Carol Jane Bangs was born in Portland on June 22, 1949. She obtained her BA from Portland State University, and, the recipient of an NDEA fellowship for doctoral studies, earned her PhD from the University of Oregon in 1977. Carol Jane Bangs has taught at the University of Oregon, Boise State, and Bellevue (Washington) Community College. She has also served as Assistant Editor for the Northwest Review (1971–75) and as consultant to Graywolf Press. Along with her husband, the writer Jim Heynen, and their two children, she makes her home in Port Townsend, Washington.