Born in Oak Park, Illinois, she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Columbia College of Chicago. Her latest book, Ripple Effect: New & Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2007) was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award and on the short list for Canada's prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize. She has also published many other collections of poetry including Surface Tension, Decoy, Voice-Over, which won the San Francisco State Poetry Award, and The Cloud of Knowable Things. Her work is widely anthologized and appears in Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology and in several editions of The Best American Poetry. In addition to The New School, she teaches at New York University and in the MFA program at City College of New York.