Butler is the son of a Southern Baptist
minister. He was born May 8, 1944, in Alligator, Mississippi, just
off Highway 61 in the Mississippi Delta. It was in Clinton,
Mississippi, as a high school sophomore, that he discovered his love for
writing. He lettered in track in high school, and in track and
cross country in college. He lived primarily in Arkansas for
twenty-five years, since attending the University of Arkansas in the
early days of its widely-recognized Creative Writing Program. In
1993, he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to accept a position in Creative
Writing at the College of Santa Fe.
In the past, he has worked as a Southern Baptist preacher, a fried-pie salesman, an actuarial analyst, and the Assistant Dean of a college. The father of two girls, Lynnika and Sarah, Mr. Butler is married to Jayme Tull, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, and stepfather to her daughters, Catherine and Sherri. He enjoys running, swimming, basketball, camping, travel, physics, math astronomy, drawing, painting, and cooking (he writes food columns for Country Home magazine, and has published a cookbook).
Among his books are Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock (a novel) and New and Selected Poems (forthcoming).