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Creeley lived in Waldoboro, Buffalo, and Providence, where he taught at Brown University.
In his later years, when he became well-known, he would go to lengths to make strangers, who approached him as a well-known author, feel comfortable.
In his last years, he used the Internet to keep in touch with many younger poets and friends.
He attended the Holderness School in New Hampshire.
In 1943, he entered Harvard University, but left to serve in the American Field Service in Burma and India in 1944–1945.
He would stay at this post until 2003, when he received a post at Brown University.
From 1990 to 2003, he lived with his family in Black Rock, in a converted firehouse at the corner of Amherst and East Streets.
In 1960, Creeley earned an MA from the University of New Mexico.
He began his academic career by teaching at the prestigious Albuquerque Academy starting in 1958 until about 1960 or 1961.
It was hard for many readers and critics to immediately understand Creeley's reputation as an innovative poet, for his innovations were often very subtle; even harder for some to imagine that his work lived up to the Black Mountain tenet—which he articulated to Charles Olson in their correspondence, and which Olson popularized in his essay "Projective Verse,"—that "form is never more than an extension of content," for his poems were often written in couplet, triplet, and quatrain stanzas that break into and out of rhyme as happenstance appears to dictate.
An example is "The Hero," from Collected Poems, also published in 1982 and covering the span of years from 1945 to 1975.