Eliza Griswold

Award-Winning Journalist, Author, Poet

Eliza Griswold is the author of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, which won the 2011 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. Her translations of Afghan women’s folk poems, I Am the Beggar of the World, was awarded the 2015 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and her original poetry won the 2010 Rome Prize from the American Academy of Art and Letters in Rome. Amity and Prosperity, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, recounts the true story of how fracking shattered one Pennsylvania town and how one resident brought it to light. Amity and Prosperity was named a finalist in the Science/Technology category for the LA Times Festival of Books, the nation’s largest literary and cultural festival. She has held fellowships from the New America Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and Harvard University.


Her latest book, If Men, Then, a darkly humorous new collection of poems exploring the world’s fracturing through the collapse of the ego, embodied in a character named “I”—a soul attempting to wrestle with itself in the face of an unfolding tragedy.


Currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University, Eliza Griswold lives in New York with her husband and son.


Follow her on Twitter.


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If Men, ThenOne Family and the Fracturing of America

A darkly humorous new collection of poems by the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of Wideawake Field and Amity and Prosperity. If Men, Then, Eliza Griswold’s second poetry collection, charts a radical spiritual journey through catastrophe. Alternately searing and hopeful, funny and fraught, the poems explore the world’s fracturing through the collapse of the ego, embodied in a character named “I”—a soul attempting to wrestle with itself in the face of an unfolding tragedy.

Amity and ProsperityOne Family and the Fracturing of America
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Prize-winning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold’s Amity and Prosperity is an expose on how fracking shattered a rural Pennsylvania town, and how one lifelong resident brought the story into the national spotlight. This is an incredible true account of investigative journalism and a devastating indictment of energy politics in America.

I Am the Beggar of the WorldLandays from Contemporary Afghanistan
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Afghans revere poetry, particularly the high literary forms that derive from Persian or Arabic. But the poem above is a folk couplet—a landay, an ancient oral and anonymous form created by and for mostly illiterate people: the more than 20 million Pashtun women who span the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Tenth ParallelDispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam

A riveting investigation of the jagged fault line between the Christian and Muslim worlds. An urgent examination of the relationship between faith and worldly power, The Tenth Parallel is an essential work about the conflicts over religion, nationhood and natural resources that will remake the world in the years to come.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The poems in this fierce debut are an attempt to record what matters. As a reporter's dispatches, they concern themselves with different forms of desolation: what it means to feel at home in wrecked places and then to experience loneliness and dislocation in the familiar.

Amity and Prosperity: America's Resource Curse "Resource curse" describes the phenomenon where people who live on land richest in natural resources are the poorest. It's typically used for developing nations, but it exists in the U.S., too. Using seven years' worth of immersive journalism, research, and anecdotes from her newest book, Eliza Griswold discusses the human impact and social costs of natural resource development. Griswold touches on corporate greed, the disenfranchisement of rural Americans, and the neglect of environmental activists and the federal government, all of which have contributed to the disaster of fracking wreaked on Amity, PA and other towns.
Evangelical Girls and the #MeToo Movement In her newest journalistic endeavor, Eliza Griswold returns to her roots of reporting on religion. Once again using immersive techniques, she talks about the unique reaction to the #MeToo reckoning of sexual harassment among young evangelical women.
Writing About Rural America After spending seven years developing Amity and Prosperity in Appalachia, Eliza Griswold reflects on a post-Trump understanding of journalism. In a talk based on an upcoming class she's teaching at NYU, she discusses how best to write about rural America when unfamiliar with it, and how to better listen to the people journalists are writing about.
The Poetry Process Eliza Griswold is an award-winning journalist, but she's also an award-winning poet. Griswold talks about her current poems-in-progress and writing process, her high-culture-meets-low philosophy, and the intersection of her investigative reporting and her poetry.
The Tenth Parallel Eliza Griswold explores the intersection of Islam and Christianity along The Tenth Parallel. She discusses the relationship between religion and resources, and examines how local conflicts go global. The lecture focuses on restoring religion to the discussion of world affairs.

Read Eliza Griswold’s article on how Black Lives Matters is changing the church Eliza Griswold was interviewed on the Commonweal podcast. If Men, Then reviewed by the Library Journal, calling them “palpable and provocative poems that can be appreciated by broad audience.” Listen to Eliza discussing her poem “First Person” on the New Yorker Poetry podcast. The Poetry Foundation recently published a wonderful profile on Eliza. She Reads named If Men, Then a poetry collection “you need to read in 2020.” Vogue named If Men, Then as one of the highly anticipated books of 2020. The New Yorker published one of Eliza’s poems from her newest collection If Men, Then. Publishers Weekly published a positive review of If Men, Then, calling it a “well-timed exploration of violence and language.” If Men, Then, Eliza’s 2020 release, included in the New York Times‘ “New and Noteworthy Poetry Books.” Eliza Griswold’s The Sixth Extinction included in Literary Hub’s Best 20 Works of Nonfiction list. The LA Times Festival of Books nominated Amity and Prosperity as one of the finalists for the Science/Technology category. The New York Times Book Review for Amity and Prosperity The Philadelphia Inquirer interviews Eliza Griswold Listen to Eliza Griswold with Chris Hayes on the NBC THINK podcast Read the story of “Buzz” Kiskadden in an excerpt from Amity and Prosperity in The Intercept. Eliza Griswold writes for Guardian about the USA’s urban-rural divide Amity and Prosperity featured in a New Republic article on American class Read more reviews on Amity and Prosperity Indie Bound. on Listen to Eliza Griswold on Boise State Public Radio discussing her early book, The Tenth Parallel Watch Eliza Griswold speak about Amity and Prosperity at the Free Library of Philadelphia Read the New York Times review of Amity and Prosperity Read Eliza Griswold’s New York Times essay on Appalachia’s “resource curse” Read the feature on Amity and Prosperity in the Observer-Reporter Listen to the Marketplace interview with Eliza Griswold on her new book Discover why Amity and Prosperity is a summer reads pick for the BBC, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Glamour, and The Chicago Tribune Follow Eliza on Twitter Read Eliza’s essays and articles in The New Yorker Check out Vogue‘s feature on Eliza Griswold Take a look at a prose piece Eliza wrote for The Poetry Foundation See Eliza’s profile on The Pulitzer Center’s website Listen to Eliza Griswold’s interview on NPR’s Fresh Air Read this article Eliza wrote for the BBC, “The 22 Syllables That Can Get You Killed” Eliza Griswold emphasizes the importance of taking risks in this article she wrote for Outside Online

"Eliza Griswold's talk was dazzling, and moving. Her investigative poetics represent a unique combination of journalistic eye and poetic voice that yields a crisp and captivating form of witness. The students, faculty, and locals were mesmerized by her tales of engagement with refugees and Pashtun women in Afghanistan, and her collections of landays that she translated into English."
—Ewa Chruschiel Colby, Sawyer College

Praise for If Men, Then "Griswold has taken the Whitmanesque 'I'—'I' as everyone—and made it unmistakably singular . . . Though the sequence nods to the surreal and the psychological—Rimbaud’s 'Je est un autre'—there are also echoes of John Berryman and Sylvia Plath, poets closer to home whose self-awareness was enacted on the page in the form of characters, masks, new selves . . . wry and intimate, sophisticated and all [Griswold's] own—imagining the adventure that is being."
—Kevin Young, The New Yorker

"This second poetry collection from Griswold is profoundly of its moment (just look at the CBD oil references), but its language feels somehow eternal."
—Emma Specter, Vogue

"[Griswold] writes poems so emotionally charged they seem on the verge of spilling over . . . palpable and provocative poems that can be appreciated by broad audience."
—Karla Huston, Library Journal

Praise for Amity and Prosperity “With empathy and diligence, Griswold brings attention to the emotional and financial tolls Haney and her family endured in this revealing portrait of rural America in dire straits.”
Publishers Weekly

“Veteran journalist Eliza Griswold’s… Amity and Prosperity is part Erin Brockovich, part Hillbilly Elegy. You’ll be inspired by [Stacey Haney, Beth Voyles and Kendra Smith] who called B.S. on what was happening around them, pointing a finger at both money-hungry businessmen and day-tripping liberals studying them like specimens. Their galvanizing activism is proof that, to help someone, first you have to listen.”

“Griswold’s empathetic yet analytical account of Haney’s indefatigable role as advocate for justice is a thorough and thoroughly blood-pressure-raising account of the greed and fraud embedded in the environmentally ruinous natural-gas industry. As honest and unvarnished an account of the human cost of corporate corruption as one will find.”
Booklist (Starred Review)

Praise for The Tenth Parallel  “Eliza Griswold’s talent runs through this book like a blinding light. Through her daring travel, quiet observation, empathy and gift for language, she humanizes and clarifies conflicts in Africa and Asia that are often neglected or misunderstood. The Tenth Parallel is both vitally important and beautifully written.”
—Steve Coll, author of The Bin Ladens

“In this revolutionary work, Griswold has dedicated the last seven years of her life to traveling in the world's least known places to explore the encounter between Christianity and Islam in Africa and Asia. She has brought back the unforgettable stories of Christians and Muslims along the tenth parallel whose faith is shaping the world's future. Griswold's courageous pilgrimage changes the way we think about Christianity and Islam by exploding any simplistic "clash" narrative. She returns us to the most basic truth of human existence: that the world and its people are interconnected.”
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu