She's one of the best-selling poets in America, and she's also a very private person, giving relatively few interviews or details about her personal life. She taught in Bennington, Vermont, throughout the 1990s and currently lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She once wrote in an introduction to a poetry collection, "I have felt all my life that I was wise, and tasteful, too, to speak very little about myself — to deflect the curiosity in the personal self that descends upon writers, especially in this country and at this time, from both casual and avid readers."
But her recent collection Thirst(2006), which was written after her partner of 40 years passed away, contains many lines that address her personal experiences of grieving.
Oliver also wrote a lively sequence of poems about their dog, Percy. In "News of Percy (Five)" she writes: "We named him for the poet, who died young, in the blue waters off Italy. / Maybe we should have named him William, since Wordsworth almost never died."