Ben Belitt was born in New York City and received is B.A. and M.A. at the University of Virginia. After completing his education, he took a position at Bennington College in Vermont, where he influenced poets such as Susan Wheeler, Reginald Shepherd, and Lynn Emanuel. In addition to his own poetry, he published translations of Spanish poets such as Pablo Neruda and Federico García Lorca, which Wheeler called not merely English transpositions but “parallel, vital new works.” Belitt died in his adopted hometown of Bennington in 2003.