This chapter offers a detailed biographical account of David Milch’s family
background and his early life at university and elsewhere before he began
work as a television writer in the 1980s. In particular it examines the
profound influence of the poet Robert Penn Warren on Milch during the
latter’s time at Yale University in the 1960s and 1970s. It also calibrates
the significance of Milch’s time studying at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and
offers an analysis of his MFA dissertation, ‘The Groundlings’, and one of
his early poems.