Pushcart Prize-winning poet and author known for The Devil's Tour and The Liars' Club. The latter work, a darkly humorous childhood memoir, remained on the New York Times Best-Seller List for more than a year.
She attended Macalester College and Goddard College. She published her debut poetry collection, Abacus, in 1987.
She was a professor of English at Syracuse University.
She was married to Michael Milburn, with whom she had a child. After her divorce, she briefly dated
Her poetry was greatly influenced by the work of fellow American poet Etheridge Knight.