Bruce Weigl was born in Lorain, Ohio, on January 27, 1949, to Albert Louis Weigl and Zora Grasa Weigl. Weigl served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from 1967 until 1970, earning the Bronze Star. He earned a B.A. in English from Oberlin College in 1974 and an M.A. from the University of New Hampshire in 1975. In 1979, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Utah, where he was mentored by poet Dave Smith. He has two children (a son and a daughter) with his wife, artist Jean Kondo.
Weigl has had an extensive teaching career. He was an instructor at Lorain County Community College from 1975 to 1976 and assistant professor of English at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. At Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, he was assistant professor of English and director of the associated writing program. He then taught in the writing program at Pennsylvania State University for fourteen years and in the M.F.A. in writing program at Vermont College. In 2000, he became a visiting distinguished professor at Lorain County Community College.