Garth Greenwell

Garth Greenwell (born March 19, 1978) is an American novelist, poet, literary critic, and educator. He has published the novella Mitko (2011) and the novels What Belongs to You (2016) and Cleanness (2020). He has also published stories in The Paris Review[1] and A Public Space and writes criticism for The New Yorker[2] and The Atlantic.[3]

Garth Greenwell
Born (1978-03-19) March 19, 1978 (age 45)
EducationInterlochen Arts Academy
Alma materState University of New York at Purchase
Washington University in St. Louis
Harvard University
Known forWhat Belongs to You

In 2013, Greenwell returned to the United States after living in Bulgaria to attend the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop as an Arts Fellow.

Early lifeEdit

Garth Greenwell was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 19, 1978, and graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, in 1996. He studied voice at the Eastman School of Music, then transferred to earn a BA degree in Literature with a minor in Lesbian and Gay Studies from the State University of New York at Purchase in 2001, where he served as a contributing editor for In Posse Review and received the 2000 Grolier Poetry Prize.[4][5] He received his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, an MA in English and American Literature from Harvard University, and also spent three years on Ph.D. coursework there.[6]


Greenwell taught English at Greenhills, a private high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and at the American College of Sofia in Bulgaria; the school is famous for being the oldest American educational institution outside the US.[7] His frequent book reviews in the literary journal West Branch transitioned into a yearly column called "To a Green Thought: Garth Greenwell on Poetry."[8][9][10]

Greenwell's first novella, Mitko, won the Miami University Press Novella Prize[11] and was a finalist for the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award as well as the Lambda Award.[11] His work has appeared in Yale Review,[12] Boston Review,[13] Salmagundi, Michigan Quarterly Review,[14] and Poetry International, among others.

His debut novel, What Belongs to You, was called the "first great novel of 2016" by Publishers Weekly.[15] His second novel, Cleanness, was published in January 2020 and well received by critics.[16][17][18]

Greenwell has received the Grolier Prize, the Rella Lossy Award, an award from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation, and the Bechtel Prize from the Teachers & Writers Collaborative.[19] He was the 2008 John Atherton Scholar for Poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.[20]

LGBT rights advocacy in BulgariaEdit

In its article "Of LGBT, Life and Literature," the English-language weekly newspaper Sofia Echo credits Greenwell's publications with bringing much needed attention to the LGBT experience in Bulgaria and to other English-speaking audiences through various broadcasts, interviews, blog posts, and reviews.[21]



  • What Belongs to You. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2016.
  • What Belongs to You (U.K. ed.). Picador. 2016.
  • Cleanness. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2020.

Anthologies (edited)Edit

  • Kink, co-edited with R.O. Kwon. Simon & Schuster. 2021.

Short fictionEdit

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected Notes
Mitko 2011 Mitko. Miami University Press. 2011. Novella
An Evening Out 2017 Greenwell, Garth (August 21, 2017). "An Evening Out". The New Yorker. Vol. 93, no. 24. pp. 62–69.
The Frog King 2018 "The Frog King". The New Yorker. Vol. 94, no. 42. November 26, 2018. pp. 74–81.
Harbor 2019 "Harbor". The New Yorker. September 16, 2019.

Essays and reportingEdit


  1. ^ Short stories unless otherwise noted.
  2. ^ Discusses, inter alia, the novel The end of Eddy by French author Édouard Louis. Online version is titled "Growing up poor and queer in a French village".


  1. ^ Greenwell, Garth (2014-01-01). "Gospodar". Paris Review. No. 209. ISSN 0031-2037. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  2. ^ "Garth Greenwell". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  3. ^ Greenwell, Garth. "Garth Greenwell". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  4. ^ Greenwell, Garth. "Orpheus Sequence". In Pose Review. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  5. ^ "Table of contents". disquietingmuses. Archived from the original on April 22, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  6. ^ Barone, Joshua (January 9, 2020). "Garth Greenwell Comes Clean". New York Times. p. C6. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 15, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Faculty". Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  8. ^ "To a Green Thought: Garth Greenwell on Poetry" (PDF).
  9. ^ Greenwell, Garth. "The First Thing and the Last" and "Two Elegists" in West Branch.
  10. ^ "Teacher Garth Greenwell's New Poetry Column: To a Green Thought". Green Hill School. January 8, 2009. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Miami University Press - Mitko".
  12. ^ Greenwell, Garth. 2010. "An Evening Out." The Yale Review, 92:2. "Yale Review | contributors". Archived from the original on 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  13. ^ Greenwell, Garth. "Facilitas" Archived 2011-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, Boston Review. December 2004/January 2005.
  14. ^ Greenwell, Garth (2008). "Likeness". Michigan Quarterly Review. 47 (4). hdl:2027/spo.act2080.0047.405. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  15. ^ Habash, Gabe (2015-12-04). "Staff Pick: 'What Belongs to You' by Garth Greenwell". Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  16. ^ Garner, Dwight (2020-01-13). "Sex, Violence and Self-Discovery Collide in the Incandescent 'Cleanness'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  17. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (2020-01-14). "These gorgeous new novels explore sex with empathy, complexity, and radical honesty". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  18. ^ Hermann, Nellie (2020-01-10). "Review: Garth Greenwell's 'Cleanness' thrums with life's questions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  19. ^ 2010 Bechtel Prize Winner was Garth Greenwell for "A Native Music: Writing the City in Sofia, Bulgaria." "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-08. Retrieved 2011-12-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Biography, see "The Bechtel Prize 2010 Winner and Finalists" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-08. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  21. ^ "Of LGBT, Life and Literature." The Sofia Echo. June 17, 2011

External linksEdit