Gail Mazur was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and raised in Auburndale, Massachusetts. A graduate of Smith College, she has lived primarily in Cambridge and Provincetown since the 1960s, with periods in New York City, Houston, and Los Angeles. In 1973, Mazur founded the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Harvard Square. As an activist with her late husband—the artist Michael Mazur—and others, she cofounded, in 1968, Artists Against Racism and the War, and later they were activists for a Nuclear Freeze. Mazur is Distinguished Senior Writer in Residence in Emerson College’s graduate program and has served for many years on the Writing Committee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.