Library of Congress Awards Gerald Stern The Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, Jan. 24". Library of Congress. October 23, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Academy of American Poets > Gerald Stern Bio
- Library of Congress > accessed May 16, 2008
- Drew University > MFA Faculty
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation > Fellows > Gerald Stern Bio Archived June 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- NEA Literature Fellowships > 40 Years of Supporting American Writers Archived September 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Poetry". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010. Jewish Book Council > National Jewish Book Award Winners]
- Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 2005.
- Author Page: Gerald Stern > W. W. Norton
- Biography: Academy of American Poets > Gerald Stern
- Still Burning – A short documentary film about Gerald Stern
- Griffin Poetry Prize biography
- Audio: Gerald Stern reads three poems from his Early Collected Poems, 1965 – 1992
- Griffin Poetry Prize reading, including video clip
- Poems & Bio: Blackbird: An Online Journal of Literature and the Arts > Gerald Stern Feature
- Interview: The Jewish Week > May 13, 2009 > Late-Blooming Poet by Eric Herschthal[permanent dead link]
- Poem: A Little Poetry > Featured Poet: Grapefruit by Gerald Stern
- About Gerald Stern: IdentityTheory.com > February 2009 > Our Father > An essay by Christian Bauman that closes with thoughts on Gerald Stern's poem "Dancing" and provides behind-the-scenes views of Bauman's relationships with Stern and author Chris Hedges and of the writing of Hedges's "What Every Person Should Know About War"
- Poems: german / english in poetenladen (poetshop)
- Gerald Stern Papers (Gerald Stern Papers, 1920s–2007, SC.2007.04, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh)