In 1957, he began to study at the University of California at Riverside and went on to Harvard, where he was a student and friend of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. He began studying with Lowell and Reuben Brower in 1962.
He has taught at Wellesley College since 1972 and is currently (as of 2009) a professor of English there. He has also taught at nearby Brandeis University.
Frank Bidart was the 2007 winner of Yale University’s Bollingen Prize in American Poetry. His chapbook, Music Like Dirt, later included in the collection Star Dust, is the only chapbook to be nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965—90 (1990)
Desire (1997) received the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and the 1998 Bobbitt Prize for Poetry; nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award
Music Like Dirt (Sarabande Books, 2002), the only poetry chapbook ever nominated for a Pulitzer Prize
Star Dust (2005), in two sections
Watching the Spring Festival (2008), Bidart's first book of lyrics
Editor, with David Gewanter, of Robert Lowell's Collected Poems (2003)