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 five more books, Insomnia Diary (2004) This Clumsy Living (2007) Words for Empty and Words for Full (2010) with University of Pittsburgh Press, Elegy Owed (2013) with Copper Canyon Press. His most recent book, Sex & Love &, was published in 2016 by Copper Canyon Press. In 2004, after publishing four collections of poetry, Hicok (who previously had no undergraduate or graduate degree) earned an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. 
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
- Hicok, Bob (1991). Bearing witness. Detroit: Ridgeway Press.
- The Legend of Light, 1995, University of Wisconsin Press
- Plus Shipping, 1998, BOA Editions, Ltd.
- Animal Soul, 2003, Invisible Cities Press
- Insomnia Diary, 2004, University of Pittsburgh Press
- This Clumsy Living, 2007, University of Pittsburgh Press
- Words for Empty and Words for Full, 2010, University of Pittsburgh Press
- "Elegy Owed, 2013, Copper Canyon Press
- "Sex & Love &", 2016, Copper Canyon Press
- 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 & 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 & 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
- "Interview // Bob Hicok -". 2014-12-21. Retrieved 2017-05-18.
- Guggenheim Foundation 2008 Fellows
- Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry - Poetry (Library of Congress) Archived 2008-07-08 at the Wayback Machine.
- 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.