Harvey Mudd was born in Los Angeles and completed his primary education at the prestigious Thacher School in Ojai, California. He was accepted to Amherst College but dropped out after a year in favor of a bohemian life as a bookseller in New York City. After a heady youth that led him through Spain, the Middle East, and three years with the US Army Intelligence Corp, he became the director of The Central Clearing House, an environmental lobbying organization. He spent the 1970s intensely involved in the radical environmental activism of that decade. Near the end of this period, he published his first book of poems. Writing would become his primary pursuit from the 1980s onwards. He currently divides his time between Vermont, where his younger children live, and the south of France.