祖籍江蘇吳江，出生並長期生活於上海。1980年代初在上海師範大學中文系讀書期間開始寫詩。主持編印過民間詩刊《作品》（1982-1984）、《傾向》（1988-1991）和《南方詩志》（1992-1994）；自2005年以來參與策劃和組織每年一屆的「三月三詩會」，編選出版「三月三詩會」作品集三卷；另與詩人張耳合編了中英文雙語當代中國詩選《Another Kind of Nation: A Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Poetry／別處的集合：24人雙語詩選》（2007，紐約，Talisman House Publishers）。有詩集《夏之書•解禁書》（2010）、《導遊圖》（2013），詩文集《短篇•流水》（2000）和隨筆集《黑鏡子》（2014）《隻言片語來自寫作》（2015）等十數種著作出版。現居深圳和上海專事寫作。
Chen Dongdong was born in Shanghai, where he has spent most of his life. He began writing poetry in 1980 while an undergraduate in the Chinese department at Shanghai Normal University, and he has been the editor of several unofficial literary journals, including Works (1982–1984), Tendency (1988–1991), and Southern Poetry Journal (1992–1994). Since 2005 he has been chief organizer the Three Month Three Poetry Festival, publishing three volumes anthologizing the work. He co-edited Another Kind of Nation: an Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Poetry in English translation (Talisman House, 2007), with US-based poet Zhang Er, and he has published over a dozen books of his own, including the poetry collections Summer Book • Unbanned Book (2010), Tourist Map (2013), and Flowing Water (prose poems, 2000), as well as the essay collections Black Mirror (2014) and Words and Phrases from Writing (2015). He now divides his time between Shanghai and Shenzhen.