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. 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. Karr’s poetry and prose frequently include autobiographical elements, including her hardscrabble childhood, teenage drug-use, failed marriage and adult alcoholism, as well as her subsequent recovery and conversion to Catholicism.