Barry Spacks was born in Philadelphia in 1931. He taught literature at MIT and University of California, Santa Barbara. He served as poet laureate of Santa Barbara from 2005 to 2007. A recipient of the St. Botolph’s Arts Award, Spacks published nine poetry collections, the most extensive being Spacks Street: New and Selected Poems (1982), which won the Commonwealth Club of California's Poetry Medal. In 2013 he published a collection of short stories, There's Always a Girl. Spacks was also an accomplished librettist, singer-songwriter, and actor.