The product of a Middle Eastern mother and a former Marine, Sam Pierstorff became the youngest Poet Laureate ever appointed in the state of California at 28 years old when he was unanimously appointed to the position in 2004 by the City of Modesto. His debut poetry collection, “Growing Up in Someone Else’s Shoes,” was published in 2010 by World Parade Books. In 2004-06, he was an avid benchpresser, winning several competitions (lifting 355lbs and weighing only 150lbs), before his back retired early, and so he began swimming instead with the Modesto Area Aquatic Club. He is originally from Long Beach, CA where he graduated college valedictorian in 1997 and went on to receive his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing in 1999. Currently, he is a professor of English at Modesto Junior College, and he is the founder and host of Modesto’s wildly popular monthly poetry slam, SLaM on RyE. He is married and has three wonderful children, and in his free time, he writes fiction, reads novels, and drinks black tea with more sugar than milk.
Growing Up in Someone Else’s Shoes (2009) (Poetry)