In 1941, Stephen Dobyns was born in Orange, New Jersey. He graduated from Wayne State University and has an MFA from the University of Iowa. Dobyns has published ten books of poetry and twenty novels.
His books of poetry include Winter's Journey (Copper Canyon Press, 2010); Mystery, So Long (2005); The Porcupine's Kisses (2002); Do They Have a Reason? (2000)Pallbearers Envying the One Who Rides (Penguin, 1999); Common Carnage (1996); Velocities: New and Selected Poems, 1966-1992 (1994); Cemetery Nights (1987), which won a Melville Cane Award; Black Dog, Red Dog (1984), which was a winner in the National Poetry Series; Heat Death (1980); and Concurring Beasts (1972), which was the 1972 Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets.
His novels include Boy in the Water (Holt/Metropolitan, 1999), The Church of Dead Girls (1997), Saratoga Fleshpot (1995), The Wrestler's Cruel Study (1993), and Saratoga Haunting (1993). His novels have been translated into more than ten languages. Dobyns is also the author of a collection of short stories, Eating Naked (2000) and a book of essays, Best Words, Best Order (1996).
Among his many honors and awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Iowa and Boston University. Stephen Dobyns lives in Boston with his wife and three children.