Mark Strand was born on April 11, 1934 in Summerside on Prince Edward Island in Canada. Since his father's job resulted in many transfers, he spent his childhood in Cleveland, Halifax, Montreal, New York and Philadelphia and his teenage years in Colombia, Mexico and Peru. He received a bachelor's degree at Antioch College in Ohio in 1957, a bachelor of fine arts in painting from Yale University School of Art and Architecture in 1959, and a master of fine arts from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1962. He studied 19th-century Italian poetry in Florence on a Fulbright Grant from 1960-1961. His first poetry collection, Sleeping with One Eye Open, was published in 1964. His other works included Reasons for Moving, Darker, The Story of Our Lives, The Late Hour, A Continuous Life, Dark Harbor, and Collected Poems: Mark Strand. In 1990, he was named the fourth Poet Laureate of the United States. He received the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1993 and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1999 for Blizzard of One. In 1980, he felt that he had reached an impasse and stopped writing poetry for several years. During that time, he wrote several children's books including The Planet of Lost Things and Mr. and Mrs. Baby. He also wrote books on the painters EdwardHopper and William Bailey, and a collection of critical essays entitled The Art of the Real. He died of liposarcoma on November 29, 2014 at the age of 80.