Tim Dlugos was born on August 5, 1950, in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1968, he joined the Christian Brothers and attended La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
After a few years, he left the Brotherhood for Washington, D.C., where he was active in the poetry, anti-war, and gay communities and worked for Ralph Nader's newspaper Public Citizen. In the mid-1970s, he moved to New York City, where he was involved with the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church and affiliated with poets Joe Brainard, Bernadette Mayer, and Eileen Myles, among others.
He authored several collections of poetry, including Je Suis Ein Americano (Little Ceasar Press, 1979), Entre Nous (1982), and A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos (Nightboat Books, 2011), a posthumous collection edited by David Trinidad, which won a Lambda Literary Award.
In reference to Dlugos's work, Ted Berrigan said he was "the Frank O'Hara of his generation."
After learning he was HIV-positive, Dlugos enrolled in Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1988, with the intention of becoming an Episcopalian priest. He died of AIDS-related complications on December 3, 1990.