Hesiod (around 700 bce) is the first poet to tell us something about himself. His father gave up sea-trading and moved to Boeotia. He encountered Muses on Helicon while tending sheep, and he won a tripod for a poem recited at a funeral contest. About the reality of his brother Perseus, and his role in the Works and Days, it is probably best to consult a good edition of that poem.
We have two complete poems which are probably Hesiod's, the Theogony and the Works and Days, which despite its reputation is less about farming than it is a general work of wisdom literature. The Shield is probably not Hesiod's.