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Howard Schwartz was born in St. Louis in 1945. He attended Washington University and presently teaches at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is the author of three books of poetry, Vessels, Gathering the Sparks, and Sleepwalking Beneath the Stars, and of several books of fiction, including The Captive Soul of the Messiah and Rooms of the Soul. He has written and edited numerous books on Jewish subjects, including the anthologies Gates to the New City: A Treasury of Modern Jewish Tales and Voices Within the Ark: The Modern Jewish Poets and three volumes of Jewish folklore, Elijah's violin, Miriam's Trombone, and Lilith's Cave, as well as The Dream Assembly: Tales of Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi.