He graduated from University of Notre Dame in 1952. After Navy service, he studied at the University College, Dublin, then graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, with an M.F.A. in 1957. He taught at St. Norbert College, and Saint Michael's College, Sweet Briar College, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Middlebury College, and Emory University, and the University of Alabama. In 1995, he was Wyndham Robertson Chair at Hollins College.
His work appeared in Harper's, the New Yorker, and many other prestigious journals.