H. L. Hix was born in Oklahoma and raised in various small towns in the south. After earning his B.A. from Belmont College (now Belmont University) and his Ph.D. (in philosophy) from the University of Texas, Hix taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and was an administrator at the Cleveland Institute of Art, before joining the faculty of the University of Wyoming, where, after a term as director of the creative writing MFA, he now teaches. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai University and the University of Texas, been the 'Distinguished Visitor' at the NEO MFA, and taught in the low-residency MFA at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
His poetry, essays, and other works have been published in McSweeney’s, Georgia Review, Harvard Review, Boston Review, Poetry, and other journals, been recognized with an NEA Fellowship, the Grolier Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and the Peregrine Smith Award, and been translated into Spanish, Russian, Urdu, and other languages.