Stanley Moss

Stanley David Moss was born in Woodhaven, New York, in 1925 and studied at Trinity College and Yale University.

In 1969, Moss published his first poetry collection, The Wrong Angel (Anvil Poetry Press). Eight years later, he founded the nonprofit poetry publisher Sheep Meadow Press. Moss’s other poetry collections include Cat, Dog, and Bird Songs (Sheep Meadow Press, 2023), cowritten with Emily FragosAlways Alwaysland: New Poems (Seven Stories Press, 2022); Not Yet: Poems on China, Two Raw Fish Poems from Japan, American Poems Seasoned with Chinese Experience & New Poems, August 2020–May 2021 (Seven Stories Press, 2021); Act V, Scene I: Poems (Seven Stories Press, 2020); Abandoned Poems (Seven Stories Press, 2018); It’s About Time (Carcanet Press, 2015); God Breaketh Not All Men’s Hearts Alike: New & Later Collected Poems (Seven Stories Press, 2011); Rejoicing: New and Collected Poems (Anvil Press Poetry, 2009); and New & Selected Poems: 2006 (Seven Stories Press, 2006).

Citing travel as one of his interests, Moss traverses the world in his poems, which are set in New York, Jerusalem, China, Greece, and beyond. Full of everyday ruminations and broader questions of spirituality, Moss’s poems investigate and interrogate the mundane and inevitable. In his review of God Breaketh Not All Men’s Hearts Alike, W. S. Merwin writes,

Again and again, coming upon a poem of Stanley Moss’s, I have had the feeling of being taken by surprise. Not simply by the eloquence or the direct authenticity of the language, for I had come to expect those in his poems. The surprise arose from the nature of his poetry itself, and from the mystery that his poems confront and embody, which makes them both intense and memorable.

According to John Ashbery, “Stanley Moss is American poetry’s best-kept secret, better known as the innovative publisher of other poets than for his own highly charged, stingingly beautiful lyrics.”

Moss’s honors include a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship. Through Sheep Meadow Press, he has published books by poets such as Stephen Berg, Hayden Carruth, Stanley Kunitz, and Alberto Ríos, in addition to a number of international translations. Moss also works as a private art dealer and lives in Clinton Corners, New York.