Rachel studied classics at Harvard, poetry at Johns Hopkins, and comparative literature at Princeton. Since 1981, she has taught in the English Department of the Newark (NJ) campus of Rutgers University. She is the author of many books of poetry, prose, and translations. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant in poetry, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. A memoir about her husband's illness, Strange Relation, was published by Paul Dry Books in 2011. Her previous book of poems, The Golden Road, was published by Northwestern University Press in the fall of 2012.