Born in Shalu in central Taiwan, Su Shaolian (Su Shao-lien) graduated from Taizhong Teachers College in 1970 and has been an elementary school teacher since.
Su was a founding member of the New Tide Poetry Society in 1968 and the Dragon Race Poetry Society in 1971. In 1992 he cofounded the Taiwan Poetics Quarterly. His first book of poems appeared in 1978, followed by six more, all in the 1990s. Su is well known for his prose poetry and has also won prizes for his children's poetry.