Born in Chatham, New Brunswick, Raymond Fraser attended St. Thomas University where in his freshman year he played on the varsity hockey and football teams, and in his junior year was co-editor with John Brebner of the student literary magazine Tom-Tom. His 20-year correspondence and friendship with the poet Alden Nowlan date from this period.

During the sixties Fraser worked as a lab technician, a high school teacher, and as editor and freelance writer for a number of tabloid newspapers.

While living in Montreal in 1966, Fraser and poet Leroy Johnson founded the literary magazine Intercourse: Contemporary Canadian Writing. In 1971 he was one of the founders of the Montreal Story Tellers Fiction Performance Group and the Rank Outsiders Poetry Extravaganza. His first book of fiction, The Black Horse Tavern (1973), was published in Montreal by Ingluvin Publications.

Fraser died in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on October 22, 2018 at the age of 77.