Mary O’Donnell (Ireland) was interviewed at the 2018 John Hewitt International Summer school, where she also regularly conducts writing workshops.
Mary lives near Straffan, County Kildare and worked intermittently in journalism, especially theatre criticism, and her essays on contemporary literary are widely published. She also presented and scripted three series of poetry programmes for RTE Radio, including a successful series on poetry in translation during 2005 and 2006 called 'Crossing the Lines'. She teaches Creative Writing, part time, at NUI Maynooth and in 2011 she received that university’s President's Alumni Award.
She has also worked on the faculty of Carlow University Pittsburgh's MFA programme, as well as on the University of Iowa's summer writing programme at Trinity College Dublin. In December 2001 she was elected to the membership of Aosdana. She is also a member of the Irish Writers' Union and served for three years as an external representative for arts and culture on the Governing Authority of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
Mary is highly regarded as both a poet and prose writer. Her poetry collections include “Spiderwoman’s Third Avenue Rhapsody” (Salmon), “Unlegendary Heroes” (Salmon), “The Place of Miracles: New and Selected Poems” (New Island, 2005), The Arc Builders (Arc, 2005) and “Those April Fevers” (Ark, 2015). Fiction includes the novels “The Light Makers” (451 Editions, 2nd ed 2017), “The Elysium Testament” (Trident, 1998) and “Where They Lie” (New Island, 2014). A volume of essays on her work, “Giving Shape to the Moment: The Art of Mary O’Donnell”, was published in 2018 (Peter Lang, ed. Maria Jaime de Pablos). Her third short story collection, “Empire”, was published by Arlen House in 2018.
Mary’s most recent poetry collection is “The Massacre of Birds” (Salmon, 2020).
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