Born in Chicago and educated at the University of Illinois and University of Iowa, Goldbarth has taught at various schools, including the University of Texas. Prolific and wide-ranging in content, Goldbarth writes against the grain of much contemporary poetry, which aims to strip language to its barest essentials. His verse, by contrast, is baroque, florid, even---as his critics would have it---cluttered. The effect of his virtuoso verbal performance is to suggest how intensely is the human need for explanation and connection with the vast storehouse of culture within which we live. In his recent works, Goldbarth has pursued his theory that life is a Moebius strip, continually repeating itself, with no discernible beginning or end.