Chard DeNiord graduated from Lynchburg College in 1975 and went on to earn his MDiv from Yale Divinity School in 1978. Before pursuing ordination, DeNiord began working as an inpatient psychiatric aide at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Five years later, he left to pursue poetry, attending Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he received his MFA in 1985. In 1990, he published his first poetry collection, “Asleep in the Fire” (University of Alabama Press, 1990), while teaching comparative religions and philosophy at the Putney School in Vermont.
In 1998, DeNiord began teaching at Providence College, where he was eventually named the tenth recipient of the Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award. That same year, he founded the Spirit Letter Workshop, a ten-day program of workshops and lectures in Patzquaro, Mexico. In 2002, DeNiord co-founded the New England College MFA program in poetry, which he directed until 2007. DeNiord is currently a professor of English at Providence College and the Poet Laureate of Vermont. He lives in Westminster West, Vermont with his wife Liz.