Kevin Hart was born in Ockendon, Essex and moved to Brisbane, Queensland, with his family in 1966. After graduating with honours from the Australian National University, he won a writing fellowship to Stanford University, California, in 1977. Returning to Australia, he completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne, The Trespass of the Sign: Deconstruction, Theology and Philosophy (1986) which was later published by Cambridge University Press in 1989 and by Fordham University Press (USA) in 2000, and has since held several academic posts, most recently at Monash University. In 2002 he left Australia to take up his appointment to the endowed Chair in Philosophy and as Professor of English at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, in the United States. He holds the Eric D’Arcy Chair of Philosophy and is Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Phenomenology of Religion at the Australian Catholic University (2013).
Hart's poetry is deeply religious and is often preoccupied with ageing and death. His poems were first published in 1975 and he won the FAW John Shaw Neilson Award the following year. His first book of verse, The Departure, was published in 1978. He has since won many awards, including the Grace Leven Prize twice.
Hart has written extensively on literary theory and poetry including studies of A. D. Hope, Samuel Johnson, Jean-Luc Marion and Jacques Derrida. He has translated the poetry of Giuseppe Ungaretti. Postmodernism: A Beginner's Guide was published in 2004. He has written and translated works on religion and spirituality (including The Dark Gaze : Maurice Blanchot and the Sacred (2004)) and edited the Oxford Book of Australian Religious Verse (1994).