Alicia Ostriker was born in Brooklyn. She received a BA from Brandeis University and an MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Her poetry collections include The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog (2014); The Book of Seventy (2009), which received the 2009 National Jewish Book Award for poetry; The Little Space: Poems Selected and New, 1968-1998 (1998), finalist for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and the National Book Award; The Crack in Everything (1996), a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Paterson Poetry Award and the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award; and The Imaginary Lover (1986), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award.

Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Anthology, and has been translated into Hebrew and Arabic.

Her books of critical writing include Dancing at the Devil’s Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics and the Erotic (2000), The Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and Revisions (1994) and Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America (1986). For The Love of God: the Bible as an Open Book was published in 2007.

In 2015, Ostriker was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at Rutgers University and Drew University and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.