David Chapman Berry was born July 23, 1942, in Vicksburg, but he grew up in Greenville. He received a B.S. at Delta State College and then, after turning down medical school, he worked a year for General Motors. He served as a medical service officer for three years in Vietnam, where he wrote his first volume of poetry, Saigon Cemetery (1972). He is now an English professor at the University of Southern Mississippi.