Michelle Boisseau was born in Cincinatti, Ohio. She received a BA from Ohio University in 1977, an MA from Ohio University in 1980, and a PhD in 1985 from the University of Houston.
Boisseau was the author of five books of poetry: Among the Gorgons: Poems (University of Tampa Press, 2016), which received the Tampa Review Prize; A Sunday in God-Years: Poems (University of Arkansas Press, 2009); Trembling Air: Poems (University of Arkansas Press, 2003); Understory (Northeastern University Press, 1996), which received the Morse Poetry Prize; and No Private Life (Vanderbilt University Press, 1990). She also coauthored the textbook Writing Poems (Little, Brown, 1982), which has been reprinted in several editions.
Boisseau received a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship as well as two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. She taught at the University of Missouri–Kansas City from 1995 until her death on November 15, 2017.