Linked by some criticts to the Objectivist tradition, particularly to the poet George Oppen, Rae Armantrout began her writing as a poet closely involved with members of the San Francisco "Language" writers. Her work indeed incorporates elements of both a close observation of the world around about her and a witty play of linguistic and syntactical elements, but her writing is of its own. As Elaine Equi has written of Armantrout's Necromance, "[She] makes you believe that there is still such a thing as originality."
Armantrout's work—which includes Necromance, Made to Seem and the short memoir True—has been increasingly taught in college and university courses; forthcoming is a special collection of essays by numerous authors on her writing, A Wild Salience. She lives and teaches in San Diego, California