Barbara was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1935 and attended Erasmus Hall H.S. and Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her M.A. in British and American Literature from the State University of NY @ Buffalo and her Ph.D in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has published nine books of poetry and won writing awards and fellowships from such places as The National Endowment for the Arts.
She has lived in Bethesda, Maryland since 1965. Her former husband, Allan Lefcowitz  was formerly a professor of English at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. She has 2 children, Marjorie Schwarzer of Oakland, CA, and Eric Lefcowitz of Port Washington, NY and 3 grandchildren.