Enid Shomer was born Enid Steine on February 2, 1944, in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Philip and Minnie Steine; her father was a housepainter and her mother, a homemaker. She frequently wrote poetry while growing up in Washington, and after showing great promise in high school, she attended Wellesley College, from which she graduated in 1965, Phi Beta Kappa. Her major in college was sociology/anthropology, as she did not find herself in sympathy with current practices of literary analysis. She followed this degree with a master of arts degree in American studies from the University of Miami. She married, had two children, and then after twenty-five years of marriage, divorced.
Shomer’s career has been in both teaching and writing. She has taught in writing programs throughout the country; her teaching experience includes posts at Florida State University, the Antioch Writers’ Workshop, and Ohio State University. Scenes of Florida have particularly nourished her poetry from the outset; she used to rent a cottage at Cedar Keys, where the beach, sea, and birds could invade her unconscious and resurface in the many sea images that form the basis of many of her poems. As Distinguished Visiting Writer, she has taught creative writing in the University of Arkansas master of fine arts program.