Sandra Alcosser was born in Washington, D.C., on February 3, 1944, and she grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She received her B.A. from Purdue University in 1972 and an M.F.A. from the University of Montana in 1982, where she studied with Richard Hugo. She is the author of The Blue Vein (Brighton Press, 2005); A Woman Hit by a Meteor (2001); Except by Nature (Graywolf Press, 1998), which received the Academy's 1998 James Laughlin Award and was selected by Eamon Grennan for the 1997 National Poetry Series; Sleeping Inside the Glacier, a collaboration with artist Michele Burgess (1997); and A Fish to Feed All Hunger (1993), which was selected by James Tate to be the Associated Writing Programs Award Series winner in poetry. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and theYale Review.
Alcosser's honors include a Montana Artist Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, a Pushcart Prize, a San Diego Artist Fellowship, and a Writer's Voice New Voices of the West Award. Formerly the director of Central Park's Poets-in-the-Park program in New York City, Alcosser started the M.F.A. program in creative writing at San Diego State University. She is currently a professor of poetry, fiction, and feminist poetics at San Diego State University and has taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Montana, and Louisiana State University. Alcosser divides her time between San Diego and Florence, Montana.