I was born to working-class parents in the Bronx and lived there until I was nine years old, when my family moved to Queens. Ever nostalgic for the Bronx, I attended Herbert Lehman College. I decided to get a doctorate in English at SUNY Stony Brook. In addition to earning a PhD, I met my husband Paul there. After a couple of years as a contingent faculty member, I got a tenure-track appointment and eventually tenure at Goucher College.
Most of the various writing I've done--poetry, essays, criticism--shares a preoccupation with class, social justice, gender or urban spaces. I held leadership positions in the Northeast Modern Language Association, the American Association of University Professors, and the Working-Class Studies Association. In my retirement I remain an activist.
Despite being an avowed urbanite, I enjoy the outdoors through cycling, hiking, kayaking, and travel. My latest book, Galapagos: Islas Encantadas, was inspired by a dream trip. It is my first book about the natural environment and my first book whose poems are accompanied by photographs, the vast majority of which were taken by my spouse, Paul J. Groncki.
In addition to writing, I devote a considerable amount of time to classes in Spanish film and conversation.