Born Andrei Perlmutter in 1946 in communist-controlled Transylvania, Andrei Codrescu first published under the name Andrei Steiu, chosen to conceal his Jewishness in that anti-Semitic milieu. To escape from a regime he found oppressive, he emigrated to the United States in 1966, living at first in Detroit, where he associated with the Detroit Artists Workshop, founded by John Sinclair, a well-known poet and social activist. At about this time, he began publishing poetry in Romania, using the name Codrescu. After a year, Codrescu moved to New York, linking up with the New York Beat poets, and began to publish in English. After publishing his first poetry book, License to Carry a Gun, he moved to San Francisco; seven years later, he moved to Baltimore and ultimately settled in New Orleans. He became a United States citizen in 1981. From 1984 to 2009, he was the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor at Louisiana State University. He has two children, Lucian and Tristan, from his first marriage to Alice Henderson. He later married Laura Cole.