Ann Lauterbach was born and grew up in Manhattan, where she studied painting at the High School of Music and Art. She received her BA in English from the University of Wisconsin and did graduate work at Columbia University. Lauterbach worked in art galleries for several years. She has taught in the Writing programs at Brooklyn College, Columbia, Iowa, City College, the Graduate Center of CUNY, and the Yale School of Art.. Her work was the subject of a three-day seminar at the Universite of Paris in 2014. Lauterbach has written essays on numerous artists. She has published eleven collections of poetry, most recently Door (2023, Penguin Books). Her prose has been collected in The Night Sky: Writings on the Poetics of Experience, The Given & The Chosen, and Saint Petersburg Notebook.
Lauterbach has received fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the. MacArthur Foundation. Her 2009 collection, Or To Begin Again, was nominated for a National Book Award.
She has been, since 1990, co-Chair of Writing in the Milton Avery School of the Arts & Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. She lives in Germantown, New York.