American poet, Vermont Poet Laureate (1989-1993), and 1983 recipient of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His best-known works include Selected Poems, The Book of Nightmares, and Imperfect Thirst.
He studied at Princeton University and the University of Rochester before traveling to France on a Fulbright Fellowship.
He worked during the 1960s for the Congress of Racial Equality in Louisiana and was arrested for his pro-Civil Rights activities.
He was greatly influenced by the literary work and lifestyle of poet Walt Whitman.