Bill Knott was born on February 17, 1940, in Carson City, Michigan. In the early 1960s, Knott moved to Chicago. He published the books The Naomi Poems, Book One: Corpse and Beans, Nights of Naomi, and Auto-necrophilia under the pseudonym Saint Geraurd. He went on to publish several poetry collections under his own name, self-published many books ,and posted all of his poems online where they could be read for free. Knott taught at Emerson College for over twenty-five years. He received the Iowa Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other honors and awards. He died on March 12, 2014 in Bay City, Michigan.