Sam Cornish was born in Baltimore in 1935. He was educated at Goddard College and Northwestern University. He authored ten collections of poetry, including Dead Beats (Ibbetson Street Press, 2011), An Apron Full of Beans: New and Selected Poems (CavanKerry, 2008), and Folks Like Me (Zoland Books, 1993). Cornish taught at Emerson College and other Massachussets-based institutions, and also worked as an editor and reviewer. He received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1967. He was the inaugural poet laureate of the city of Boston, serving from 2008 - 2014. After suffering a stroke, he died on August 20, 2018.