Born in Salmon, Idaho, and 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," was published in March of 2019 by the University of New Mexico Press. Gwartney's first book is a memoir, "Live Through This," a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award.
Gwartney 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 and The New York Times Modern Love and Ties columns, among others.
Gwartney teaches in the master's of fine arts program at Pacific University and lives in Western Oregon with her husband.