Best known for Practical Gods, a 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, this American writer also published Meetings with Time, Signs and Wonders, The Outskirts of Troy, and several other acclaimed books of poetry.
After studying briefly at both Oberlin College and the University of Chicago, he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He published his first full-length poetic work, A House of My Own, in 1974.
He taught English at the State University of New York at Buffalo and creative writing at Warren Wilson College.
He and his brother, musician and composer Robert Dennis, grew up in St. Louis, Missouri.
He was born in the same year as fellow Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Ted Kooser.