Mark Elliot Shapiro was born in Toronto. He attended the Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto (a Hebrew day school) up to grade 9 and then continued at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (a Hebrew day high school), where he was a member of its third graduating class.
He has a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Toronto, an M.A. in English and an M.A. in Contemporary Jewry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an M.A. in Literature from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
He came to live in Israel in 1970.
In addition to his work as a freelance translator and editor, he is on the staff of Haaretz newspaper (English Edition). He has been writing poetry in Hebrew and English for many years. His themes include his Canadian and Israeli identities, the role of the poet and the Holocaust. His M.A. thesis at BGU was a comparison of Holocaust poetry by Israeli poet Dan Pagis and Canadian-Jewish poet A.M. Klein.
Mark has always been involved in volunteer work. In Toronto he was a member of United Synagogue Youth and Betar. In Israel he is on the board of the Southern Region of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel and serves as a volunteer with the Beersheva Police Department.