About The Author

Stephen Zelnick grew up in Philadelphia, PA, the child of immigrant parents. He attended public schools and graduated from Temple University, Philadelphia’s city university, in 1963. He worked as a truck driver, an amusement park ride operator and mechanic, and a library assistant. He studied on fellowship at the University of Illinois and received his Ph.D. in English Literature in 1969. He returned as a professor to Temple University.

At Temple he served as Director of Writing Programs and Director of the Intellectual Heritage Program, an interdisciplinary program required of all undergraduates. He taught courses in literary history, British and American novel, and Shakespeare on Film. He co-founded The Association of Core Texts and Courses, a national network of undergraduate great books and core themes courses

He was President of Temple’s Faculty Senate, assistant to the university president, and later Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. He assisted the Aga Khan Humanities Project in Central Asia, helping develop interest in topics of Western art and Intellectual traditions and advising on instructional opportunities in Tajikistan, Kirghizstan, and Kazakhstan. He retired as Emeritus Professor in 2011.

During his years at Temple University, he published on Fitzgerald, Conrad, Defoe, Shakespeare and Melville with a special interest in Marxism and Literature. He played piano, sang, and directed the Sweetbriar Jazz Quartet. He coached baseball for youngsters. He has four children and six grandchildren.

After retiring, he moved to Puerto Rico and published on New World Spanish Poetry, including original translations of Neruda, Vallejo, Marti and others, and on political topics. He conducted the Neruda Poetry Seminar at San Juan’s Community Library. More recently, living in Santa Cruz, CA, he has concentrated on film reviews, during the COVID years, that now make up “Dreaming in the Dark”.