Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Sally Van Doren attended Phillips Academy, Princeton University, where she received a B.A. in Comparative Literature in 1984, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she received an M.F.A. in 1999. Van Doren was awarded the 2007 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets for her first collection of poems, Sex at Noon Taxes, selected by August Kleinzahler, published in 2008 by Louisiana State University Press. Her poems have appeared in American Poet, Barrow Street, Boulevard, Colorado Review, LIT, Margie, Poetry Daily, Southwest Review, Verse Daily and elsewhere. Her poem, "The Sense Series," was the text for a multimedia performance at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. She has taught creative writing in the St. Louis Public Schools and curates the Sunday Poetry Workshops for the St. Louis Poetry Center. She divides her time between St. Louis and Cornwall, Connecticut.