David Rivard was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. His collections of poetry include Torque (1988), which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Wise Poison (1996), winner of the James Laughlin Award, Bewitched Playground (2000), Sugartown (2005), and Otherwise Elsewhere (2010). He has also been a contributor to such publications as Ploughshares, The New England Review, and Poetry, and is a former editor of The Harvard Review.
His awards and honors include the Pushcart Prize, the Celia B. Wagner Award from the Poetry Society of America, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Hardison Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Rivard teaches in the University of New Hampshire MFA Program in Writing.