W.D. Snodgrass was born in Pennsylvania and attended the University of Iowa. At Iowa he met Robert Lowell, who admired Snodgrass's poetry and helped publish it in 1959. Snodgrass's poetry is often considered the beginning of the Confessional school of poetry, which would later influence such poets as Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and even his teacher Lowell. His poetry focuses on intimate, personal experiences, in which the poet reflects on profound aspects of life in a revealing way. But though his poetry has maintained this tone, he moved away from the formal structure of his early verse to a free verse style, as seen in "The Campus on the Hill" and "A Locked House."