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  1. George Sterling (December 1, 1869 – November 17, 1926) was an American writer based in the San Francisco, California Bay Area and Carmel-by-the-Sea. He was considered a prominent poet and playwright and proponent of Bohemianism during the first quarter of the twentieth century.

    • Writer, poet, playwright
  2. George Sterling (1869-1926); King of Bohemia and central figure in the Californian literary scene of the early twentieth century. Pupil of Ambrose Bierce, whom he called "The Master," mentor to Clark Ashton Smith, friend of Jack London, Robinson Jeffers and Nora May French .

  3. George Sterling was born in Sag Harbor, New York, and after studying poetry and considering the priesthood in seminary, he moved to California to work in real estate. He was the author of many poetry collections, including The Testimony of the Suns, and Other Poems (1903), A Wine of Wizardry and Other Poems (1909), Beyond the Breakers and Other Poems (1914), and Selected Poems (1923).

  4. George Sterling prepares for the performance of The Triumph of Bohemia at the Bohemian Grove, Sonoma County, c. 1907. photo: City Lights Books, San Francisco, CA. Though once hailed by Ambrose Bierce as the future "poet of the skies, prophet of the suns," the San Francisco poet George Sterling is no longer read, even locally.

  5. Aug 08, 2021 · George Sterling (December 1, 1869 – November 17, 1926) was an American poet and playwright based in California who, during his lifetime, was celebrated on the Pacific coast as one of the great American poets, although he never gained equivalent success in the rest of the United States.

    • Poet
    • Carrie E. Rand(m. 1896; div. 1915)
  6. George Sterling was born to a prominent family in Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York in 1869. His father wanted him to become a priest, so George at age 17 was sent to a Catholic college in Maryland where his studies included poetry -- the priesthood's loss was literature's gain. In 1892, Sterling met Ambrose Bierce, who he called "The Master".

    • Life
    • Writing
    • Recognition
    • Publications
    • References

    Sterling was born in Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York, the eldest of 9 children. His father was Dr. George A. Sterling, a physician. His mother Mary was a member of the Havens family, prominent in Sag Harbor and the Shelter Island area. His father was determined to make a priest of a son, and George was selected. For 2 years he attended St. Charles College in Maryland, where he was instructed in English by John Bannister Tabb, then an unpublished poet. Sterling's uncle, Frank C. Havens, went to San Franciscoin the late 19th century and established himself as a prominent lawyer and real estate developer. Sterling eventually followed him to the Bay Area in 1890 and worked for 18 years as a real estate broker. Sterling became a significant figure in bohemian literary circles in northern California in the early 20th century. In the development of the artists' colony in Carmel, he was mentored by a much older Ambrose Bierce, and became close friends with Jack London and Clark Ashton Smi...

    Sterling's poetry is both visionary and mystical, but he also wrote ribald quatrains that were often unprintable and left unpublished. His style reflects the Romantic charm of such poets as Shelley, Keats and Poe, and he provided guidance and encouragement to the similarly-inclined Clark Ashton Smithat the beginning of Smith's own career. Sterling's most famous line was delivered to the city of San Francisco, "the cool, grey city of love!".

    Sterling Road in Berkeley, California is named for him.
    A stone bench was dedicated to Sterling on June 25th, 1926 at the crest of Hyde Street on Russian Hill in San Francisco.
    He is depicted twice in novels by Jack London: as Russ Brissenden in the autobiographical Martin Eden (1909) and as Mark Hall in The Valley of the Moon(1913).


    1. The Testimony of the Suns, and other poems. San Francisco: W.E. Wood, 1903; San Francisco: Book Club of California / John Henry Nash, 1927. 2. A Wine of Wizardry, and other poems. San Francisco: A.M. Robertson, 1909. 3. The House of Orchids, and other poems. San Francisco: A.M. Robertson, 1911. 4. Beyond the Breakers, and other poems. San Francisco: A.M. Robertson, 1914. 5. Ode on the Opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, February, 1915. San Franciso: A.M....


    1. The Triumpfh of Bohemia: A forest play. San Francisco: Bohemian Club, 1907. 2. Truth. Chicago: Bookfellows, 1923; New York: AMS Press, 1970.


    1. Robinson Jeffers: The man and the artist. New York: Boni & Liveright, 1926.

    Benediktsson, Thomas E. (1980).  George Sterling.  Boston: Twayne Publishers.  ISBN 0-8057-7313-4.
    Cusatis, John (2006).  "George Sterling."  Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry,Volume 5, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishers, 1530-1531.
    Joshi, S. T. (2008).  “George Sterling: Prophet of the Suns,” chapter 1 in Emperors of Dreams: Some notes on weird poetry. Sydney: P’rea Press. ISBN 978-0-9804625-3-1 (pbk) and ISBN 978-0-9804625-4...
    Noel, Joseph (1940).  Footloose in Arcadia.  New York: Carrick and Evans.
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