Gyrdir Elíasson was born in Reykjavík on April 4, 1961. His family comes from the East fjords but he grew up in the town of Sauðárkrókur in Northern Iceland and went to both elementary school and college there. He lived for a while in the western part of the country, in Borgarnes and Akranes, but later in Reykjavík.
Gyrðir has been a full time writer almost all his adult life, he has published a number of poetry books, novels and collections of short stories. He is one of Iceland's most acclaimed writers of his generation. Hirst published book is the poetry collection Svarthvít axlabönd (Black-and-White Suspenders) from 1983. Gyrðir is also an avid translator, especially of books about and by American aborigines, and has translated four of Richard Brautigan's novels. In 2011, Gyrðir sent forward a large collection of translated poetry, with poems by thirty-six poets from fifteen countries.
Gyrðir has received various awards for his work, among them the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2000 for his short story collection Gula húsið (The Yellow House) and the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2011 for Milli trjánna (Between the Trees), also a collection of short stories.
Gyrdir Elíasson lives in Reykjavík, is married and has three children.