Born in 1925 into a second-generation Jewish family, Gerald Stern grew up in Pittsburgh. He earned a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A. from Columbia University, and did additional graduate work at the University of Paris. Stern began his working career as an English teacher and a principal. After spending a number of years in Europe, mainly Paris and London, during the 1950’s (though with a stint as an English teacher in Glasgow, Scotland), he returned to the United States and began teaching at Temple University in 1957. He also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Somerset County College in New Jersey, and, beginning in 1982, at the University of Iowa. Until his retirement, Stern would divide his time between his home in eastern Pennsylvania and the Writers’ Workshop of the University of Iowa, where he was a professor of English. After retirement, he maintained a hectic schedule of readings and workshops while living in both Easton, Pennsylvania, and New York City. Relocating to Lambertville, New Jersey, Stern served as poet laureate of New Jersey from 2000 to 2002, and later was named distinguished poet-in-residence at Drew University in its master of fine arts in poetry program.