George Sterling

George Sterling (1869-1926); King of Bohemia and central figure in the Californian literary scene of the early twentieth century. Pupil of Ambrose Bierce, whom he called "The Master," mentor to Clark Ashton Smith, friend of Jack London, Robinson Jeffers and Nora May French.

Perhaps best known for his epic poems The Testimony of the Suns and A Wine of Wizardry (1907), to which Smith's The Hashish-Eater would forever be compared, his prodigious output of poems, plays, essays and the occasional story appeared in twenty one volumes, numerous magazines and newspapers.

His work covered a broad set of themes and philosophies - from the romantic, in the tradition of Shelley and Keats, to the morbid gloom of Poe passing through the mystical and fantastic on the way. He tackled the (at the time) taboo subjects of incest and homosexuality while covering the current political and sporting news of the day.

Sterling committed suicide by taking cyanide in his room at the Bohemian Club on November 17, 1926.

As all good poets should be, he was a drunkard and a womanizer.

-- Boyd Pearson

The purpose of this site is to collect all available material on and by George Sterling to further both the appreciation and study of this great literary figure.


The aim of this site is include all of George Sterling's poems, plays, fiction and nonfiction. I don't own them all so need the help of others. If you have access to any of his work and can offer assistance please get in touch.

I have a few thankless tasks related to the site that don't require you to have anything but time - let me know if you can help.

Currently in print works on or by George Sterling:

George Sterling: Prophet of the Suns, chapter 1 in Emperors of Dreams: Some Notes on Weird Poetry by S. T. Joshi (Sydney: P'rea Press, 2008). List Price: $16.00 (pbk) and $50 (signed hbk).

Deep-Sea Matrimony: George Sterling and "The Abalone Song," by Geoffrey Dunn. Fall/Winter 2008 edition of Noticias published by the Monterey History and Art Association.

Poesia -- 238, XXII (May 2009), 50-60. Contains a feature on G.S by Massimo Scorsone - Franco Pezzini with translation of poems in to italia.

The Shadow of the Unattained: The Letters of George Sterling and Clark Ashton Smith. Edited by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi, December 2005, ISBN 0974878936, Paperback, $20.00.

The Thirst of Satan: Poems of Fantasy and Terror. By George Sterling, Edited by S. T. Joshi, August 2003, ISBN 0972164464, 216 pages, Paperback, $15.00.

George Sterling A Bibliography by Mattila, Robert W, Limited edition of 450 copies, The Book Club of Washington, 2004, ISBN 0-9629954-1-X, $30.00 USD

From Baltimore to Bohemia: The Letters of H. L. Mencken and George Sterling (Hardcover) by H. L. Mencken, George Sterling, S. T. Joshi (Editor) List Price: $45.00

Future releases: George Sterling: Collected Poetry (five volumes) unknown publication date by Hippocampus Press.


Boyd Pearson ( Webmaster/Owner)
Alycia Hesse (Senior Editor)


Thanks to the following for their invaluable assistance:

Derrick Hussey, Charlie Galvin, Chris Mayou