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Arlene Distler was born and raised in New York. She moved with her family to Miami Beach at the age of 12. She attended high school in Miami Beach; and a year of college at the University of Florida, then attended four years at the Rhode Island School of Design, earning a BFA.
She raised a family of four children in Readsboro and Brattleboro, Vermont. She has one stepdaughter.
After spending ten years homesteading in Readsboro, she moved with her husband and children to Brattleboro, where she eventually became a para-instructor for the elementary grades.
She started writing poetry seriously in the 80's, giving readings in the Brattleboro area throughout the 80's and 90's.
In 1999 she and her partner, Marty Jezer, started a non-profit writers' group called Write Action, formed "to strengthen a community of writers in the Brattleboro area", and "to encourage, nurture, and promote the literary arts in the at-large community." It is still an important part of her community life.
In 2000 she started working as a freelance writer on the arts, particularly the visual arts.
She has published in several literary journals, including Chrysalis Journal, North American Review (as a finalist in the James Hearst Poetry Contest), Kalliope, and as a finalist in New Millenium Writings.