Poet Rachel Richardson was born and raised in Berkeley, California. She is the author of the poetry collections Copperhead (2011) and Hundred-Year Wave (2016). Her poetry investigates the disjunctions of remembered and recorded history. Discussing the overlap between her method of poetic composition and her graduate studies in ethnography, Richardson has noted, “There’s a lot to be taken from the field, from places where you may not have realized that the material was worth anything.”
Richardson earned a BA at Dartmouth College, an MFA at the University of Michigan, and an MA in folklore at the University of North Carolina. Her honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, the Hopwood Award, and several Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes. She has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Stanford University, University of San Francisco's MFA in Writing Program, and several prisons. She also offers private writing coaching and editing.

Richardson co-directs Left Margin LIT, a literary arts center in Berkeley, California, and directs poetry programming for the Bay Area Book Festival. She lives with the writer David Roderick and their two children in Berkeley.