Rich Murphy was born and raised in Lynn, Massachusetts, where as a child he often dwelt on the night sky, an experience that moved him to writing and later to becoming a writer. Murphy is a graduate of the Boston University Creative Writing Program where he studied under George Starbuck and Derek Walcott.
The author of fifteen collections of poetry and essays on poetics, he has taught at various colleges and universities in the Northeast and he is currently a guest lecturer at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Twice, his poetry has won The Poetry Prize at Press Americana with his collections Americana (2013) and The Left Behind (2021), and in 2008 he received the Gival Press Poetry Prize for Voyeur. He has four adult children and lives with his life partner in Marblehead, MA.