Sherod Santos Biography


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Though Sherod Santos was born in Greenville, South Carolina, his early childhood was marked by frequent moves because his father was a pilot in the United States Air Force. Thus, he spent his early years in a number of exotic locations, including Germany, France, and Switzerland, as well as several sites in the United States, including Hawaii. As a young man, he also traveled to Paris, where he lived and worked for a time as he decided what he wanted to do with his life. He eventually returned to the United States and completed his B.A. at San Diego State University in 1971. He received an M.A. from San Diego State in 1974, then an M.F.A. in 1978 from the University of California, Irvine. In 1982, Santos received a Ph.D. from the University of Utah, where he completed his dissertation on William Shakespeare. He began his teaching career at California State University, San Bernardino, but in 1983, he moved to the University of Missouri, where he taught until he retired as the Curators’ Distinguished Professor in English in 2007. In addition to these academic appointments, Santos was the external examiner and poet-in-residence at the Poet’s House in Islandmagee, Northern Ireland, from 1990 until 1997. He also served as the poetry editor for the Missouri Review from 1983 to 1990.


(Poetry for Students)

Sherod Santos Published by Gale Cengage

Santos was born on September 9, 1948, in Greenville, South Carolina. His father was a pilot in the United States Air Force, and his mother was a painter. Like that of many children of servicemen, Santos's childhood was marked by constant relocation. He attended grammar school and high school in such varied locales as Germany, Switzerland, France, and Hawaii and various places in the United States.

In his late teens, Santos bought a one-way ticket to Paris, traveling with no particular plan. Without a work permit, he could not obtain legal employment, but a concierge at the Hotel Racine hired him to serve breakfast to the guests for fifty cents an hour and a room in the attic. Santos spent his mornings working at the hotel and his afternoons honing his poetry at the American Library. Having learned to love what he had once found most challenging about poetry—its difficulty—Santos returned to the United States with no doubt about what he wanted to do with his life.

Santos attended San Diego State University, from which he received a bachelor of arts degree in 1971. He went on to receive a master of arts degree from San Diego State University in 1974 and a master of fine arts degree from the University of California, Irvine, in 1978. Santos earned his doctorate from the University of Utah in 1982, having focused his dissertation on the works of William Shakespeare. After completing his education, Santos began his teaching career at...

(The entire section is 393 words.)