Rachel Elliott Rigolino was born in the South Bronx and attended high school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She graduated from Vassar College with a degree in English Literature and later earned an MA from SUNY New Paltz. Presently, she teaches for the English Department at SUNY New Paltz, where she specializes in first-year composition. She is married and lives with her husband, Joseph, and her Lhasa Apso, Norbu, in Highland, NY.