Bauer was born on September 10, 1948 in Newark, New Jersey, the son of
Albert Henry Bauer and Alice Marian Horrocks Bauer. He and his family
lived in Florham Park, New Jersey, where he attended the public schools,
graduating from high school in June of 1966. In September of 1966, he
began attending Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. A member of
Theta Xi Fraternity, he graduated in 1970 with a B.A. with Honors in English
. In the summer of 1970 he moved to California and lived for two years
in Auburn, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
In the fall of 1972 Bauer moved back east
and entered the M.F.A. program at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
where he worked with James Tate and and Maxine Kumin, among others. In
May of 1975, he received his M.F.A. and was awarded one of the Universitys
two Distinguished Graduate Teaching Awards. After a year spent writing,
he taught in the Universitys Rhetoric program and the Orchard Hill
Residential College, where he was Head of Wheeler House. On July 25, 1977,
he married Bonnie Smolen, a doctoral candidate in the School of Education.
In the summer of 1978, he attended the Bread
Loaf Writers Conference in Ripton, Vermont on a working scholarship.
In October, he and Smolen moved to Truro, Massachusetts, near Provincetown,
where Bauer had received a Fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center.
While he was in residence there, he sold his first novel, Satyrday
(G. P. Putnam and Sons, 1980), and on the strength of that, was offered
a position at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. In the summer of 1979,
he again attended the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. That fall he
and Smolen were separated and Bauer moved to Waterville where he taught
English and creative writing as an Instructor and then an Assistant Professor
from 1979 to 1982. During the intervening summers he returned to Bread
Loaf and in 1981 won the Allan Collins Fellowship in Prose. He and Smolen
were divorced in September of 1981.
On June 19, 1982, Bauer married for the
second time. His wife, Elizabeth Ann Arthur, was a fellow writer whom
he had met at Bread Loaf in 1981. He and Arthur were married in Dorset,
Vermont and then moved to Oxford, Ohio where Bauer had been offered a
tenure-track position at Miami University. In the spring of 1983, he and
Arthur bought a farmhouse in rural Indiana. Bauer was promoted to Associate
Professor in 1986, after which he began to direct the Creative Writing
program, and in 1996, he was promoted to Full Professor. In 1983 and 1987
he was a Staff Associate at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.
In 1985 Bauer wrote a novelization of the
movie The River which was published by Berkeley Books, and in 1986
he adapted the teleplays of Steven Spielbergs Amazing Stories
which were published by Ace in two volumes. In 1989, his book of poems
Daylight Savings won the first Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize, and
was published by Gibbs Smith. His work has been published in England and
translated into French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Swedish, and Japanese.
In 1991, Bauer was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award by Miami Universitys
Associated Student Government; in 1995 he received the Distinguished Educator
Award from the College of Arts and Science; and in 1997 he was awarded
the E. Phillips Knox Teaching Award, a university-wide award given for
excellence and innovation in undergraduate teaching. In 1999 his book
The Strange and Wonderful Tale of Robert McDoodle was published
by Simon and Schuster. In 2000, his novel A Cat of a Different Color
was published by Delacorte.
At this time he continues to teach at Miami
University and to live in rural Indiana with his wife Elizabeth Arthur.
Arthur / Robert Arthur, Jr. / Joan
Vaczek Kouwenhoven / John Atlee Kouwenhoven
/ Steven Bauer