Garth Greenwell is an American poet, author, literary critic, and educator. His debut novel, What Belongs to You, was praised for its brave and sensitive depiction of desire and displacement. The New Republic called it “the great gay novel for our times.”
Garth holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers Workshop. For four years, he taught at the American College of Sofia in Bulgaria, the oldest American educational institute outside of the U.S. He is also the 2018-19 John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi.
His debut novel, What Belongs to You, won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was long-listed for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Ithas been described as “an essential work of our time” by The Daily Telegraph and “an instant classic” by The New York Times. It was named a best book of 2016 by The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, and over 50 other publications in nine countries.
Garth's wide-ranging essays on literature, music, and LGBT rights have appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic, and The Guardian, and his stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and VICE. Cleanness, a collection of short fiction, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Prior to becoming a writer, Garth studied opera for seven years before he shifted his focus to literature. He lives in Iowa City, home to the renowned University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop.