Sandra Alcosser was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She earned her BA from Purdue University and an MFA from the University of Montana, where she studied with Richard Hugo. Her collections of poetry include A Fish to Feed All Hunger (1986, reissued 1993), which James Tate selected as the winner of the Associated Writing Programs Award in poetry; Sleeping Inside the Glacier (1997), a collaboration with the artist Michele Burgess; and Except by Nature (1998), a National Poetry Series selection and winner of the James Laughlin Award. Other books include A Woman Hit by a Meteor (2001) and The Blue Vein (2004).
Alcosser is the first Conservation Poet for the Wildlife Conservation Society and Poets House, an honor awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and was Montana’s first poet laureate. Other honors and awards include the Merriam Award for Distinguished Contribution to Montana Literature, the Larry Levis Award, a Pushcart Prize, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, and a Writer’s Voice New Voices of the WestAward. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and been writer-in-residence at Glacier National Park and the Central Park Zoo. Alcosser is the former director of the Central Park Poets-in-the-Park program and founder of the MFA program at San Diego State University, where she is a professor of poetry, fiction, and feminist poetics.