Knut Ødegård was born in Molde, Norway, 1945. He studied in theology and philology at the University of Oslo and University of Cambridge, and became Doctor of Literature h.c. in 1999.

His first volume of poetry, The Dreamer, the Wanderer and the Well was published in l967, and since he has published 12 poetry-books, among them Missa (1998), The Stephensen House (2003), Lookout (2005) and It Flowered So Insane (2009). Knut Ødegård has also written prose books, non-ficition books, essays and a play. Knut Ødegård is the most widely translated poet in Norwegian literature of our time. His poems have appeared in 26 languages.

Ødegård is the founder and president 1992-2001 of the Norwegian International Festival of Literature, Bjørnsonfestivalen, founded in 1992. From 2002 he is its Honorary President. In 2003 Knut Ødegård was elected president of the Norwegian Academy of Literature .Knut Ødegård was knighted by the King of Norway in 1997. In 1997 he become the Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Macedonia in all Norway, a position he still holds.