Born in 1953 in New York. She is a poet and an essayist, and a graduate of Princeton; she lectures at universities in Berkeley and San Francisco, and at many others as a visiting poet. There are six collections of poetry to her credit: Alaya (1982), Of Gravity & Angels (1988), The October Palace (1994), The Lives of the Heart (1997), Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001) and After (2006), nominated to T.S. Eliot Prize. Her newest book Come, Thief is to be published this year. She is also the author of two volumes of essays. She was first translated into Polish by Czeslaw Milosz, and was a guest of the Meetings of Poets in Krakow. She has won many American and British prizes. She practices Zen Buddhism and lives in California.