She grew up in New York City, attending the Bronx High School of Science. She graduated from Radcliffe College, magna cum laude, studying with Robert Lowell, Robert Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Shaw, James Richardson, and Jane Shore. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Richard Howard, Cynthia Macdonald and David St. John. She taught at Boston University, and Harvard University.
In 1985, she married the poet and journalist David Ghitelman an early editor AGNI (magazine). They divorced in 1999. Her current partner is Philip Alcabes, professor of Public Health at Hunter College, City University of New York, and author of Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics from The Black Death to Avian Flue (Public Affairs 2009) http://www.philipalcabes.com
She was director of the Poetry Society of America from 1985 to 1988.
Her work has appeared in The Nation, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry,
The Yale Review, AGNI Review, The New York Times, and The New Yorker.
She lives in New York City and teaches at Adelphi University, and City College of New York. Her blog is at http://www.judithbaumel.com ..