JOE SALERNO was born in the Bronx on April 2, 1947, and moved to New Jersey with his family when he was seven. He received his B.A. in English at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he edited the literary magazine Now. His graduate work was done at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of such distinguished poets as Donald Hall and Robert Hayden.
In 1972, Joe won the Hopwood Award, Michigan’s most coveted prize for poetry. This honor is further distinguished by its being won by exceptional American writers such as Arthur Miller, John Ciardi, X.J. Kennedy, Jane Kenyon, and Gregory Orr.
Although Joe received his doctoral degree and taught for some years at the undergraduate level, the concerns of marriage and family compelled him to work in the private sector as a technical writer, a job he did surpassingly well in spite of a lifelong aversion to technology. He continued to write poetry and to publish in such well-known magazines as Wormwood Review and Yankee, as well as receiving a 1982 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in poetry.
Joe Salerno died of lung cancer on November 22,1995, and is survived by his wife, Beverly, and his three children, David, Miriam, and Daniel.