Stephen Dobyns was born on February 19, 1941, in Orange, New Jersey. He received a B.A. in 1964 from Wayne State University and an M.F.A. in 1967 from the University of Iowa. He was a reporter for the Detroit News and has taught at several colleges and universities including Sarah Lawrence College, Warren Wilson College, the University of Iowa, Syracuse University, and Boston University. He has written about ten books of poetry and twenty novels. His books of poetry include Concurring Beasts, Heat Death, Common Carnage, Pallbearers Envying the One Who Rides, The Porcupine's Kisses, and Winter's Journey. He has received several awards including the Melville Cane Award for Cemetery Nights. His novels include Saratoga Haunting, The Wrestler's Cruel Study, Saratoga Fleshpot, The Church of Dead Girls, and Boy in the Water. He is also the author of a collection of short stories, Eating Naked and a book of essays, Best Words, Best Order.