Babette Deutsch was born to a Jewish-American family in New York City, where she lived all her life. She attended the Ethical Culture School and graduated from Barnard College in 1917. She began to publish her poetry in journals such as The New Republic while still an undergraduate. In 1921, she married Avrahm Yarmolinsky, a poet, critic, and translator, with whom she had two sons and collaborated on several important works. Babette's first published collection of verse was Banners (1919), followed by nine more volumes. With her husband, she produced Modern Russian Poetry (1921), and Two Centuries of Russian Verse (1966), and translated Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin and Alexander Blok’s The Twelve. Independently, she translated the works of Rilke from the German. Babette Deutsch also wrote biographies for children, the best known being Walt Whitman: Builder for America (1941), for which she won the Julia Ellsworth Ford Foundation Award for children’s literature. In addition to her own poetry, she wrote poetry criticism and edited several anthologies of Russian and German poetry. Babette Deutsch was the author of several novels, among them A Brittle Heaven (1926), In Such a Night (1927), and The Mask of Silenus (1933). She taught at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University, where she also received an honorary doctorate.