Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Rohrer was raised in Oklahoma. He earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan (where he won a Hopwood Award for poetry) and a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from the University of Iowa.
His first book of poetry, A Hummock in the Malookas (1995), was selected by Mary Oliver for the 1994 National Poetry Series. In 2005, his collection A Green Light was shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize. James Tate said of A Green Light, "There are poems in A Green Light that can break your heart with their unexpected twists and turns. You think you know where you are and then you don't and it is inexplicably sad. You experience some kind of emotion that you can't even name, but it's deep and real. That's the power of Matthew Rohrer's new poems."
He was poetry editor for Fence magazine.
- Surrounded by Friends (Wave Books, 2015)
- Destroyer and Preserver (Wave Books, 2011)
- A Plate of Chicken (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009)
- Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007)
- A Green Light (Verse Press, 2004)
- Nice Hat. Thanks. (Verse Press, 2002) - with Joshua Beckman
- Satellite (Verse Press, 2001)
- A Hummock in the Malookas (1995)
- Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty (2003) - with Joshua Beckman
- "Griffin Poetry Prize | 2005 shortlist | Matthew Rohrer". GriffinPoetryprize.com. 2005.
- Matthew Rohrer's Author Page at Wave books
- Fence magazine
- Two poems and an interview with Tao Lin
- Three poems (with Joshua Beckman)
- Griffin Poetry Prize reading, including video clip
- Griffin Poetry Prize keynote speech
- From Town to Town They Go, A Busload of Poets, Rhymes in Tow, The New York Sun
- Matthew Rohrer at The Emergency Reading Series