Stephen Sartarelli was born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1954. He has a B.A. in literature from Antioch College and an M.A. in comparative literature from New York University. He is the author of three collections of poetry, The Open Vault (Spuyten Duyvil, 2001), The Runaway Woods (2000) and Grievances and Other Poems (1989).
His many prose translations include such contemporary Italian novels as Prince of the Clouds, by Gianni Riotta (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000), The Plague-Sower, by Gesualdo Bufalino (1988), and The House on Moon Lake, by Francesca Duranti (1985). His poetry translations include a book-length poem by Nanni Cagnone, The Book of Giving Back (Edgewise Press, 1997), as well as selections from the work of Mario Luzi, Nanni Ballestrini, Nanni Cagnone, Umberto Piersanti and others.
Sartarelli is the recipient of the 2002 Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Award from The Academy of American Poets for Songbook: The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba. His selection and renditions of Umberto Saba's poetry in Songbook were accompanied by a translation of the full text of Saba's Chronicle and History of the Songbook (Sheep Meadow, 1998), in which the Italian poet explains the genesis and development of his entire body of verse.