An American poet and fiction writer, she published ten collections of poetry and three novels. She is particularly known for the poem "What Do Women Want."
She taught at both San Francisco State University and Goddard College.
She received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
She was born in Maryland. She later gave birth to a daughter named Aya.
She and Carolyn Chute were both recipients of Guggenheim fellowships.