Gerald Stern was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1925 and was educated at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University. He is the author of fifteen books of poetry including, This Time: New and Selected Poems, which won the National Book Award in 1998. A collection of personal essays titled What I Can’t Bear Losing: Notes From a Life was published in the fall of 2003 by W.W. Norton. He has taught at many universities including, the University of Pittsburgh, Columbia University, and for fifteen years was senior poet at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, three National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for the State of Pennsylvania, the Lamont Poetry Prize and the Ruth Lilly Prize. He was the first Poet Laureate of New Jersey, serving from 2000 to 2002 and was the recipient of both the 2005 Wallace Steven Award for mastery for in the art of poetry and the 2005 National Jewish Book Award for poetry. In 2006 Stern was named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. A new book of poems titled Save the Last Dance was released in 2008 from W. W. Norton.