Often applauded as a modern Walt Whitman, Gerald Stern was born February 22, 1925 in Pittsburgh. Stern grew up in Pittsburgh and received a BA in 1947 from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A from Columbia University in 1949. He did post-graduate study at the University of Paris from 1949 to 1950 and taught at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Iowa, Columbia, New York University, and Princeton. He held chairs at Washington University at St. Louis, Bucknell, and The University of Alabama. He has been a member of the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop in Iowa City since 1982. Stern is the author of 12 collections of poetry including Leaving Another Kingdom: Selected Poems, Bread Without Sugar and Odd Mercy. His work is anthologized in more than 50 anthologies of American poetry. His long poem "Hot Dog " from Odd Mercy was published in a special supplement to The American Poetry Review in 1995. His work has received numerous awards including the Patterson Poetry Prize, the PEN Award, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize, the Melville Caine Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Lamont Poetry Prize, and the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets for Distinguished Lifetime Service. He has also received a Guggenheim fellowship and three National Endowment for the Arts grants. Gerald Stern married Patricia Miller on September 12, 1952 and they have two children, Rachael and David. They were subsequently divorced.