Born in Los Angeles, Henri Anthony Coulette attended local schools, including the institution with which he continued to be associated for most of his life, California State University at Los Angeles. He taught high school English for a while. At the University of Iowa, he attended the Writers’ Workshop and obtained an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. His first collection of poetry, The War of the Secret Agents, and Other Poems was published in 1966. It was named the Lamont Poetry Selection by the Academy of American Poets and was well received by critics. He continued to teach at California State University at Los Angeles and produced his next collection, The Family Goldschmitt, in 1971. A number of his subsequent poems appeared in journals such as Iowa Review and The New Yorker.
Coulette died in 1988, but a manuscript he left was turned into a collection, And Come to Closure, which was published in 1990 as part of The Collected Poems of Henri Coulette.