American poet, children's author, and translator known for The Homeplace, Mama's Promises, A Wreath for Emmett Till, and other works. She served as Connecticut Poet Laureate in the early 2000s.
She studied at the University of California-Davis, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Minnesota.
She founded a Connecticut writers' colony called Soul Mountain Retreat.
The daughter of a teacher and a United States Air Force serviceman, she grew up on various military bases.
She received the Poetry Society of America's Frost Medal, an honor named for the renowned poet Robert Frost.