Stephen Dobyns


Biography of Stephen Dobyns

Stephen Dobyns poet

Stephen J. Dobyns (born February 19, 1941) is an American poet and novelist born in Orange, New Jersey, and residing in Westerly, RI.

Dobyns was born on February 19, 1941 in Orange, New Jersey to Lester L., an Episcopal minister, and Barbara Johnston Dobyns. Dobyns was raised in New Jersey, Michigan, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He was educated at Shimer College, transferred to and graduated from Wayne State University in 1964, and received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1967. He has worked as a reporter for the Detroit News.

He has taught at various academic institutions, including Sarah Lawrence College, the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, the University of Iowa, Syracuse University, and Boston University.

In 1995, as a professor of English at Syracuse University, he was involved in a sexual discrimination scandal. Francine Prose defended him by portraying his accuser and the school as having reacted to outdated neo-Victorian victim-feminism policies.

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It's Like This

for Peter Parrish
Each morning the man rises from bed because the invisible
cord leading from his neck to someplace in the dark,
the cord that makes him always dissatisfied,
has been wound tighter and tighter until he wakes.

He greets his family, looking for himself in their eyes,
but instead he sees shorter or taller men, men with
different degrees of anger or love, the kind of men

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