Conrad Aiken (1889–1973) was an American poet, novelist, and short story author, and one of the most acclaimed writers of the twentieth century. His numerous honors include the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Award for Poetry, the Bollingen Prize, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal. Born in Savannah, Georgia, Aiken was orphaned at a young age and was raised by his great-great-aunt in Massachusetts. He attended Harvard University with T. S. Eliot and was a contributing editor to the influential literary journal the Dial, where he befriended Ezra Pound. Aiken published more than fifty works of poetry, fiction, and criticism, including the novels Blue Voyage, Great Circle, King Coffin, A Heart for the Gods of Mexico, and Conversation, and the widely anthologized short stories “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” and “Mr. Arcularis.” He played a key role in establishing Emily Dickinson’s status as a major American poet, mentored a young Malcolm Lowry, and served as the US poet laureate from 1950 to 1952. Aiken returned to Savannah eleven years before his death; the epitaph on his tombstone in Bonaventure Cemetery reads: Cosmos Mariner, Destination Unknown.