Bin Ramke was born in south Texas, spent time in Louisiana when he was young, and attended the University of Louisiana. Once a student of mathematics, Ramke studied literature as an undergraduate and earned a Ph.D. from Ohio University. Ramke combines these typically disparate interests to inform his poetry. Of Tendril, Ramke’s 2007 collection, John Ashbery wrote, “Bin Ramke’s poetry presents itself as the product of curious research on many different topics, most particularly etymology, but with side trips to mathematics, Greek philosophy, the poetry of Rilke and Christopher Smart— just about anything, in fact.”

Ramke has said of his writing, “The sort of work I do is concerned with sound, but in a subtle, nuanced way. It’s a combination of personal imagination and experience— experience in an unrecognizable form.” Ramke draws from a broad range of sources for his poetry and is willing to allow the “accidental” to enter the writing process.

Bin Ramke’s first collection of poems, The Difference Between Night and Day (1978), won the Yale Younger Poets Prize; The Massacre of the Innocents (1994) and Wake (1998) were awarded the Iowa Poetry Prize. He teaches at the University of Denver and occasionally at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, edits the Denver Quarterly, and is the author of more than eight collections of poetry.