Christianne Balk grew up in Woodstock, New York. After studying biology at Grinnell College, she received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop.
Balk's first poetry collection Bindweed (Macmillan) was chosen by Anthony Hecht for the Walt Whitman Award in 1986. Her second collection, Desiring Flight, was published by Purdue University Press in 1995.
She has received the Verna Emery Poetry Prize from Purdue University, Prairie Schooner’s Annual Strousse Award, Peregrine Literary Journal's Pat Schneider Poetry Award, and grants from the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the Seattle Arts Council.
Balk has led creative writing workshops through Artists-in-the-schools, Washington State Arts Council, University of Washington Extension, Centrum/Port Townsend Writers Conference, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and University of Iowa. She currently lives and teaches in Seattle, Washington.