T. R. Hummer was born in Macon, Mississippi in 1950 and grew up in rural Noxubee County on a farm. He attended the universities of Southern Mississippi and Utah before embarking, in 1980, upon a career of teaching literature and creative writing at a number of academic institutions including the University of Oregon, where he was director of the creative writing programme.
Hummer has published seven full-length collections of poetry, and is also known as a short story writer, essayist and reviewer, his work appearing in such publications as The New Yorker and Harper's and in leading literary journals. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, he has twice won the prestigious Pushcart Prize for his poetry. In 2001, Terry Hummer became the editor-in-chief of the University of Georgia's prize-winning literary journal, The Georgia Review.