Jane Kenyon was born on May 23, 1947, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up in the Midwest. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan in 1970 and an MA in 1972. That same year, Kenyon married the poet Donald Hall, whom she had met while studying at the University of Michigan.
Kenyon published four books of poetry during her lifetime: Constance (Graywolf Press, 1993); Let Evening Come (Graywolf Press, 1990); The Boat of Quiet Hours (Graywolf Press, 1986); and From Room to Room (Alice James Books, 1978), as well as a book of translation, Twenty Poems of Anna Akhmatova (Ally Press, 1985). She received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1981.
In December 1993, Kenyon and Hall were the subject of the Emmy Award-winning Bill Moyers documentary, A Life Together. She was named poet laureate of New Hampshire in 1995 and died of leukemia on April 22 of that year.