I find it fascinating to read ancient Greek and Roman poets and to learn of their lives and times. This book by Michael Schmidt is extremely detailed and well-worth a read for those of similar interests.
Here is more from write-ups I found online:
“The book's unique value lies in its carefully crafted attention to the concerns of contemporary fans of English-language poetry. For every Pindar of Thebes or Hipponas of Ephesus, there are references to modernist luminaries such as Ezra Pound and Hilda Doolittle. A chapter on Homer includes lines penned by Keats.”
“Starting with the legendary and possibly mythical Orpheus and with Homer, Schmidt conjures a host of our literary forebears. From Hipponax, “the dirty old man of poetry,” to Theocritus, the father of pastoral; from Sappho, who threw herself from a cliff for love, to Hesiod, who claimed a visit from the Muses–the stories in The First Poets masterfully merge fact and conjecture into animated and compelling portraits of these ancestors of our culture.”
The First Poets: Lives of the Ancient Greek Poets, by Michael Schmidt, Vintage, 2010.