Hicok is an associate professor of creative writing at Virginia Tech and an associate professor of English at Purdue University. He is from Michigan and before teaching owned and ran a successful automotive die design business. He formerly taught at Western Michigan University.
His first book, The Legend of Light, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press and chosen as an American Library Association Booklist Notable Book of the Year. Plus Shipping followed in 1998. His 2001 Animal Soul was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has since published four more books, Insomnia Diary (2004) This Clumsy Living (2007) and Words for Empty and Words for Full (2010) with University of Pittsburgh Press. His latest work, Elegy Owed (2013) was published by Copper Canyon Press.
His poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review and The American Poetry Review, as well as in eight volumes of The Best American Poetry and six times in the Pushcart Prize anthology.
- 1995 Felix Pollak Prize for The Legend of Light chosen by Carolyn Kizer
- 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship 
- two NEA Fellowships
- 2008 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress for "This Clumsy Living".
- 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award (Poetry) shortlist for Elegy Owed
- Elegy Owed, 2013, Copper Canyon Press
- Words for Empty and Words for Full, 2010, University of Pittsburgh Press
- This Clumsy Living, 2007, University of Pittsburgh Press
- Insomnia Diary, 2004, University of Pittsburgh Press
- Animal Soul, 2003, Invisible Cities Press
- Plus Shipping, 1998, BOA Editions, Ltd.
- The Legend of Light, 1995, University of Wisconsin Press
- Bearing Witness, 1991, Ridgeway Press
- William J. Walsh, ed. (2006). "Man of the House". Under the rock umbrella: contemporary American poets, 1951-1977. Mercer University Press. ISBN 978-0-88146-047-6.
- Garrison Keillor, ed. (2006). "Calling him back from layoff". Good Poems for Hard Times. Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-14-303767-5.
- Charles Wright, David Lehman, eds. (2008). "Oh my pa-pa". The Best American Poetry 2008. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-9975-6.
- Billy Collins, ed. (2003). "Alzheimer's". Poetry 180: a turning back to poetry. Random House, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8129-6887-3.
- Billy Collins, ed. (2005). "To Roanoke with Johnny Cash". 180 more: extraordinary poems for every day. Random House, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8129-7296-2.
- Bill Henderson, ed. (2000). The Pushcart prize XXX, 2006: best of the small presses. Pushcart Press. ISBN 978-1-888889-21-5.
- Bill Henderson, ed. (2004). The Pushcart Prize XXIX 2005: Best of the Small Presses. W. W. Norton & Company Limited. ISBN 978-1-888889-39-0.
- David Wagoner, David Lehman, eds. (2009). The Best American Poetry 2009. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-9977-0.
- David Walker, ed. (2006). American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets. Oberlin College Press. ISBN 978-0-932440-28-0.
- http://www.pw.org/mag/is_criticscircle.htm Poets and Writers Inc., Feb. 01, 2001
- Guggenheim Foundation 2008 Fellows
- Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry - Poetry (Library of Congress)
- Kirsten Reach (January 14, 2014). "NBCC finalists announced". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Bob Hicok", Caffeine Destiny
- Is a Pepper Steak a Steak Made of Pepper? An interview with Bob Hicok
- "Poet Hicok Reflects on Economic Hardships in Mich.", April 30, 2009, Newshour, PBS
- "Poets Q & A with Bob Hicok", August 2005, smartish pace
- Poem: The Smiths, as I understand them