About Me

Mary O'DonnellThe sentries of imagination keep the way clear, think of the message of the earth, the calligraphy of trees, such things to be read on the road ...

Mary O’Donnell is the author of eleven books, both poetry and fiction, and has also co-edited a book of translations from the Galician (See Books Published). Her titles include the best-selling literary novel “The Light-Makers”, “Virgin and the Boy”, and “The Elysium Testament”, as well as poetry such as “The Place of Miracles”, “Unlegendary Heroes”, and her most recent critically acclaimed sixth collection “The Ark Builders” (Arc Publications UK, 2009). She has been a teacher and has worked intermittently in journalism, especially theatre criticism. Her essays on contemporary literary issues are widely published. She also presented and scripted three series of poetry programmes for the national broadcaster RTE Radio, including a successful series on poetry in translation during 2005 and 2006 called 'Crossing the Lines'. Today, she teaches creative writing in a part time capacity at NUI Maynooth, and has worked on the faculty of Carlow University Pittsburgh's MFA programme in creative writing, as well as on the faculty of the University of Iowa's summer writing programme at Trinity College Dublin.

In 2011, she received the President's Alumni Award at NUI Maynooth.

In December 2001 she was elected to the membership of Aosdana, the multidisciplinary organisation of Irish artists which is administered by the Irish Arts Council (An Chomhairle Ealaine). Aosdana honours artists engaged in literature, music and the visual arts who have made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland.

She is 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 O'Donnell now lives near Straffan, County Kildare.