Poet and fiction-writer Mary O’Donnell is recognized as a leading figure in the generation of Irish women writers who began publishing in the 1980s and 1990s; her work is often cited as key in expanding the horizons of Ireland’s traditionally male-dominated literary world.
O’Donnell has published numerous collections of poetry, including Reading the Sunflowers in September (1990) and Spiderwoman’s Third Avenue Rhapsody (1993), both nominated for an Irish Times Literature Award. Her other books of poetry include Unlegendary Heroes (1998), The Ark Builders (2009) and Those April Fevers (2015).
Her new collection of poetry Massacre of the Birds will be published by Salmon in October 2020. Her fiction includes the novels The Light-Makers (1992 & 2018), The Elysium Testament (1999), and Where They Lie (2014). She has also published works of short fiction, including Strong Pagans (1991), Storm over Belfast (2008) and Empire (2018).
She has received numerous awards including prizes from the Fish International Short Story Competition, the VS Pritchett Short Story Competition, and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition. She is a member of the Irish artists affiliation, Aosdána.