Richard Thomas Greene is a Canadian poet and biographer whose book Boxing the Compass won the Governor General’s Award for English language poetry at the 2010 Governor General’s Awards. Greene received his BA in English at Memorial University in 1983 and took his doctorate as a Rothermere Fellow at Oxford University in 1991. He returned to Memorial University to teach English before joining the University Of Toronto at Mississauga in 1995, as a member of the English and Drama department. Married to pianist Marianne Marusic and father to four children, he resides in Cobourg, Ontario.
Greene first distinguished himself as a teacher and a critic with his book Mary Leapor: A Study in Eighteenth-Century Women’s Poetry, published in 1993. In addition to 18th-century poetry, it was with scholarly works on Dame Edith Sitwell and Graham Greene that Greene broke through to greater renown and a wide general readership. He enjoyed international success in 2007 with Graham Greene: A Life in Letters – a biography constructed out of the novelist’s own words. His recent biography, Edith Sitwell: Avant-garde Poet, English Genius is an attempt to revive the reputation of a neglected writer.
Greene is primarily known in Canada as a poet. His first collection, Republic of Solitude: Poems 1984-1994 drew little attention from reviewers when published in Newfoundland in 1994. However, it contains poems such as “Utopia” that have been often anthologized. His second collection, Crossing the Straits, was published by the St. Thomas Poetry Series of Toronto in 2004. Richard Greene’s third collection of poems, Boxing the Compass, describes the journeys Greene made by Greyhound and Amtrak while visiting archives of Graham Greene’s letters. It eventually won him the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry.
Richard Greene currently teaches Creative Writing and British literature at the University of Toronto.
Books in order of publication:
Mary Leapor: A Study in Eighteenth-Century Women’s Poetry -1993
Republic of Solitude: Poems 1984-1994 – 1994
The Selected Letters of Edith Sitwell – 1998
Graham Greene: A Life in Letters – 2007
Boxing the Compass – 2010
Edith Sitwell: Avant garde poet, English genius – 2011
Dante’s House – 2014
Wade Garrison The Last Ride – 2020
The Unquiet Englishman: A Life of Graham Greene – 2021