Photo by Deborah Lowery

Jennifer O’Grady is an award-winning playwright and poet. Born to an Irish father and Italian-American mother, she grew up in New York City and earned a BA from Vassar, where she won awards for her writing, and an MFA from Columbia University.

As a poet, she is the author of White, winner of the Mid-List First Series Award for Poetry and a Greenwall Award from The Academy of American Poets, and Exclusions & Limitations, published in 2018 by Plume Editions/MadHat Press. Her poems are taught, anthologized, and featured in numerous places online and in print, including Harper’s, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Poetry Daily, Plume, Verse Daily, The Yale Review, The Georgia Review, Green Mountains Review and American Poetry: The Next Generation (to name a few). Her poem “Moths,” originally published in Poetry magazine and in her book White, has appeared in numerous places since, including The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor and BBC Radio 4’s 2019 broadcast “Four Season: Summer,” read by Juliet Stevenson. “Moth” was also set to music by composer Robert Paterson and performed and recorded by American Modern Ensemble. Jennifer’s other honors include a Billee Murray Denny Award, a W. K. Rose Fellowship and Pushcart Prize nominations. 

Jennifer’s plays have been produced and developed in the U.S., U.K., and Dublin, Ireland. Her full-length plays include Charlotte’s Letters (Henley Rose Award; NEWvember Festival Dublin; Semifinalist: O’Neill Center Conference; BETC’s Generations Award and others); Paranormal Love (MTWorks NewBorn Festival; Finalist: NEWvember Festival); Ellery  (selected for The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2017); Juggling with Mr. Fields (Kilroys List nominee) and other plays. Her short plays include Persephone (Heartland Theatre’s 2018 10-Minute Play Festival and Lowell Arts Center’s 2019 Playbytes by Playwrights); Listening (Weathervane Playhouse’s 2019 8×10 TheatreFest and Third Place Audience Choice Winner); Pre-War (Stage It’s 2019 Ten-Minute Play Festival); Only Human (The Factory Theatre at Greenville University’s 2019 New Plays Festival) and many others. Her plays have also been presented by the Irish Repertory Theatre, Rover Dramawerks, The Bechdel Group, Monster Box Theatre, Gi60, White Mouse Theatre Productions at FSU, Gi60: The International One-Minute Play Festival (U.S. and U.K. Live Editions), 13th Street Repertory Theatre, 29th Street Playwrights Collective, Twilight Theatre Productions and other companies. Jennifer’s plays are published or forthcoming in 30 New Ten-Minute Plays (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2019), Stage It 3: Twenty Ten-Minute Plays (2019) The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2017 and 2014 (Smith and Kraus), The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017 and 2016 (Smith and Kraus) and Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35  (Applause). She is a 2018  playwriting mentee of AWP’s Writer2Writer Program.

Jennifer has worked in publishing and directed nonprofit literary programs for both the YMCA National Writer’s Voice and The Academy of American Poets in New York. She currently lives near New York City with her husband, son, and daughter, two dogs, two cats, and a rabbit.

Read about Jennifer at The Poetry Foundation
Find Jennifer on the New Play Exchange
Find Jennifer at 365 Women a Year: A Playwriting Project