Carol Muske-Dukes was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1945. She received her M.S. in 1970 from the State University of California at San Francisco.
Her most recent book of poems is Twin Cities (Penguin, 2011). Her previous collection, Sparrow (Random House, 2003) was a National Book Award finalist. Her other books of poetry include: Camouflage (University of Pittsburgh, 1975); Skylight (1981); Wyndmere (1985); Applause (1989); Red Trousseau (1993); and Octave Above Thunder (1997).
Her books of prose include two collections of essays: Women & Poetry; Married to the Icepick Killer: a Poet in Hollywood; the novels Dear Digby (1989); Saving St. Germ (1993) Life after death: a novel (2001) and her most recent book, Channeling Mark Twain (Random House, 2008).
Among her awards are the 1979 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award of the Poetry Society of America, a 1981 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, an Ingram-Merrill grant, a Witter/Bynner Award from the Library of Congress, and several Pushcart Prizes.
A regular writer for the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and the Huffington Post, Muske-Dukes has also taught in the graduate writing programs at Columbia University, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the University of California at Irvine, and the University of Virginia. She is the founding director of the PhD Program in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California.
She lives in Los Angeles, California, where she served as the state poet laureate from 2008 to 2011.