Praising Dialogue for the Left and Right Hand, poet Alan Shapiro noted that the poems “celebrate those privileged, life-sustaining, yet evanescent moments of agreement between self and world, word and thing, one person and another; but they do so by reminding us of the destructive forces in us and around us that menace or impede these moments.” Cramer's poetry is known for its lucid, smart portrayal of sentiment. While frequently autobiographical, Cramer's work—as in Clangings—can also be formally inventive and estranging. According to David Rivard, Clangings “balances perfectly on the knife-edge of improvisation and necessity.”
Steven Cramer has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. His work has been included in the anthologies Villanelles (2012), After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery (2008), Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry (2007), and The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (2005). A former editor at the Atlantic Monthly, he currently directs the low-residency MFA program at Lesley University, and lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, with his family.