Mary O’Donnell is the author of fifteen books, both poetry and fiction, and has also co-edited a book of translations from the Galician. Her titles include 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 seventh collection Those April Fevers (Arc Publications UK, 2015). She has worked in journalism, especially theatre criticism, and presented and scripted three series of poetry programmes for the national broadcaster RTE Radio. A volume of essays, Giving Shape to the Moment: the Art of Mary O’Donnell, is forthcoming from publisher Peter Lang.
Her debut novel, The Light-Makers, was originally published by Poolbeg Press and named The Sunday Tribune Best New Novel of 1992. The second edition of this acclaimed debut was published by 451 Editions in July of 2017 to broad critical acclaim. The Irish Times review noted, “issues it raises are as relevant today as they were 25 years ago” and the Irish Independent described it as, “unputdownable”.
Her most recent book, Empire, from Arlen House, was published in November, 2018 and explores the emergence of Ireland from the power of the British Empire in a themed collection of short stories set both in Ireland and Malaysia.
Mary lives in Kildare, and is a member of Aosdána.