BLUESTONE was born in New York City. His earlier volume
MONKEYS OF GRAVITY was nominated for the National Book Award in Poetry.
THE FLAGRANT DEAD, his latest book, also nominated for the
National Book Award, has been called
beautiful” by Gerald Stern. Louis Simpson has called the same volume
“delightful and astonishing.” Stephen Bluestone has won The Greensboro
Review Poetry Prize, The Thomas Merton Prize, two Hopwood Prizes, and
second prize in the Robert Penn Warren Competition, in addition to an NEH Award,
a Pushcart Prizes Special Mention, and other awards.
In November, 2002
“Holiness Everywhere,” his free adaptation of a 12th-century work by Jehudah Halevi, set to music by Atlanta composer
Curtis Bryant, was given its New York City premiere. “O City!” a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy) was performed by the Gregg Smith Singers in New York City in February, 2003. In September 2003 the world premiere of Curtis Bryant’s setting of
“The Laughing Monkeys of Gravity”
was performed at McCorkle Hall on the Mercer University
campus. In addition, a collaboration with composer
David H. Johnson resulted in
a new work, "Jerusalem Trilogy," which was first performed in the fall
In 2010 Stephen Bluestone's adaptation of Psalm 104 ("I Sing of
Light"), also set by Bryant, was performed as part of the Atlanta Faith
Partners Residency, sponsored by the American Composers Forum. Recent
work has also appeared or is about to appear in the
"Sewanee Review," "Measure," and the "Atlanta Review." Various
selections have also appeared in "The Southern Poetry Anthology (Volume
V: Georgia)," "Writing on Napkins at the Sunshine Club: An Anthology of
Poets Writing in Macon," and "The Brownstone Poets (2012)."
Bluestone taught English and film in the College of Liberal Arts at Mercer
University for many years and now lives and works in New York City.
“Stephen Bluestone is
a poet of enormous range and
a passionate imagination.
The Flagrant Dead (a wonderful
oxymoron!) is a stunning and accomplished book. Read
“Stephen Bluestone’s poems, haunted by
voices from the far and recent past, take us through the difficult
passages from melancholy and loss toward love. They are religious poems
in the widest and best sense–searching, intelligent, expansive–poems
whose achievement is beauty and spiritual wisdom.”