Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922. His first novel, The Town and the City, was published in 1950. He considered all of his "true story novels," including On the Road, to be chapters of "one vast book," his autobiographical Legend of Duluoz. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969 at the age of forty-seven.
Creeley was born in Massachusetts in 1926, and attended Harvard University. He has lived abroad in France, Spain, and Guatemala. During World War II, he served in the American Field Service in India and Burma. In 1960 he won the Levinson Prize for a group of 10 poems published in Black Mountain Review. Creeley belongs to the Black Mountain group of poets, who came to know each other while teaching or studying at Black Mountain College. He is a former editor of the Black Mountain Review. He has also won the Shelley Award (1981) and the Frost Medal (1987), both from the Poetry Society of America. Creeley wrote the novel, The Island (1963), concerning the shifting marital moods of an American husband and wife in Mallorca, where Creeley himself once ran Divers Press as well as a collection of short stories, The Gold Diggers (1954). He also has taught English at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His Selected Poems (1991) is an important testament to a career of integrity molded out of self-doubt and self-knowledge.