Glen Retief is a South African writer living in Pennsylvania and teaching at Susquehanna University.  His memoir, The Jack Bank, about growing up white and gay in apartheid South Africa, appeared in April 2011 from St. Martin’s Press.

Glen Retief’s personal essay, “The Jack Bank” appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review.  Before that, his personal essay/memoir “Saudade” appeared in New Contrast, South Africa’s premier literary journal which publishes authors like Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee, Damon Galgut, and Zakes Mda.  His personal essay “The Chameleon’s Home Country” won the AWP Intro Journal Award for Creative Nonfiction and appeared in Puerto del Sol.  He has also published personal essays in Fugue and The Massachusetts Review.

Glen’s short stories have appeared in numerous publications and journals, including The Greensboro Review, New Contrast, The James White Review, donga, Mangrove and Tribute, a South African mass market glossy magazine roughly equivalent to Ebony or Essence.

Glen grew up in a South African game park during the apartheid era, but emigrated to the USA in 1994.  His essay, “Keeping Sodom Out of the Laager,” appeared in the first-ever anthology of South African lesbian and gay writing, entitled Defiant Desire, edited by Mark Gevisser and Edwin Cameron.

Occasionally Glen publishes newspaper columns and op-ed pieces in, among others, The St. Petersburg Times, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Harrisburg Patriot-News, The Cape Times, The Star (Johannesburg), and the U.S. online magazine His literary criticism has appeared in Research in African Literatures, English Studies in Africa, and Conradiana.  

Glen holds a B.A. in English and African Studies from the University of Cape Town, an MFA from the University of Miami, and a Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Florida State University.  He has held numerous fellowships and awards, including a James Michener Writing Fellowship and Florida State University Fellowship—that university’s most prestigious award for graduate students. 

He loves to hike, canoe, and go camping in the woods.  Before landing in academia, he worked as an instructor of homeless HIV-positive substance abusers, a needle exchange advocate, an English Second Language teacher, a teacher of high school students with learning disabilities, and a college professor of English. He has lived in Cape Town, South Africa; New York, New York; Tallahassee, Florida; Miami, Florida; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Richmond, Kentucky.  He speaks English, Afrikaans, and Spanish, and he can say a few words in Xhosa and Zulu, including ones with some pretty interesting-sounding clicks.

He lives in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, with his partner, Peterson Toscano.