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.