Louis Daniel Brodsky was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1941, where he attended St. Louis Country Day School. After earning a B.A., magna cum laude, at Yale University in 1963, he received an M.A. in English from Washington University in 1967 and an M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University the following year.
From 1968 to 1987, while continuing to write poetry, he assisted in managing a 350-person men’s-clothing factory in Farmington, Missouri, and started one of the Midwest’s first factory-outlet apparel chains. From 1980 to 1991, he taught English and creative writing, part-time, at Mineral Area College, in nearby Flat River. From 1987 onward, he lived in St. Louis, near his daughter and son, and devoted himself to composing poems and short fictions.
Brodsky authored eighty-four volumes of poetry (five of which have been published in French by Éditions Gallimard) and twenty-five volumes of prose, including nine books of scholarship on William Faulkner and nine books of short fictions. His poems and essays have appeared in Harper’s, Faulkner Journal, Southern Review, Texas Quarterly, National Forum, American Scholar, Studies in Bibliography, Kansas Quarterly, Forum, Cimarron Review, and Literary Review, as well as in Ariel, Acumen, Orbis, New Welsh Review, Dalhousie Review, and other journals. His work has also been printed in five editions of the Anthology of Magazine Verse and Yearbook of American Poetry.
Brodsky’s You Can’t Go Back, Exactly won the Center for Great Lakes Culture’s (Michigan State University) 2004 best book of poetry award.
His most recent books of poetry include A Mississippi Trilogy and The Words of My Mouth and The Meditations of My Heart, which he wrote during his year-plus-long journey living with brain cancer. He passed away from his cancer in June, 2014.
A detailed biography of his years spanning 1963-1985 can be found in the introductions to his Complete Poems, Volumes One-Four, which appear below: