Serpas grew up in Galliano, Louisiana, and received her BA from Louisiana State University. She subsequently did graduate study at New York University (MA), Yale Divinity School (M.Div.), and the University of Houston (PhD). Serpas formerly taught at the University of Tampa and is currently on faculty at University of Houston. Her first volume of poetry, Cote Blanche, appeared in 2002 from New Issues press at Western Michigan University; a second volume of poetry, "The Dirty Side of the Storm" was released by Norton in October 2006; and her third, "The Diener" was released by LSU Press in 2015. Her poems are included in Uncommonplace: An Anthology of Louisiana Poets (LSU Press); "The Art of the Sonnet" (Harvard); "Bearing the Mystery: The Best of Image"; and other anthologies. A 2005 issue of The New Yorker includes three of her poems. Additional poems are included in Harold Bloom's 2006 anthology "American Religious Poems." Two poems from "The Dirty Side of the Storm,"along with audio, are in the Winter 2006 issue of 2River.
Serpas also serves as a hospital chaplain and is active in efforts to restore Louisiana's wetlands.