Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, poet and novelist Laura Moriarty grew up in Cape Cod and northern California. She was educated at Sacramento State University and the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Rondeaux (1990), A Semblance: Selected and New Poems, 1975–2007 (2007), A Tonalist (2010), and Who That Divines (2014). She is also the author of the short novel Cunning (2000) and the science fiction novel Ultravioleta (2006).
In her work, Moriarty engages language and feminism; the poems buckle and fold against the constraints of hybrid, projectivist, and received forms. Observing the influence of poets Robert Duncan and Norma Cole on Moriarty’s work in a 2007 review of A Semblance for Publishers Weekly, the reviewer noted, “[Moriarty] has the former's baroquely elegant turns of mind and the latter's searching fluidity, but her subject matter—roughly, how one’s self-perceptions form a language that one is always comparing to one's experiences—is all her own, and her lines have a tensile gorgeousness unlike anyone else’s.”
Moriarty has served as archive director for the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University and as deputy director of Small Press Distribution. She has taught at Naropa University, the Otis Art Institute, and Mills College. Her honors include a Poetry Center Book Award, a Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Award in Poetry, a New Langton Arts Award, and a Fund for Poetry grant. She lives in northern California.