Coleman Barks was born on April 23, 1937, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1972 he has taught English at the University of Georgia at Athens. Barks received the New England/Breadloaf Quarterly Narrative Poem Prize and the Southern Poetry Review's Guy Owen Award. His collections of poetry include The Juice and Gourd Seed. Barks is perhaps better known as a translator of the poet Rumi, a thirteenth century Mystic. Rumi is cpnsidered the greatest mystic of the Sufi religion and wrote extensively in Farsi, the language of Iran.