Although Gerald Stern had been writing poetry for decades, it wasn't until the 1970's that people started to take notice. In 1972, his first book, The Naming of Beasts, was published by Harry Duncan's Cummington Press, followed by Rejoicings in 1973, which featured Stern's early poems created between 1966 and 1972. It was Lucky Life though that launched his career. Published in 1977, it was that years Lamont Poetry Prize Selection. During this time his poetry was also featured in a number of publications, including the American Poetry Review, which he would later contribute a regular column to.