This Goodly Land

Wayne Greenhaw (February 17, 1940–present)

Other Names Used

Alabama Connections

Selected Works

Literary Awards

Biographical Information

Wayne Greenhaw was born in Sheffield, Ala., and grew up in Trussville, Ala., and in Tuscaloosa. He had polio as a child and was left with a curvature in his spine. When Greenhaw was fourteen, he had an operation to correct his back problem and was confined to a body cast for six months. He spent much of this time reading and decided to become a writer. After his high school graduation in 1959, Greenhaw traveled to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, to study creative writing at the Instituto Allende, where he met the Beat writers Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, and Jack Kerouac. When Greenhaw returned home, he enrolled in the University of Alabama, where he studied under Hudson Strode and baby-sat for novelists Borden Deal and Babs H. Deal. Greenhaw earned his BS in education from the University in 1966. While he was a student, Greenhaw was also working as a reporter for The Tuscaloosa News (from 1958 to 1962) and as a sports columnist for the Tuscaloosa Graphic Weekly (from 1963 to 1964). Greenhaw worked for The Alabama Journal from 1965 to 1976. He also wrote freelance articles that were published in national newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times and Reader’s Digest.

Greenhaw’s first novel, The Golfer, was published in 1967. His first nonfiction book, published in 1971, was about the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, a story he had broken while writing for The Alabama Journal. Greenhaw won a Nieman Fellowship to study at Harvard University for the academic year 1972-1973. He was the editor and publisher of Alabama Magazine from 1984 to 1988 and served as the director of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel from 1993 to 1995. Greenhaw has taught journalism classes at Alabama State University, Troy State University (now Troy University), and Auburn University at Montgomery and has worked with writing projects at the Draper Correctional Center in Elmore, Ala., and the Maxwell Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery. Greenhaw has written or coauthored nineteen books, including novels, short story collections, poetry, memoir, and nonfiction. He divides his time between Montgomery and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Interests and Themes

Wayne Greenhaw’s novels and short stories have Alabama settings, and all but his first two nonfiction books have been on Alabama subjects.

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Location of Papers

Photo by Sally Greenhaw; courtesy of the Alabama Writers' Forum.

Last updated on May 30, 2008.

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