Poet Joan Vincent Murray was born in London and spent her childhood years at schools in London, the United States, Paris, and Ontario. She suffered from rheumatic fever as a child, the complications of which led to her death at 24. She studied dance and acting, appearing semi-professionally. She also studied with W.H. Auden at the New School; five years after her death, he selected her book Poems (1947) for the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize. Murray died in Saranac Lake, New York. Her papers are held at Smith College.