Sol Funaroff was born of Russian parents; his father died in Palestine after his family fled across Europe. While Funaroff's mother was working in a sweatshop in 1915, the tenement they lived in on New York's East Side slums burned down. Neighbors carried him gasping from the building, but his lungs were weak thereafter. As a child, he and his brother sold candy and fruit to garment workers. Later he worked in a matzo factory and in an upholstery shop. During the depression, he got part-time work as a relief investigator and as a reporter for the New York World and news services and did some editorial work for the New Republic and Scribner's. The WPA Writer's Project gave him some steady work in the late 1930s. Meanwhile he wrote poetry and became an important organizer for the proletarian poetry movement in the 1930s. He founded Dynamo Press, which published Dynamo magazine and books by Fearing, Rolfe, and Funaroff himself. His two poetry collections are The Spider and the Clock (1938) and the posthumous Exile from a Future Time (1943).