American member of the Black Mountain poets whose works include the long poem "Gunslinger" and the poetry collection Recollections of Gran Apacheria. His prose works include The Rites of Passage: A Brief History and By the Sound.
He was raised in rural Illinois during The Great Depression. Later, he studied at the University of Illinois and at Black Mountain College.
During his time as a resident poet at Kent State University, he was a fan of and mentor to a New Wave band called Devo.
His first marriage was to Helene Dorn; later, he wed Jennifer Dunbar Dorn.
He was admired by author Stephen King , who chose The Gunslinger as the title of the first book in his Dark Tower horror series.