Tom Andrews grew up in Charleston, West Virginia. He got into the Guinness World Records at the age of eleven by clapping for fourteen hours and thirty one minutes. He graduated from Hope College and the University of Virginia with an M.F.A. He worked as a copy editor for “Mathematical Review,” a bibliographic journal for mathematicians, physicists, statisticians, logicians, historians, and philosophers of mathematics. While he is best known for his poetry, he also wrote criticism and a memoir, Codeine Diary: True Confessions of a Reckless Hemophiliac. As a hemophiliac, much of his poetry seems concerned with the body as spectacle, in its achievements as well as its limitations.
Andrews died in July 18, 2001 as a result of complications from thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disease. He was forty years old.