Twentieth-century American poet, author, and recipient of the Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships. Her nine poetry collections include What the Light Was Like, Westward, and A Silence Opens.
She was raised in New Providence, Iowa and graduated from Grinnell College before relocating to New York City.
She published The Kingfisher, her first full-length poetry collection, at the age of sixty-three.
She was born into an Iowa Quaker family. She later taught at numerous universities, including Amherst College, Smith College, and the College of William and Mary.
She grew up in the American Midwest, as did Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks.