Margaret Gibson was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She earned her BA from Hollins College and MA from the University of Virginia. Her numerous collections of poetry include Signs (1979); Long Walks in the Afternoon (1982), which was a Lamont Poetry Selection; The Vigil (1993), a finalist for the National Book Award; Earth Elegy: New and Selected Poems (1997); One Body (2007), which won the Connecticut Center for the Book Award in Poetry; Second Nature (2010); and Broken Cup (2014). Gibson has described her poetry as both meditation and observation. Poetry is “an act of taking things that come to you” whether “a scarlet tanager or an act of war,” Gibson told The Day, “whatever takes your attention, you study it for yourself, but you also take it into that part of yourself where you test things. You look out and you look in.” Gibson is also the author of the memoir The Prodigal Daughter: Reclaiming an Unfinished Childhood (2008), which was a finalist for the Connecticut Center for the Book Award in Non-fiction.
Gibson’s honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant, Connecticut Commission on the Arts grants, a Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Teaching Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and residencies at Yaddo. She is the recipient of a Melville Kane Award from the Poetry Society of America, a James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry, and two Pushcart Prizes. Gibson has taught and held writer-in-residence positions at many universities and colleges, including American University, Elon College, Trinity College, and Reed University. She is professor emerita at the University of Connecticut and lives in Connecticut.