Sharon Cumberland was born in Schenectady, New York. Her peregrinations through universities, jobs, psychotherapy, and an Episcopalian religious order led her to poetry. She has traveled in the United States and abroad, and lived for a time in Rome, Italy where she developed a love of art, architecture, and opera. In New York City she had careers in arts management and education. Currently she is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University.