Donald Justice was born in Miami, Florida, in 1925 and grew up there. After graduating from the University of Miami, where he studied musical composition with Carl Ruggles, he attended the universities of North Carolina, Stanford, and Iowa. He taught at Syracuse and Iowa, as well as at the University of Florida. His first book of poems, The Summer Anniversaries, was the Lamont Poetry Selection for 1959. It was followed by numerous collections of poems, including Selected Poems (1979), which received the Pulitzer Prize. Justice is also the author of short stories and a memoir (The Sunset Maker ). In 1991 he was awarded the Bollingen Prize in Poetry. He received grants in poetry from many sources, including the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.