Bird was raised in Leeds and London from 2001 and attended the Steiner School in York and the Lady Eleanor Holles School before studying English Literature at Oxford University. She has given poetry readings at The Royal Festival Hall (with Elaine Feinstein), Latitude Festival, the Wellcome Collection (with Don Paterson), St Hilda's College, Oxford (with Wendy Cope), the Wordsworth Trust (with Gillian Allnutt), Cheltenham Festival (with Clare Pollard) and Ledbury Festival, amongst others.
Her mother is the artistic director of the South Bank Jude Kelly.
Caroline Bird has had two collections of poetry published by Carcanet. Her first collection, Looking Through Letterboxes (published in 2002 when she was 15), is a collection of poems built on the traditions of fairy tale, fantasy and romance. Her second collection, Trouble Came to the Turnip, was published in September 2006 to critical acclaim.
Bird's poems have been published in several anthologies, including Carcanet's New Poetries III and Oxford Poets 2008, and are published regularly in PN Review, Poetry Review and The North magazine. Her poems and a commissioned short story, "Sucking Eggs", have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. A member of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme, Bird has also written six plays: Nothing to Say, The Pie, Lumberjills, A Hymn With Drums, Student Play and A Special Boy (recently performed at the Burton Taylor Theatre in Oxford.)
Caroline Bird was a winner of the Poetry London Competition in 2007, the Peterloo Poetry Competition for three years running (2004, 2003 and 2002), a major Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and the Foyles Young Poet of the Year Award in 1999 and 2000. She was shortlisted for the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2001. Caroline was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2008, and was the youngest writer on the list at 21.