About
Debra Gwartney

Born in Salmon, Idaho, a fifth generation Idahoan, Debra Gwartney is the winner of the 2018 RiverTeeth Nonfiction Prize, judged by Gretel Ehrlich. Her hybrid memoir-history, called I Am a Stranger Here Myself, will be published in March of 2019 by the University of New Mexico Press. Debra’s first book is a memoir, Live Through This, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2009, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and the Oregon Book Award. 

Image of Debra Gwartney's selfie of her feet in the Salmon River on a sunny day in Idaho
Debra has published widely, with work included in such journals as Granta, Tin House, American Scholar, The Normal School, Creative Nonfiction, Prairie Schooner, Washington Square Review, Kenyon Review, Salon, Triquarterly Review, the NYT “Modern Love” column, among others.
Image of Debra Gwarteny on a log bridge over a river in Salmon, Idaho
She is the 2018 winner of the Real Simple essay contest. She is a contributing editor at Poets & Writers magazine and in 2015 won the Crab Orchard Review prize for nonfiction. She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Playa, UCross, and the Wurlitzer Foundation.
Image of Debra Gwartney and Barry Lopez in a close embrace

Debra Gwartney teaches in the MFA Program at Pacific University and lives in Western Oregon with her husband.


Buy Debra’s Books

I Am a Stranger Here Myself

An exploration of what it means to be a Woman of the West, then and now

I Am a Stranger Here Myself
Live Through This
Live Through This

An award-winning memoir of hard times between a mother and her teenage daughters, and the long path toward reconciliation and love

Home Ground
Home Ground

A celebrated collection of land and water terms that define North America