Kizer was born in 1925. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, studied at Columbia University as a fellow of the Chinese government, and in 1946 became a graduate fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle.
"Poems, to me, do not come from ideas," she said in an interview in the Paris Review, "they come from a series of images that you tuck away in the back of your brain. Little photographic snapshots. Then you get the major vision of the poem, which is like a giant magnet to which all these disparate little impressions fly and adhere, and there is the poem!"
In the interview, Kizer went on to explain how she remembered dialog she had when she was a little girl. She explained as only a poet could. "The pressure of my mother's speech in iambic pentameter of course, 'Listen darling and remember always; / It's Dr. Einstein broadcasting from Switzerland.' When someone speaks in that impassioned way, when they speak in perfect iambic pentameter, as most people do under pressure, it's something you remember."
For the full interview in the Paris Review click here. For an in-depth article on Carolyn Kizer, her accomplishments and bibliography, click this link, which will take you to the Poetry Foundation.