A poet, dramatist, and short story writer, Stephen Vincent Benet was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1898 and attended Yale University. A Guggenhein Fellowship in 1926 enabled him to work in Paris on a long poem that appeared two years later and received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry (1928). The poem John Brown's Body brought Benet instant popularity. This narrative history of the Civil War in rhyme and blank verse told from the point of view of ordinary people of both the North and the South is a remarkable epic of the United States. Although Benet had enormously influential on other poets, notably the Harlem Renaissance writer Anne Spencer, and despite his wide popular audience, he has not received high praise from academic critics. Benet died in 1943.