Mary Karr was born in Groves, Texas. She attended Macalester College and, after taking time off to travel and become involved in the anti-apartheid movement, earned an M.F.A. from Goddard College. Her three major works of poetry are Abacus (1987), The Devil’s Tour (1993) and Viper Rum (1998). She has taught at Tufts University, Emerson College, Harvard University and Sarah Lawrence College, as well as Syracuse University, where she is currently on the faculty. Her poetry and literary essays have been published in literary magazines including Poetry, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. She received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2004.