Stephen Sandy was born on August 2, 1934, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After serving in the Navy for a short time, he enrolled in Yale College in 1951 and graduated with a BA in English in 1955. In September 1957, he entered Harvard University, during which time he attended Robert Lowell’s poetry workshop at Boston University and studied with Archibald MacLeish. He earned his MA in 1959 and PhD in 1963. That same year, Sandy joined the Harvard University faculty as a full-time instructor in English. In 1967, Sandy started his yearlong tenure as a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Tokyo. Upon his return, he joined the English faculty at Brown University. The following year, he moved to Bennington, Vermont, where he taught at Bennington College.
Sandy is the author of eleven books of poetry, the most recent of which include Overlook (Louisiana State University Press, 2010), Netsuke Days (Shires Press, 2008), and Weathers Permitting (Louisiana State University Press, 2005).
Poet J. D. McClatchy writes, “Sandy’s poems have an infectious curiosity, a moral weight and witty balance. They speak from and to the heart.”
Sandy’s honors include fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Vermont Council on the Arts. In 2006, he was awarded an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died on November 7, 2016, in Bennington, Vermont.