Marie Luise Kaschnitz, née von Holzing-Berslett, was born to an aristocratic German family. Her father was a Prussian officer and she grew up in Potsdam and Berlin, where he was posted, as well as on the family estate near the village of Bollschweil in the Black Forest. After completing her education, she began working as a book dealer, and moved to Rome, where she eventually spent about half of her adult life. In 1925, she married Guido Kaschnitz von Weinberg, an Austrian-born archaeologist and scholar, and travelled widely with him for expeditions and lectures, principally in the Mediterranean region. She published her first short story in 1930. Marie Luise Kaschnitz wrote two novels, radio and stage plays, poetry, and many short stories that were collected in volumes such as Lange Schatten (Long Shadows, 1960). Her 1945 essay collection, Menschen und Dinge, established her reputation as one of the leading post-war German writers. Her first two complete volumes of poetry appeared in 1947. In 1953, her husband took a job as director of the German Archaeological Institute in Rome. After his retirement, they returned to Germany, settling in Frankfurt. She briefly taught poetry at the University of Frankfurt, and was a member of PEN. She won many prizes for her work, including the Georg Büchner Prize in 1955 and the Roswitha Prize in 1973. The German literary prize called the Marie Luise Kaschnitz Prize was named in her honor.