She has been married to novelist Paul West since 1970. West suffered a disabling stroke in 2006; Ackerman describes their ensuing life together in her book, One Hundred Names for Love (2011). She currently lives in New York state.
A collection of her manuscripts, writings and papers (the Diane Ackerman Papers, 1971–1997—Collection No. 6299) is housed at the Cornell University Library.
The Great Affair The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one's curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day..
It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.
– Diane Ackerman, "found poetry" from A Natural History of the Senses
The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral. William-Morrow. 1976. OCLC2189272.
^Richards, Linda L. (August 1999). "Interview: Diane Ackerman". January Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-31. "I didn't want to be a scientist. I just felt that the universe wasn't knowable from only one perspective. I wanted to be able to go exploring: follow my curiosity in both worlds. So I had a poet on my doctoral committee. And I had a scientist -- Carl Sagan. And I had someone in comparative literature. Essentially, they all ran interference for me so that I could -- ultimately -- write a dissertation that was about the metaphysical mind: science and art and be teaching and be in school while I was writing books."