Robert King was born in Denver and earned an MA from Colorado State University and a PhD from the University of Iowa. He retired from the University of North Dakota as Professor Emeritus in 1995. His poems, short fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including PoetryThe Missouri Review, South Dakota Review, and Weber Studies.

King's book of prose, Stepping Twice Into the River: Following Dakota Waters, was a finalizt for the 2006 Colorado Book Award. He has published five chapbooks and the full-length volume Old Man Laughing (Ghost Road Press, 2007). He is the 2000 winner of the National Writer's Union Prize for Poetry. He lives in Colorado, where he directs the Colorado Poets Center.