Rae Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California, in 1947, and raised in San Diego. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Berkeley and a master’s degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. While attending Berkeley she studied with Denise Levertov and made friends with Ron Silliman and others who would eventually be connected with the San Francisco group of Language Poets of the late 1980s.
She is the author of a dozen books of poetry including Money Shot (2011); Versed (2009), winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award; Next Life (2007), a New York Times Most Notable Book of 2007; Up to Speed (2004), a PEN USA Award Finalist; and Veil: New and Selected Poems (2001), also a PEN USA Award Finalist; all published by Wesleyan University Press. She is the author of a prose memoir, True, which was published by Atelos in 1998.
Armantrout is a professor of writing in the literature department at the University of California, San Diego. Some of her papers before 1990 are held by the Stanford University Archives; all papers since then, and some early juvenilia, are held by the Archive for New Poetry at the University of California, San Diego.