Mark Ford was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1962. He went to school in London, and attended Oxford university and, as a Kennedy Scholar, Harvard University. He wrote his doctorate at Oxford University on the poetry of John Ashbery, and has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American writing. From 1991-1993 he was Visiting Lecturer at Kyoto University in Japan.
He currently teaches in the English Department at University College London, where he is a Senior Lecturer. He has published two collections of poetry, Landlocked (Chatto & Windus, 1992; 1998) and Soft Sift (Faber & Faber, 2001/Harcourt Brace, 2003). He has also written a critical biography of the French poet, playwright and novelist, Raymond Roussel, Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams (Faber & Faber, 2000/Cornell University Press, 2001). He is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books.
John Ashbery and Helen Vendler are among his most fervent admirers.