American poet, editor, and 1996 recipient of the National Book Award in poetry for Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey. His other literary works include Dark World, If You Call This Cry a Song, and Asphalt Georgics.
He studied at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and at the University of Chicago. He published his first poetry collection, The Crow and the Heart, in 1959.
His poems were infused with hints of the blues, jazz, and radical politics.
He married fellow poet Joe-Anne McLaughlin Carruth. The couple settled in New York.
He taught at Syracuse University, where he was a professor and mentor to poet Allen Hoey.