Norman Schwenk was born and grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He completed his academic studies in the United States, before moving to Sweden, and then to Cardiff in 1965 as a Lecturer in American Literature. For many years Norman taught Creative Writing at Cardiff University, before retiring from full-time teaching in 2002, to concentrate upon his own writing and publishing.
His writing has been published in various American and Welsh magazines, and Parthian has published various collections of his work. In 2004 he co-edited an anthology of poems about St Melangell, The Hare That Hides Within, which won an award as a Welsh Books Council Poetry Best-seller. In 2005 Parthian published The More Deceived: Poems about Love and Lovers, in 2015 Book of Songs, and in 2016 Love What is Mortal: Selected Poems, which brings together collections of his poems from the 1960s to the present day.