David Bottoms was born in Canton, Georgia in 1949. He attended Mercer University for his B.A. and received his M.A. at the graduate program in English at West Georgia College. After graduate school, he taught part-time until 1979, when his first book, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, was selected by Robert Penn Warren as the winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. He received a fellowship at Florida State University, where he earned his Ph.D. In 1982 he took a teaching position at Georgia State University, and co-founded Five Points, a literary magazine. In 2000, Bottoms was appointed Georgia’s Poet Laureate.