Thomas Christopher Greene was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Richard and Dolores Greene, the sixth of seven children. He was educated in Worcester public schools and then Suffield Academy in Suffield, Connecticut. He earned his BA in English from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, where he was the Milton Haight Turk Scholar. His MFA in Writing is from the former Vermont College.
Tom has worked as an oyster shucker, delivered pizza, on the line in a staple factory, as a deputy press secretary for a presidential campaign, the director of public affairs for two universities and as a professor of writing and literature. Since 1993, Tom has resided in central Vermont. In 2003, his first novel, MIRROR LAKE, was published to critical acclaim. His second, I’LL NEVER BE LONG GONE, followed two years later and his third, ENVIOUS MOON, was published in 2007. His fiction has been translated into 11 languages and has found a worldwide following. His writing has been called incandescent and poetic and has been nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His first novel was named by Waterstone’s in the UK one of the 30 books to be rediscovered, alongside books by authors Kurt Vonnegut, Jose Saramango, Alice Hoffmann and others.
In 2006, after years of writing full time, Tom was asked to lead one of the MFA programs at Vermont College where he had graduated from and had previously served as a senior administrator. Shortly thereafter the university that owned the campus announced that the historic 1868 campus was for sale to developers and the three nationally acclaimed MFA programs (MFA in Writing; MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults; and MFA in Visual Art) were in danger of closing. Tom mobilized the college community and the larger community in central Vermont to create a nonprofit that could buy the campus and the three academic programs. In two years, with his business partner, Bill Kaplan, Tom raised $13.5M in capital, built a national board of trustees and developed a strategic plan and an infrastructure to manage and run a new academic entity. On June 23, 2008, Vermont College of Fine Arts became the first new college in Vermont in over 30 years. It was the fastest college in the 125-year history of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges to achieve accreditation. Tom was named the college’s founding President, a position he still serves in today.
In the seven years since its inception, Tom has led Vermont College of Fine Arts on a mission to become a national center for education in the arts. Its writing programs enjoy top national rankings, and he has started new programs in graphic design, music composition, film, writing and publishing, and an MA in art and design education. Today, under his leadership, Vermont College of Fine Arts has arguably a greater influence on American Arts and letters than any small school since the heyday of Black Mountain College almost a century ago.
Tom’s fourth novel was published in March 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press. Inspired by a personal tragedy he experienced while creating the college, THE HEADMASTER’S WIFE is his most profound and moving work to date. His fifth novel, IF I FORGET YOU, will be published in June 2016, also by Thomas Dunne Books.